Monday, November 17, 2008

Obama must-do: Close GTMO, end torture

[Q:] There are a number of different things that you could do early pertaining to executive orders. One of them is to shutdown Guantanamo Bay. Another is to change interrogation methods that are used by U.S. troops. Are those things that you plan to take early action on?

Mr. Obama: Yes. I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that. I have said repeatedly that America doesn't torture. And I'm gonna make sure that we don't torture. Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America's moral stature in the world.

In giving this answer during last night's 60 Minutes interview (video here), President-Elect Barack Obama (above) reaffirmed his campaign promise to turn the page and close the book on abuses committed by the United States in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
The answer's noteworthy not only for its content, but also for its crispness.
Sources named and unnamed have uttered hand-wringing "But hows?" when asked about closing the U.S. detention camp at Guantánamo (below) or about ending coercive interrogation at any U.S. site anywhere. Last week an Obama senior adviser insisted no decisions have been made. Yet Obama left no room for doubt that both goals can be achieved. (On this I agree; more on that soon.)
His answer signaled too that change may come sooner than later:
Note that Obama did not push back from the interviewer's suggestion that both were "things that you could do early" by means of executive order.

No comments: