Saturday, January 10, 2009

Geneva? Yes. Torture? No. 'Nuff said.


Kevin Jon Heller said...

Actually, nowhere near 'nuff said. Instructing Panetta not to use torture is not enough -- and may well be an artful dodge at which Obama is becoming increasingly adept. When he starts working the Hill to pass a law that prohibits the CIA from using torture -- a law that applies the AFM across the board -- then, and only then, is 'nuff said.

Diane Marie Amann said...

Hi, Kevin,
You are of course correct. Still, the reiteration of this campaign message at this particular press conference is not an insignificant message from someone who is not yet able actually to do the things you urge, and yet (alas) is already in a position to backpedal on campaign promises.
It is especially significant as an endorsement of the strong anti-torture, pro-Geneva viewpoints that many of his recent nominees have articulated. These included, as we've posted, Dawn Johnsen ( and Leon Panetta himself ( What they'd already written was known to the transition team, and with this statement Obama put himself in their camp. In so doing, he distanced himself from those in his own party (and some among the so-called liberal mainstream media) who would have him, now that he's been elected, incline more to the security side of the liberty-security divide. On this day, he did not -- at least not in a rhetorical sense.
Originally, this post ended with these words just below the video box: "President-Elect Barack Obama, January 9, 2009." Though deleted for tech reasons, the tage was meant as a hint that we will keep watching as days pass to see whether and how Obama's promise is implemented. That hint is the intent of this post -- to direct the "'Nuff said" as much at the speaker, the President-Elect, as to anyone else.
You, me, we all wait to see how he turns his words into reality.

Kevin Jon Heller said...

Hi Diane,

Agreed! I find both Johnson and Panetta's appointment -- along with Susan Rice's -- to be the most (and sadly, only) encouraging things about Obama's first couple of months.