Obama Can’t Make Torture a Thing of the Past?

There is a big difference in running on a “change” ticket and actually having to implement “change” in the complex political landscape that is our great nation. President Obama is feeling this right now in full effect. While he pledged to stop the CIA’s involvement in secret defense and torture, a Justice Department official said today that the new administration would continue to invoke the existing Bush policies. The ACLU is fired up about it — as expected:

“The administration should unequivocally reject the Bush administration’s abuse of the state secrets privilege and permit this case to go forward,” said ACLU attorney Ben Wizner. “Victims of extraordinary rendition deserve their day in court.”

Are our expectations too high of President Obama? Even though his election was a shining moment for our nation, the reality is that there are still bad people out there who want to do harm to our citizens. On the flip side, are the extreme measures taken by the past administration really necessary? We want to hear your thoughts on www.gotgeoint.com

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Jonathan Clark

Hi! I thought I just replied to this, so I apologize if 2 slightly different posts come out…

Not to repeat much of what I wrote in a similair discussion in:


In my personal opinion – and that is all it really can be. I have worked in this realm over the past 17 years, both local and Federal, as well as military, I think that any key leader, upon being ‘read on’ to the ‘situation on the ground’ by subordinate leadership ebbs and flows in their decision making determinations. Much of the ideas that key leaders have prior to assuming the position come with preconceived notions based upon educational study, perhaps ‘he said/she said’, media, institutional conditioning from past positions held. Once the key leader can see the constraints and time factors of any mission, he/she has to come to a decision based upon the new information at hand. Many times this changes the viewpoint once held. It should be expected, and allowed.

I don’t think anyone is ‘too hard’ on the President. This is individual anyway. Media, ‘talk radio’, ‘talking heads’, private citizens, lobbyists, other politicians, all have their own filters/lenses through which they look at the issue. It really is all relative…

Insofar as absolutes, i.e. ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ are ‘always’ ‘not called for’ – I think we get into trouble, ever, when we view the world in absolutes, and black and whites. Shades of grey I believe are preferable when coming up with plans of action. IMO, torture is not an effective tool for gaining useful information of lasting value. The human body is made for self – preservation. I believe that the idea that the information gleaned from extreme pain inflicted on the nervous system almost never provides accurate information that you can ‘take to the bank’. Human beings will do what they can to survive. In my other discussion post I elaborate, and won’t go ove rthat again, the pros and cons of psychological, or ‘kinesic’ interviewing versus ‘enhanced techniques’, what some call torture…

Rendition can be a useful tool, apart from differing value systems that allow the host Nation to use what Western society might view as ‘torture’. Cultural knowledge of the source of information,and a common world – view is often used effectively by host nations (I would think) to actually work with and obtain very useful information withou the use of so – called torture. But, this i a debate that can go for awhile.

At any rate, don’t know if this answer anything, but my own thoughts on your opening statements – JEC