24 Jan

The Era of “Transparency” has Begun!

                                       

2009-01-22a

Obama signed executive orders fulfilling his pledge to end what he has called torture and to abolish the Guantanamo facility that became a lightning rod for international criticism. His action drew praise from human rights groups as well as politicians and statesmen around the globe.
Larry Downing-Reuters

Yesterday, Curt noted:

could there actually be some light at the end of the tunnel?
[truncated]

Most politicians would rather do anything than make a difficult choice, and it seems President Obama hasn’t abandoned this Senatorial habit. To wit, yesterday’s executive order on interrogation: It imposes broad limits on how aggressively U.S. intelligence officers can question terrorists, but it also keeps open the prospect of legal loopholes that would allow them to press harder in tough cases.

~~~

The unfine print of Mr. Obama’s order is that he’s allowed room for what might be called a Jack Bauer exception. It creates a committee to study whether the Field Manual techniques are too limiting “when employed by departments or agencies outside the military.” The Attorney General, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Director of National Intelligence-designate Dennis Blair will report back and offer “additional or different guidance for other departments or agencies.”

In other words, Mr. Obama’s Inaugural line that “we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals” was itself misrepresenting the choices his predecessor was forced to make. At least President Bush was candid about the practical realities of preventing mass casualties in the U.S.

This Executive Order is merely to throw a plastic bone to the Code Pink-minded chomping for the real deal; and signal to the critics abroad that “change has come” to Washington.

CJ did the leg work the executive order and points to the following:

there really aren’t any differences between the way the Bush administration is treating the facility and the Obama administration. Allow me to interpret the entire order for you paragraph by paragraph if you still don’t desire to travel to the White House page and read it yourself.

Section 1) Just a bunch of definitions of words everyone understands that are used throughout the EO.

Section 2a) The DoD has identified individuals that can be released. Well, this identification didn’t happen in the past four days, so obviously this is what the Bush administration was already pursuing.

2b) Some of these guys have been there for a long time (Khaleed Sheik Mohammed for one) and that it would be in our best interests to send them home and close the facility….“To the extent practicable”!! What does this mean? It means that, exactly as the Bush administration was doing, we’ll close the facility when we no longer need it. Those four little words provide a HUGE out for the administration that would prevent them from closing the facility.

2c) Terrorists are entitled to our constitutional rights of a trial. I’ve already addressed this above, but here’s another angle. Habeas corpus could easily be suspended in times of national emergency. I think a nation going to war is a perfect time for such an action as it relates strictly to enemy combatants. It’s not unprecedented either.

During the Civil War, President Obama’s hero, Abraham Lincoln, suspended habeas corpus until the end of hostilities with the Southern States. In World War II, when the Supreme Court wasn’t occupied by activist judges, the Court ruled that unlawful combatants were not entitled to habeas corpus and would be tried by military courts as we’re doing today. This created a very specific distinction between prisoners of war and unlawful combatants. But, because our government today wants to play nice with terrorists and lacks the backbone necessary to fight the kind of enemy we face today, we decide to try them in our courts instead of looking to history for the answers and educating the public on those answers.

2d) The cases of all detainees being held at Gitmo will be reviewed to determine the basis for their detention. Again, something that is an ongoing aspect of these detentions and was done under the Bush Administration.

2e) If we release these terrorists, our enemies will like us and be more likely to talk to us through diplomatic means. Okay, this is a departure from the Bush administration thinking.

2f) Some people at Gitmo are bad. We may not want to release them. Yup, exactly what the Bush administration was thinking. Nothing new here.

2g) Again, it’s a good idea to review these detentions, just like the Bush administration was doing.

Section 3) In one year, we will close Gitmo but we have no idea what to do with any bad guys we may still have at that time. This gives the administration a year to realize we’re screwed and better sign another EO extension.

Section 4a) These reviews start…NOW! GO GO GO GO GO!!!

4b) The Attorney General, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other people will somehow come together in a bureaucratic kumbaya and make it happen.

4c) This paragraph establishes what this group of individuals will do, namely exactly what the Bush Administration was doing.

Section 5) Secretary Clinton will try to convince foreign governments to take the terrorists we’re trying to get rid of. Most likely the same countries President Bush tried to convince when he was in charge.

Section 6) Detention facilities must meet the humane requirements set forth in the Geneva Conventions – as they did under the Bush administration.

Section 7) Military courts and commissions are hereby halted until we figure out what we’re doing. The detainees will just sit there until we get our act together.

Section 8a) Secretary Gates can continue business as usual with all other prisoners not being held in Gitmo.

8b) If anything written in this order goes against the law (or constitutional treaties like the Geneva Conventions) or we don’t have the money to pay for it, forget what I just signed. Have a nice weekend!

8c) This order does not create rights that didn’t exist before. Does this mean that the prisoners DON’T have the right to use our courts then?

What this all boils down to really is smoke and mirrors. It really just tells the Defense Department that we better be doing things right or we’re in trouble. There are so many exceptional situations written into the order that it doesn’t really mean a lot. President Obama is devoted to ensuring that we’re abiding by the Geneva Conventions but the media and our political leaders aren’t telling us the whole story. They’re keying in on one or two sentences and trying to convince the American people that “change” has come when really there is very little changing.

[APPLAUSE]

2009-01-22b

President Barack Obama caps his pen after he signed an executive order closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Vice President Joe Biden, second from left, and retired military officers applaud.
Charles Dharapak-AP

[/APPLAUSE]

Previous Posts:
Keyboarding is Torture
Obama’s Dangerous Game
Obama Gives Terrorists A License to Kill

Also blogging:
American Power
BlackFive
Bottom Line Upfront
Confederate Yankee
Gateway Pundit
HotAir
Jules Crittenden
Wizbang

This entry was posted in American Intelligence, Barack Obama, Baracks Broken Promises, Guantanamo, War On Terror. Bookmark the permalink. Saturday, January 24th, 2009 at 7:49 am
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14 Responses to The Era of “Transparency” has Begun!

  1. old trooper says: 1

    The Punk Pretender in Chief behaved like his arrogant snarky true self this week in meetings with Repubs & His filthy Dem Leadership to discuss the destruction of the US Treasury to redeem his campaign promises and throw Taxpayer $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ to those that got him elected. Unions, ACORN and such. Throwing Tax Dollars out for Tribute. The New Nero in charge…

    “I Won”
    “I can Trump You”
    Those were his actual quotes.

    He is, as in Mr. Roves description, “Winging It” No plan just exercising the prerogatives of Office to suit his fancy and pump his ego. Neither Him or his Cabinet have a clue yet but are relishing the opportunity to command & direct a Nation that the American Voters handed them.

    No Bipartisanship, Responsibility or Accountability shown this week by the Obama Nation.
    Only the Arrogance of Office.

    We can remember this as being the week when Domestic Enemies were more dangerous to America than any Foreign ones. This is only Week One. The Worst is yet to come.

    My adopted Daughter from Hungary, speaks four languages, poured me a coffee this morning and whispered “Wolverines Dad”. She has watched Red Dawn. Has a Private Pilots license at 17, a 4.0 GPA at a local high school and has seen tyranny close up and came here two years ago reminded me of her studies to take the US Citizenship test.

    * Revolutionary War, fought to eliminate tyranny and taxation
    * A Government by the People with checks & balances
    * Both her Grand Fathers killed by Communists in 1959 in Hungary
    * Growing up with Socialized Medicine in a Third World Economy
    * Never enjoying the Freedoms or Liberties that she fears that will go away here
    * A good life based not on Ability but on Political affiliation

    Wolverines indeed!

    ReplyReply
  2. caption for that last photo: Obama caps his pen after signing an executive order that is sure to invite future terrorist attacks against Americans.

    Quick Quiz: How many captured terrorists were “tortured” by Waterboarding???

    Here’s a hint: dozens more left wing protesters have been self waterboarded as a demonstration of this “torture” than actual terrorists.

    No fair googling, you’ll just get some left wing propaganda garbage if you try…

    ReplyReply
  3. luva the scissors says: 3

    i swear in old troopers comment it said unicorns and not unions and acorn. hell my eyes were playin tricks on me. i think obama does believe in unicorns, he has to to be doing the crap he is.

    ReplyReply
  4. DR says: 4

    Whether this is a plastic bone, or not, remains to be seen.

    While the Obama policy appears to be a distinction without a difference from Bush policy, it depends upon how it is applied. The Obama policy is probably far more nuanced than what we may see in terms of the supporting opinions and other documentation that provides the foundation to this particular directive.

    (Side note on the WH web site: Earlier this week, the Obama people were having problems with the system in terms of hardware and software. The hardware was completely replaced – servers, keyboards, monitors, printers, and other peripherals. New software installed – licensed and open source. The real problem was the slowness of network administrators in distributing log-in information and Obama WH personnel requesting log-in materials. Couple all of this with scrubbing the site and installing the Obama format. After a handful of HTTP 404 errors, anyone visiting there will not come back for awhile.)

    ReplyReply
  5. “The Attorney General, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Director of National Intelligence-designate Dennis Blair will report back and offer “additional or different guidance for other departments or agencies.”

    Bush holdover Gates and Blair (supporter and enabler of Indonesia’s plundering of Timor) – the foxes guarding the hen house, will reoprt back with additional/different guidance? In other words, nothing is likely to change.

    Yup. There’s change you can believe in – NOT!

    JV

    ReplyReply
  6. old trooper says: 6

    luva, get an eye exam.

    ReplyReply
  7. old trooper says: 7

    Even a blind squirrel gets lucky and finds an ACORN.

    ReplyReply
  8. Shimmy says: 8

    When you think about it, everything will work out OK. Guantánamo still has its wonderstruck face and its body, the best of promised lands. It is an unfinished adventure. I realize that the War on Terror’s heart is a delicate instrument, but she’s in good shape. Of course, if the War on Terror doesn’t eat her medicine, her heart will shrivel like an artichoke. But no one would let that happen.

    ReplyReply
  9. Time Traveller says: 9

    OLd Trooper -re your Hungarian daughter.

    The chronology is strange.

    You say she is 17 yet has seen tyranny etc first hand. Hungary became a democracy in 1990? It is heavily backed & monitored by the west . She was not born under communism but democracy.

    You say both her grandfathers were murdered by comunists in 1959 (1956 would make a better story) well that makes her parents pretty old say 35 -40 at her birth. People are usually grandparents at that age in eastern Europe.

    Why was she adopted out? Where did those mean socialists put her?

    Either your story is embellished or you have missed a generation . Hey Hey hungary is not the enemy any more.

    ReplyReply
  10. Time Traveller says: 10

    Furthermore she seems so much smarter than the average American kid so Hungary must have a superior education system & /or orphanages .

    Perhaps she is an escapee from the Eastern Bloc abortion assembly lines.

    But the pilots licence is a worry. Do they still give aliens training?

    Thats a worry.

    ReplyReply
  11. drjohn says: 11

    This is a great analysis as well

    http://www.soldiersperspective.us/2009/01/24/president-obama-close-gitmo/

    Obama has violated the Geneva Convention

    ReplyReply
  12. Pingback: Flopping Aces » Blog Archive » Credit Bush for Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize

  13. Pingback: About that Presidential Executive Order on Interrogations…

  14. Pingback: “Listen to what I say; not see what I actually do.” | Flopping Aces

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