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Obama’s Torture Annex

John on January 16, 2009 at 3:22 pm

The left has been screaming about torture for years. Obama swore he’d end it, not mend it. And he is…sort of:

President-elect Barack Obama is preparing to prohibit the use of waterboarding and harsh interrogation techniques by ordering the CIA to follow military rules for questioning prisoners, according to two U.S. officials familiar with drafts of the plans.

The proposal Obama is considering would require all CIA interrogators to follow conduct outlined in the U.S. Army Field Manual, the officials said. The plans would also have the effect of shutting down secret “black site” prisons around the world where the CIA has questioned terror suspects — with all future interrogations taking place inside American military facilities.

However, Obama’s changes may not be absolute. His advisers are considering adding a classified loophole to the rules that could allow the CIA to use some interrogation methods not specifically authorized by the Pentagon, the officials said.

[...]

For Obama, who repeatedly insisted during the 2008 presidential campaign and the transition period that “America doesn’t torture,” a classified loophole would allow him to back up his vow to end harsh interrogations while retaining a full range of presidential options in conducting the war against terrorism.

The proposed loophole, which could come in the form of a classified annex to the manual, would satisfy intelligence experts who fear that an outright ban of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques would limit the government in obtaining threat information that could save American lives. It would also preserve Obama’s flexibility to authorize any interrogation tactics he might deem necessary for national security.

Somehow I don’t think this is quite the bright line the left was looking for Obama to draw on this issue. Am I wrong?

[HT: Hot Air]

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Category: Politics |

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