Which would you rather have? A humane interrogator who hears what he needs to hear, or an inhumane interrogator who hears what he wants to hear?
Are we really surprised about Obama’s non-enthusiasm about prosecuting for torture? What happened when he was a Senator running for the presidency and the telecom issue came up? They broke the law and he voted for immunity. This, depite his statements that indicated the opposite. When it comes to civil liberties, Obama’s words are about as good as Arlen Specter’s. We really can’t trust him.
This is not to say that I hate Obama. He will get us out of Iraq, even though his views on foreign policy are quite pedestrian. Despite his opposition to the Iraq war, he is still a typical liberal interventionist. He’ll do better on healthcare and the economy than Mr. McCain who wanted to freeze spending during a recession. The choice was between Obama and someone completely moronic. And during the primary, the choice was between Obama and Hillary Clinton, who could not even admit that she made a mistake voting for the Iraq War.
Mr. Obama has his good points and bad points. And one of his bad points is civil liberties. Get FUCKING used to it. When it comes to civil liberties, the president is our enemy. We can’t trust him.
By the way, these false dilemmas about what the president can and can’t do are really annoying. They are always completely arbitrary. Fight in two wars OR prosecute for torture. Fix healthcare OR cap-and-trade. Fix the economy OR fix healthcare. It’s as if we completely swallowed the Republican talking point about Obama having “too much on his plate.” Please, tell me how busy Mr. Holder is fixing the economy. Then, tell me with a straight face that he can’t pursue prosecutions for war criminals, which is required under the Geneva Conventions. These types of arguments about what Obama can and can’t do are never argued with any facts, just blind assertions. They are based on either what they in fact don’t want to happen, or on some desire to make Obama not a villain.
Face it, he’s wrong when it comes to civil liberties. He has been and he will be for the rest of his presidency. He has embraced the worst of Bush’s arguments for secrecy. Use Occam’s Razor, goddamnit.
Even if Obama doesn’t torture, the power is still there for the next president to use. Unless we prosecute. And we make some structural changes to the executive branch. (Independently elected AG anyone?) Even Hamilton never envisioned a presidency this strong.