obama on interrogation policy

Posted in Uncategorized by Ryan Locke on January 11, 2009

“Under my administration, the United States does not torture. We will abide by the Geneva Conventions. . . . We will uphold our highest values and ideals,” Obama told reporters. “It is important for us to do that not only because that’s who we are, but also, ultimately it will make us safer and will help in changing hearts and minds in our struggle against extremists.”

At the same time Obama intends to curb counterterrorism practices he considers excessive or even illegal, he will also come under great pressure to leave the CIA the kind of flexibility its operatives have long considered necessary to heading off another Sept. 11-style attack, current and former national security officials said.


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Many officials expect Obama to fulfill a pledge to eliminate the special rules for CIA interrogations of suspected terror suspects and require the agency’s operatives to follow non-coercive military guidelines for questioning. Human rights groups are already calling on the president-elect to send a strong message to the world that U.S. policy on dealing with detainees has changed.

Agency officials have said they will do whatever the president orders — but along with other senior Bush officials they have made little secret that they consider their interrogation program effective.

“Those were programs that have been absolutely essential to maintaining our capacity to interfere with and defeat all further attacks against the United States,” Vice President Cheney said in an interview this week with CBS Radio. “If I had advice to give, it would be, before you start to implement your campaign rhetoric, you need to sit down and find out precisely what it is we did and how we did it, because it is going to be vital to keeping the nation safe and secure in the years ahead.”

The Washington Post, Obama Under Pressure On Interrogation Policy


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