President Barack Obama has signed a series of executive orders that have the effect of dismantling former President George W. Bush’s mechanism for fighting the War on Terror. In so doing, President Obama fulfills a campaign promise.
The Obama executive orders will close the prison at Guantanamo Bay “within a year”, close secret CIA detention facilities overseas, will ban what some call “advanced interrogation techniques” and what Obama and his supports call “torture”, and will set up a special task force to review all detention procedures and policies for terrorist detainees.
While signing the executive orders, President Barack Obama was very pious about the “false choice between “our safety and our ideals.” Apparently “our ideals” includes not only mandating massive shifts in strategy without actually thinking through the consequences, tying the hands of our intelligence professionals, and upending a strategy that, no matter what the American left and the Europeans might think, has kept American civilians safe for more than seven years.
President Obama and his people are very honest about the fact that they have no clue where they are going to put some of the more dangerous terrorists who will now not be housed at Guantanamo or the secret facilities run by the CIA overseas. Putting them in a federal prison or a military prison will not work. That would place the terrorists under the full purview of American law and subject to being set free at the whim of federal judges. The one nightmare the Obama administration must have is the scenario in which such a terrorist thus freed goes on to kill Americans.
Banning of enhanced interrogation is also quite dangerous. Many of the terrorist prisoners are not only trained to resist the interrogation techniques that are approved in the Army manual, but are also confident of their place in the Muslim Paradise if they hold out. Imagine a scenario in which a top Al Qaeda bad guy is taken who is known to have knowledge of an impending Al Qaeda attack and refuses to break under the somewhat limited interrogation techniques now allowed by President Obama. The attack goes off as planned and thousands of Americans are dead, as on 9/11.
In that case the executive orders signed by President Barack Obama may well become the death warrant of his administration. “Our ideals” that President Obama pontificates about should not consist of the unnecessary deaths of innocent Americans solely to satisfy the whims of American leftists and Europeans elitists. President Obama would be well served to quietly alter those executive orders in the coming months. One assumes that Obama cares about American lives, but one is also very certain that he also cares about his own political standing and legacy.
Source: Obama signs death warrant for Guantanamo, Stephen Collinson, AFP, January 22nd, 2009