Thursday, January 22, 2009

President Obama,

(Has a nice ring to it, don't it?)

Yesterday you stated you wanted to close Guantanamo and issue new rules for interrogating prisoners:

President Obama moved swiftly yesterday to begin rolling back eight years of his predecessor's policies, ordering tough new ethics rules and preparing to issue an order closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which has been at the center of the debate over the treatment of U.S. prisoners in the battle against terrorism.


We already have a set of rules and rights for the treatment of wartime prisoners that every civilized country has endorsed. They're called the Geneva Conventions.


And a must-read from Greenwald (via Michael Stickings):


Jawad was never waterboarded, but no civilized human being would deny that the cumulative effect of his treatment at the hands of our country is torture in every sense of the word. And there's nothing unique about his treatment. It wasn't aberrational. Rather, it has been miserably common for detainees in U.S. custody -- not only at Guantanamo, but also in Bagram and throughout Iraq. It was what our highest political officials authorized and ordered. At least 100 detainees in U.S. custody have died since 2002, many suffering gruesome deaths. Countless others have been severely injured and irreparably wounded -- mentally crippled -- by the inhumane, brutal and patently illegal treatment to which they were subjected. [em in orig]


This is George W. Bush's legacy and it must stop with him. The next step should be war crimes prosecutions.


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