Friday, Jan 23, 2009
When I read Obama’s executive order to close the GuantÃ¡namo Bay prison camp , I just laughed the thing off as window dressing on a network of an unknown number of secret CIA prisons and torture facilities. In short, I felt that it was so ridiculous that I didn’t even bother mentioning it.
Now, however, we have another executive order, ENSURING LAWFUL INTERROGATIONS , which includes the following:
Sec. 4. Prohibition of Certain Detention Facilities, and Red Cross Access to Detained Individuals.
(a) CIA Detention. The CIA shall close as expeditiously as possible any detention facilities that it currently operates and shall not operate any such detention facility in the future.
(b) International Committee of the Red Cross Access to Detained Individuals. All departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall provide the International Committee of the Red Cross with notification of, and timely access to, any individual detained in any armed conflict in the custody or under the effective control of an officer, employee, or other agent of the United States Government or detained within a facility owned, operated, or controlled by a department or agency of the United States Government, consistent with Department of Defense regulations and policies.
Don’t get me wrong, don’t put words in my mouth, don’t get too happy, BUT, this is a very big deal. This is a substantive, positive development.
(Article continues below)
Now, the tendency of people in desperate situations is to think that any positive development means that the crisis is over, nothing more to see here, let’s go buy a new iPod, etc. This is what the Obama Cult is doing now. Obviously, that’s dumb. I must, however, acknowledge substantive positive developments when they occur. Since I expected no substantially positive developments out of the Obama regime at all, this is a welcome development, and after just a couple of days.
Of course, Obama’s spy choice won’t call waterboarding torture , but… look, at a minimum the latest executive order is something I definitely wasn’t expecting.
Like trading, however, one countertrend crank doesn’t mean a reversal of the larger trend. Maybe the Obama regime will require much more sophisticated analysis and discernment than the familiar one-way, race-to-the-bottom paradigm of the Bush era (which covers the years from 1981 to the first couple of weeks of 2009, in my opinion). This will make my work much more interesting, which I welcome.
The fact that even I see this as a noteworthy positive development should be an indication of just how far off the rails the U.S. has gone. WooHoo! The U.S. is closing its secret torture facilities! WooHoo! Yes, it’s good news. But the much more disturbing issue remains the fact that it was allowed to happen in the first place, when it was obviously the work of Machiavellian people who were mostly despised. If no resistance was offered under those circumstances, what would the new regime be able to accomplish for the dark side with Obama’s cult of personality  status and the sycophantic Hollywood myth makers  practically experiencing glossolalia  over the prospect of serving it???
Holy shit. I don’t want to think about it.