Torture Now a Policy Choice? Obama's Legacy
"If President X has the power to prohibit torture, it follows that President Y has the power to permit it," blogs novelist Barry Eisler. "Well, now we have President Y. This was not only predictable; it was predicted."
"Wasn't it banned already?" asked independent journalist Rupert Stone. "Laws are futile if they are not enforced. During his time in office, Obama has failed to punish former members of the Bush administration for prisoner abuse, even though Obama admitted that 'we tortured some folks'. Not only has the Justice Department declined to prosecute any Bush officials, but it has also repeatedly invoked state-secrets privilege to stop civil litigation brought by torture victims. Without the deterrent provided by possible criminal prosecution, future presidents might feel they can torture with impunity. . .
"Obama has taken important steps to end torture, but the door remains ajar. If prisoners are tortured once again, people might well ask, Why didn't he close it?"
Long-term Close Guantanamo advocate Andy Worthington expects up to 18 prisoners to be released before Donald Trump assumes office. An additional 41 lives hang in the balance. The time for attrition has run out. Mr. Trump has vowed to keep Guantanamo prison operating and "load it up with some bad dudes." We must mobilize NOW to stop him in his tracks.
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