Biden Advisor an "Apologist for Torture," an Architect of "Kill Lists"

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"According to former Obama senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett, putative Democratic Party candidate for president Joe Biden picked a 'superstar' when he appointed ex-CIA Deputy Director and White House attorney Avril Haines to head his national security and foreign policy team," wrote Jeffrey Kaye some months ago.

"No matter how much Obama/Biden administration officials praise her, Avril Haines' role always seems to be making the unpalatable palatable, whether it's prettifying companies like [data mining] contractor Palantir, agencies like the CIA, policies like 'targeted killing,' or war criminals like current CIA chief, 'Bloody' Gina Haspel...

"The problems with Haines don't stop with her shady connections to torture. It's known that Avril Haines was Obama's CIA deputy director. But most of the public doesn't know she was also Obama's direct advisor in constructing his targeted assassination 'Kill List' policy."

When the President-elect declared "America is back" on Tuesday, the list of nominees and appointees to key national security and foreign posts he presented should give everyone pause. All Washington veterans with ties to former President Barack Obama's administration, these nominees carry a lot of baggage. "[Obama's] actions on counterterrorism provide a case in point," noted Human Rights Watch Director Kenneth Roth in an article following Donald Trump's ascendancy to the White House: 

".. rather than reaffirming the criminality of torture, Obama leaves office sending the lingering message that, should future policymakers resort to it, prosecution is unlikely. 

"Obama's efforts to close Guantánamo have been equally halfhearted. Early in his tenure, he moved slowly, enabling Congress to adopt legislation -- which he refused to veto -- imposing various obstacles to transferring detainees overseas and barring their transfer to the United States even for trial."

With respect to surveillance, Obama continued and expanded programs begun by George W. Bush that lead to massive invasions of privacy.

To his credit, Joe Biden replaces a fascist thug in the highest office. But a return to "normal," whatever that is considered, is a poor rebuttal to the hateful legacy of American exceptionalism that enabled today's horror story.

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This page contains a single entry published on November 26, 2020 1:06 PM.

The Ethics and Politics of Guantánamo Bay: A Conversation With Carol Rosenberg and John Kirby was the previous entry in this blog.

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