"torture is the tool of the lazy, the stupid, and the pseudo-tough. It's also perhaps the greatest recruiting tool that the terrorists have."
~Major General Paul Eaton
Via Dispatches from the Culture War
Obama just signed an executive order reversing the tolerance for torture shown by the previous administration.
The steps already taken amount to a stunning political turnaround. One of the executive orders places all terror suspects held abroad unambiguously under the protection of the Geneva Conventions, which outlaw any cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. Obama also unilaterally closed the C.I.A.’s “black sites,” and set a one-year deadline for closing the military prison camp at Guantánamo. He decreed that, from now on, the International Committee for the Red Cross must have access to all detainees in U.S. custody; the Bush Administration barred the Red Cross from seeing prisoners held by the C.I.A.
They debated whether a ban on brutal interrogation practices would hurt their ability to gather intelligence, and the advisers asked the intelligence veterans to prepare a cost-benefit analysis. The conclusions may surprise defenders of harsh interrogation tactics. “There was unanimity among Obama’s expert advisers,” Craig said, “that to change the practices would not in any material way affect the collection of intelligence.”
About bloody time.