This combined with closing Guantanamo Bay does not give me confidence that Barack Obama is serious about protecting us from radical jihadists who are bent on killing as many Americans as possible. And it’s not in line with what he said in his inauguration speech where he made it clear that he would fight our enemies. Perhaps he didn’t believe what he said.
President Obama on Thursday will order the closure of so-called black sites, where CIA and European security services have interrogated terrorist suspects, under executive orders dismantling much of the Bush admistration’s architecture for the war on terror, according to four individuals familiar with a draft executive order.
Mr. Obama will shutter “all permanant detention facilities overseas,” the draft said, according to the individuals who asked not to be named because the orders have not yet been signed. There are at least eight such prisons, according to published reports. The Bush administration never revealed the number or location of the facilities, although several were said to be in Eastern Europe.
The individuals said there will be three executive orders. One will order the black sites closed and require all interrogations of detainees across the entire U.S. intelligence community to adhere to the U.S. Army Field Manual. The manual specifies a range of interrogation techniques that are not considered torture.
Unless this is all a ruse and he’s doing this as a way of getting these centers under the radar again, this is bad news for America. Our enemies all over the world are watching Obama and what they are witnessing is a president who is afraid of showing strength. They see a president who needs to be liked by the international community. They see America as a developing target once again. And if we are attacked again, no one can blame Bush, not when Obama starts dismantling within his first 24 hours of assuming the presidency the apparatus that has so successfully protected us the past seven years.
Hat tip: Hot Air headlines
Update: Patterico weighs in:
The report suggests these orders are consistent with Obama’s Inaugural Address:
“In his Inaugural address Tuesday, he said, “we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals … Those ideals still light the world and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake.”
I know these decisions will make his supporters happy but Obama should frame the issue honestly. This isn’t about ideals vs expediency. The issue is ideals vs national security.
In most cases, expedience should bow to ideals but it’s not so easy to say national security should take a back seat. That’s probably why Obama refused to say it that way.
I agree with Patterico that Obama seems to be redefining national security as expedience. But I do not accept Obama’s premise that Bush’s policies in fighting terrorism were in opposition to our ideals. Bush’s policies in dealing with our enemies were in line with our ideals. We have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. How does the US government protect our right to life if it does not do what it needs to do to prevent our enemies from killing us? If we are attacked again and thousands of Americans die because President Obama dismantled the apparatus that worked, how can he argue that he protected our ideals? Let me put it this way. If Obama’s refusing to do enhanced interrogation techniques to uncover imminent attacks means more terrorist attacks and more American deaths here in our country and over the globe, will the American people accept those attacks and deaths when Obama says that we kept to our ideals?
And another thing: we did not torture anyone. Those who say we tortured people like Khalid Sheik Muhammad are flat out lying. They are lying about torture in an effort to intimidate us into accepting pacifism and appeasement as American ideals. They are not American ideals.
As an aside, the British living with Neville Chamberlain as their leader learned the hard way what his pacifism and appeasement in the face of an enemy determined to bend the world to its will brought them. And us.