Thursday, January 22, 2009

Refreshing Change

Dennis C. Blair, retired admiral and President Obama's choice as top intelligence official is a refreshing departure from the psychopathic lackeys employed by the previous administration. On the disturbing surveillance activities previously supported Blair said:

I do not and will not support any surveillance activities that circumvent established processes for their lawful authorization. I believe in the importance of independent monitoring, including by Congress, to prevent abuses and protect civil liberties.
Ah, civil liberties. And regarding these and basic human rights, you know those things that America has been respected for upholding in past times, Blair said:

The intelligence agencies of the United States must respect the privacy and civil liberties of the American people, and they must adhere to the rule of law.
He added that torture is “not moral, legal or effective” and said any interrogation program would have to comply with the Geneva Conventions, the Convention against Torture and the Constitution.

And lastly, what impressed me most was Blair will not simply sugarcoat his message and try to please the president by providing intelligence he thinks the president wants to hear. Instead, he said:

There is an obligation to speak truth to power.
He added that he would honestly present “unpleasant” facts to the president.

This sort of openness and honesty is going to dismay the incurious crowd.


Dad29 said...

We note that "non-military" Government agencies are STILL given a lot of room for inquisitorial tactics.

IOW, no change.

Other Side said...

Torture has been formally banned by executive order and the Army field manual is now [again] to be used as the guide for terror interrogations.

Basically, that means the end of the Bush administration's CIA program of enhanced interrogation methods.

Dad29 said...

Wrong-O, Brookfield Breath.

NON-ARMED FORCES personnel (read: CIA et. al.) are NOT BOUND by Armed Forces regs. This was specifically stated in the Executive Order signed by Obama.

You will also note that Obama Admin. official, when asked about this, avoided calling waterboarding "torture." He clearly separated (using two sentences) "torture" and "waterboarding" in his response.

Read the news once in a while.

Other Side said...

Daddio -- I am attempting, with the advent of this new year -- to add a more civil tone to the comment sections (the posts are another story though I will try). I would please ask that you do the same.

Executive orders signed by the new president would order the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, shut within a year, require the closure of any remaining secret CIA "black site" prisons abroad and bar CIA interrogators of detainees from using harsh techniques already banned for military questioners.

That includes physical abuse such as waterboarding, a technique that creates the sensation of drowning and has been termed torture by critics at home and abroad.

Can you provide a link to the actual executive order? My google skills don't seem to be as good as yours.