On Thursday January 22, 2009 President Barack Obama issued one of the first Executive Orders of his presidency, ordering the establishment of a Special Interagency Task Force to be composed of the Attorney General and the Secretary of Defense as co-chairs, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other federal employees as determined by the co-chairs.
The Task Force will…
…develop policies for the detention, trial, transfer, release, or other disposition of individuals captured or apprehended in connection with armed conflicts and counterterrorism operations that are consistent with the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and the interests of justice, I hereby order as follows:
Section 1. Special Interagency Task Force on Detainee Disposition.
(a) Establishment of Special Interagency Task Force. There shall be established a Special Task Force on Detainee Disposition (Special Task Force) to identify lawful options for the disposition of individuals captured or apprehended in connection with armed conflicts and counterterrorism operations.
(e) Mission. The mission of the Special Task Force shall be to conduct a comprehensive review of the lawful options available to the Federal Government with respect to the apprehension, detention, trial, transfer, release, or other disposition of individuals captured or apprehended in connection with armed conflicts and counterterrorism operations, and to identify such options as are consistent with the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and the interests of justice.
Both Attorney General Eric Holder, and Obama in another Executive Order on January 22, 2009, have indicated that the Army Field Manual, which as Valtin explains and Patriot Daily has also written so well about, codifies coercive psychological torture under the name of “Restricted Interrogation Technique – Separation” in Appendix M. will be the Obama administrations baseline guide for detainee interrogation policies, taking us back to pre-Bush days on the question of torture but in no way ending the practice.
This morning Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, talks with The Real News, comments on Obama’s executive orders, loopholes, and says Obama must still take up the prosecution of Bush/Cheney for war crimes, specifically torture of detainees…
Real News: January 24, 2009 – 10 minutes 23 seconds
Obama’s orders on Guantanamo and torture
We need a Special Prosecutor to conduct a formal investigation without political considerations and prosecute any and all government officials who have participated in War Crimes.
Torture is torture. No matter who orders it or how it is “justified”.