Simple Gifts

I’ve been privately pretty cynical about what people expect the Obama administration to accomplish; he’s not King, and by virtue of US political system, it’s highly unlikely he’ll be able to alacritously tackly our major problems with a little bit of hard work and gumption. Let’s not forget that the Kennedy Administration enjoyed a similarly reverntial treatment, and they entangled us in Vietnam. Anyway, while all this is true, it’s also true that immediately off the bat, there are a few good reversals of policy or momentum:

The Bush Administration prisoner, torture and rendition apparatus was effectively dismantled today with four pen strokes. President Obama convened a panel to determine how to closure the Guantanamo Bay detainee prison within a year. He ordered that all intelligence gatherers limit their interrogation techniques to the published Army Field Manual, revoking Executive Order 13440, the now infamous Bush administration gloss on the Geneva Conventions.  He directed the Justice Department to request a stay in a critical policy-determining court case. He explicitly rejects the legal advice promulgated by President Bush’s legal counsel on interrogation policy. He ordered the government to give the International Committee of the Red Cross immediate access to detainees. Renditions to countries that are known to torture prisoners will be stopped. All CIA “black” detention facilities will be closed.

Of course, it’s more complicated than that, but again, these are good things.

UPDATE: I think I’m going to leave this post intact as proof that a simple read over your writing often catches a lot of mistakes.

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One Response to “Simple Gifts”

  1. Adam Says:

    Agreed. I’ve definitely tempered my expectations, but there are a couple of really good things right off the bat that made me happy to listen to the news this morning. Gitmo closing, the whole torture thing, and also a leading Antarctica researcher talking about how happy the scientific community has been with O’s appointments. It really highlighted how little a role science played in the previous administration and how that is changing drastically. Even Hillary’s little acceptance speech made me feel all warm and tingly.


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