If President Obama is concerned about his legacy, closing Guantanamo should be at the top of his list. President Bush created this mess, but it has fallen to Obama to fix it. Sometimes a leader has to ignore the polls and simply do what is right.
The United States has a history of providing important moral leadership in many areas. But by shrouding our tortured past in secret, we endanger both our country's moral legacy and our national security.
The Russians may have thought those people were as bad as Mr. Magnitsky's handlers. They may also have thought that keeping Mr. Magnitsky in jail for less than a year was much less worse than what the U.S. has done to prisoners at Guantanamo. If they thought that, they were right.
A non-governmental, bipartisan task force recently completed a two-year investigation into the U.S. government's treatment of 9/11 detainees, concluding indisputably that the United States government engaged in illegal torture.
The NY Times recently reported that some advisers of presidential candidate Mitt Romney urged him to reverse the Obama Administration's ban on the use of torture. I'm writing to urge that we join in calling on Mr. Romney to explicitly and publicly reject that advice.
Why is Guantanamo still open? Why has there been no public accounting for the use of torture? Why does President Obama successfully claim the right to assassinate American citizens living abroad? And why do civil libertarians lose arguments of this sort time and again?
I have now been to Guantánamo six times. Nothing I've seen has changed my view that the military commissions are unworkable. The system is set up to guarantee convictions and hand down death sentences, nothing more.
Every interrogation starts with analysis. That is, getting to know the detainee, researching their background, exploring their relationships with others, reviewing any available information and figuring out what makes them tick.
After creating a tremendous stain on the reputation of our nation, the Republicans are criticizing Obama because he is not fixing their problem fast enough. This is another instance of the arsonists criticizing the fire department.
In an age when the public seems to have the attention span of a gnat, buzz words and trite slogans get traction. It doesn't matter if there is any real substance behind the words so long as they stick.