Now that we’ve successfully elected Barack Obama, we need to make sure he stays honest and true to his campaign. This article from the Wall Street Journal uses an interview with his transition team to suggest he might not be. When running for office:
On the campaign trail, Mr. Obama criticized many of President George W. Bush’s counterterrorism policies. He condemned Mr. Bush for promoting “excessive secrecy, indefinite detention, warrantless wiretapping and ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ like simulated drowning that qualify as torture through any careful measure of the law or appeal to human decency.”
As a candidate, Mr. Obama said the CIA’s interrogation program should adhere to the same rules that apply to the military, which would prohibit the use of techniques such as waterboarding. He has also said the program should be investigated.
However the word on the street suggests otherwise:
Mr. Obama is being advised largely by a group of intelligence professionals, including some who have supported Republicans, and centrist former officials in the Clinton administration. They say he is likely to fill key intelligence posts with pragmatists.
“He’s going to take a very centrist approach to these issues,” said Roger Cressey, a former counterterrorism official in the Clinton and Bush administrations. “Whenever an administration swings too far on the spectrum left or right, we end up getting ourselves in big trouble.”
Given that this is coming from a single advisor I wouldn’t be surprised if this turns out to be simply wishful thinking on his part, or even playing to the media’s obsessive need to claim that Obama must run a centrist administration when a largely left-wing coalition won him his office.
This is too important an issue to let alone, we need to keep the pressure on. So I’ve started a petition (which is only a small start). Any other ideas?