According to this blog, nothing has happened in world news for three weeks. That’s my bad. First off, I just want to say sorry for not posting in almost a month. I was swamped with school work, finals and assignments to end off the year. But now I’m in the clear so I can again devote some time every day to writing for Blast.
Again, my bad.
Instead of reviewing what has happened in the past few weeks, let’s just skip ahead to now. There is one particular story that I want to tell you about. I saw it this afternoon and it sort of stood out from the rest.
According to the Wall Street Journal, after a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah today, President Obama told reporters he has left open the possibility of pursuing legal action against those in the CIA who created the policies that, in large part, led to torture and extreme methods of interrogation during the war.
He does stand by his promise to not pursue any course of legal action against those who actually executed the torture (the Jack Bauers). Obama did however make a clear distinction between the contractors and those who formulated the policy behind which the contractors operated.
The president told reporters that the Department of Justice is looking into memos from Bush’s term that green lit extreme interrogation. He also added that he doesn’t want to “prejudge” what is in the memos based solely on the character (or lack thereof) of our previous president.
He also spoke of a bipartisan committee that may be established to examine the use of torture and other extreme interrogation since 9/11. He said that talks during open congressional hearings (which is the way that these issues are currently addressed) tend to break down over partisan banter, and that it would be more “sensible” to start a committee of ““independent participants who are above reproach” to examine these issues.
However, he made it clear that he does no fully endorse the idea.
The president released the interrogation memos last week, in a decision he says was one of his hardest as president to date. Former VP Dick Cheney and other republicans have called this release a “breach of national security.”
I like the idea of a bipartisan tribunal. Its members would of course need to be carefully chosen however talks would never be interrupted or broken down over political differences. This issue is a moral one, an ethical one, not a political one. The ethics and morals of U.S. Army tactics overseas must be examined and open congressional hearings just aren’t the way to do that effectively. The committee’s creation would ensure ethics are at the forefront of the debate, and whether you’re red or blue would never be an issue.