Obama, Torture, and a One-Term Presidency

Today, three news article’s came together to form a perfect storm for President Obama; Torture, detainee’s that have disappeared, and the closing of CIA black sites.  It is this perfect storm that could make President Obama a one-term President.

Onward for more…  

That America under President Bush tortured those who were detained is not debatable.  The Red Cross report is pretty specific:

The Red Cross found that detainees were held for up to four years in secret prisons, were frequently made to stand for several days in positions evidently intended to cause pain, and were threatened with “electric shocks, infection with HIV, sodomy of the detainee and … being brought close to death.”

CIA officials have previously confirmed that three detainees were subjected to waterboarding, the Post noted, but CIA officials had no immediate comment on the ICRC report.

That some who were detained in the secret CIA black sites disappeared is not debatable:

In the most comprehensive accounting to date, six leading human rights organizations today published the names and details of 39 people who are believed to have been held in secret US custody and whose current whereabouts remain unknown. The briefing paper also names relatives of suspects who were themselves detained in secret prisons, including children as young as seven.

In a related action, three of the groups filed a lawsuit in US federal court under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seeking the disclosure of information concerning “disappeared” detainees.

And now, it is confirmed that the CIA black sites are shutting down:

“CIA no longer operates detention facilities or black sites,” Mr Panetta said in a letter to staff. Remaining sites would be decommissioned, he said.

The “black sites” were used to detain terrorism suspects, some of whom were subjected to interrogation methods described by many as torture.

President Obama vowed to shut down the facilities shortly after taking office.

The Bush administration allowed the CIA to operate secret prisons on the territory of allied countries in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa, according to media reports.

During his first week as president, Mr Obama ordered the closure of the black sites, as well as the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, as part of an overhaul of US detainee policy.

So, here is the unanswered question that President Obama will never be able to run away from: What happened to the detainee’s who disappeared into the black sites that are now closing?

It is this very question that will push Spain to further their torture case against Bush administration officials.

It is this very question that will further push the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur to denounce the torture that occurred during President Bush’s administration.

And it is no longer in doubt that under President Obama, there is no wish to open the can of worms that is CIA torture.  Why?  Because it is not the first time the CIA has used torture, nor, is it likely to be the last time.  Think Vietnam War.  Think of the CIA role in Central America.

So, as those journalist’s who aren’t embedded in the Washington D.C. “elite” start investigating, guess just how bad this one question is going to make it for President Obama?  It was the Toledo Blade that exposed Tiger Force, the Army’s team that went on a seven-month killing spree in Vietnam.  It was Sy Hersh that exposed Mai Lai.  President Obama and CIA Director Panetta cannot cover-up this story indefinitely.

That leads us to 2012.

President Obama campaigned on the abuses of the Bush administration, yet, he is now perpetuating those abuses.  President Obama campaigned on ending the secrecy, yet, he is now perpetuating it.

Independent voters elect Presidents.  Democratic voters will vote Democratic.  Republican voters will vote Republican.  Independent voters are the swing vote.

So, in 2012, it will be President Obama versus… who?  Sarah Palin?  Tim Pawlenty?  Mark Sanford?  Does it really matter “who” if those Independent voters stay home in disgust over President Obama’s actions?

One question may doom Obama’s quest for a second term: What happened to the detainees that were in those black sites that are now closing and have never surfaced?  It will doom him because the answer is clear, they are dead.  They died being tortured by the CIA — and you simply cannot hide that in today’s world.


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  1. the fact that the Obama administration shut down CIA black sites ensures that he will be a one-term president?????

    Silly me…I thought this was a good thing.

  2. therefore it’s Obama’s fault? Because…uh…

    because he’s not shutting down the CIA? Imprisoning the CIA? Imprisoning Bush, Cheney, Rummy, et al?

    And the independents will be outraged?

    I want to make sure I understand your premise.

  3. current positions on NSA wiretapping, torture, etc, but too many progressives don’t want to hear about it.  This isn’t complicated.  We are either a nation of laws or we aren’t.  When Obama says no one is above the law, he needs to back that up with action instead of protecting the lawbreakers.  

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