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John Hutson: Obama will restore America's standing by upholding our ideals

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 06:26 PM
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John Hutson: Obama will restore America's standing by upholding our ideals
John Hutson: Obama will restore America's standing by upholding our ideals

Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2007

THE UNITED STATES has paid a devastating price for the Bush administration's use of torture and extrajudicial detentions. These questions go right to the heart of how we fight terrorism and who we are as a nation. That's why they should be front and center in our presidential campaign, and that's an important reason why I am supporting Barack Obama's campaign.

Here's what the American people need to understand about torture: it doesn't work. As an interrogation method, it is far more likely to get you bad information than good intelligence. It sets back our moral leadership in the world, diminishing our standing, our cooperation from friends and our leverage over repressive regimes. Our military recognizes this, and that is why the Army field manual prohibits torture and the "enhanced interrogation techniques" that news reports suggest have been authorized for use by our intelligence professionals.

The same is true of indefinite detentions outside the rule of law. Our prison at Guantanamo Bay has become a flashpoint for anti-American anger around the world, as have the "secret prisons" that we have reportedly set up. And for all that it has cost us in the battle of ideas, it has been ineffective in bringing terrorists to justice. There has not been a single conviction for a terrorist act at Guantanamo. And our embrace of an extrajudicial system sends a message to the American people and the world that we do not have confidence in our Constitution, our courts and our system of military justice to face the terrorist threat.

Fortunately, there is a clear solution to the mess that the Bush administration has made: reclaim our values and restore the rule of law. And on these critical issues, Barack Obama has spoken with the most clarity, conviction and courage of any candidate in this race.

Obama has rejected the use of torture without equivocation, calling for one standard on torture across the U.S. government. He knows that when you start to carve out exceptions for "enhanced interrogation techniques" you are giving interrogators a green light to torture. Interrogators -- whether military or civilian -- must have clear direction from the top. That's why it was unacceptable for Attorney General Michael Mukasey to hedge on the question of whether waterboarding qualified as torture. And that's why we should not choose a candidate who equivocates in his rejection of these methods, or changes positions on questions as fundamental as whether or not the United States should torture.

As a long-time professor of constitutional law, Obama is the candidate with the strongest commitment to the rule of law. We have convicted many terrorists in our courts -- from the 1993 World Trade Center bombers, to terrorists who helped plot the attacks on our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, to John Walker Lindh, the American who aided the Taliban. As the former judge advocate general of the Navy, I have complete confidence in the capacity of the Constitution and Uniform Code of Military Justice to provide a superior framework for dealing with terrorists than the Bush administration's ad hoc approach.

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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 06:33 PM
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1. Obama's no nukes and no torture policy really resonates with me.
I believe Obama will restore America's moral authority on the planet and usher in an era of peace and prosperity. Gobama.
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