U.S. torture is back in the news. Loopholes left behind by President Obama are about to be exploited by his successor. Consider the following items:
- Despite Obama’s promises, the camp at Guantanamo Bay — perhaps the most glaring symbol of U.S. torture — was not closed. Our erstwhile president, notorious for half-measures, blamed his failure to fulfill his promises on others. The incoming administration, on the other hand, regards Guantanamo as an asset.
- Obama’s several executive orders designed to block U.S. torture will now, to a significant degree, be overridden and reversed, showing (as should always have been plain) that executive orders are not enough.
- Under Obama, the U.S. extraordinary rendition of prisoners to countries that torture by proxy was discontinued. Under Trump, it threatens to be revived, perhaps clandestinely (at first).
- Appendix M in the Army Field Manual — always under-reported — left the door ajar…
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