Clever Maneuvering

Obama’s executive order banning the use of torture as an interrogation tactic by some US officials is less significant than the White House has made it out to be, reports the News and Comments blog.  It may effectively prevent the American government from itself conducting torture, but it would not stop its keeping torture a component of the War on Terror:

Indeed, his policy change affects only a slight percentage of US-culpable tortures and could be completely consistent with an increase in US-backed torture worldwide. The catch lies in the fact that since Vietnam, when US forces often tortured directly, the US has mainly seen its torture done for it by proxy – paying, arming, training and guiding foreigners doing it, but usually being careful to keep Americans at least one discreet step removed.

In other words, this is less real change than a really good PR department.

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