WASHINGTON — President Obama signed executive orders Thursday directing the Central Intelligence Agency to shut what remains of its network of secret prisons and ordering the closing of the Guantánamo detention camp within a year, government officials said.
The orders, which are the first steps in undoing detention policies of former President George W. Bush, rewrite American rules for the detention of terrorism suspects. They require an immediate review of the 245 detainees still held at the naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to determine if they should be transferred, released or prosecuted.
And the orders bring to an end a Central Intelligence Agency program that kept terrorism suspects in secret custody for months or years, a practice that has brought fierce criticism from foreign governments and human rights activists. They will also prohibit the C.I.A. from using coercive interrogation methods, requiring the agency to follow the same rules used by the military in interrogating terrorism suspects, government officials said.
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Thank you, thank you, thank you.
This was the A-number-one-with-a-bullet Bush-era policy that I wanted to see crushed like a tin can under Superman's foot. Done within 24 hours after his Inauguration. I am pleased.
Now we can at least try to rebuild our international reputation.
I vote the next really, really good step is offering our Ex and All His Frat Brothers a free, one-way trip to the Hague. Who's with me?
Meanwhile, the St. Petersburg Times (Florida) is keeping its invaluable election tool, The Truth-O-Meter, up and running. They've also included the Obameter to track what campaign promises President Obama has kept.
The tally so far: Within 24 hours, 6 promises kept, 14 in the works, 489 (?!?) promises to go.
My God. Do you feel it? It feels like...Open Government.
My cold, hard heart is doing the post-Whoville Grinch thing.