Jane Mayer takes a closer look at the ways she says Bush administration policies chipped away our nation's core principles, and addresses whether the Obama administration is on the same path or undoing the damage. She addresses constitutional gray areas -- torture, wire-tapping, presidential power and Guantanamo detainees.
Jane Mayer has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1995. Her honors include the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism and a George Polk Award. Her most recent book is "The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals."
Jane Mayer, staff writer for The New Yorker, speculates on what will happen to Guantanamo detainees. "There is a fight going on," says Mayer, for what to do with detainees that cannot be charged and put on trial. "Obama is on the verge of signing something that's going to allow for indefinite detention of terror suspects down in Guantanamo without charges or trial."
Can someone explain how to combat barbarians who think beheading is best taught at the age of 12 or younger? what about all those released detainees who have gone on to rejoin and train even younger boys and girls to become suicide bombers? how are the US/ISAF soldiers meant to identify an enemy on the battlefield? or even in a civilian gathering? have the UN or Human rights people ever tried to teach the geneva convention to the Taliban/AL-Qaeda or LeT? What about the amnesty guys who sacked geeta sehgal for refusing to support the taliban? any action taken against them?
This lady needed to dig a bit deeper. The torture tactics utilized by our military in the "War on Terror", which is a war of terror, by the way, are based on what is called the KUBARK manual, authored by the CIA under the aegis of MKULTRA.
It's an interesting discussion. Putting purely moral questions about torture (or anything close to torture) aside:
Ms. Mayer appears to be educated but is surprisingly naive. SERE school is not a 'secret program' - thousands of soldiers have been through SERE school, not just CIA operatives and the like.
Perhaps it is a sign of the blinding security we've enjoyed for the last several decades that people are shocked to hear of soldiers trained to resist torture. How else shall we do it? What is the alternative plan for survival? You need to be alive before you can ask morality questions.
Yes definitely the Obama administration has changed the approach of the US Government to the war on terrorism. The Obama administration has, in fact, given the guiding principles of US Foreign Policy a 180 degree change when compared to the principles that guided the Bush Administration’s approach to Foreign Policy. What worries me is that the Obama’s administration new approach to foreign policy has, in a very short time, suffered three substantial failures: 1) The recent Iranian elections 2) North Korea’s testing of nuclear missiles and 3) The position of the State Department regarding the constitutional succession of power in Honduras. Instead of supporting the Honduran efforts to stop Hugo Chavez’s expansionist strategies, the Obama administration decided to adopt a “hands off” approach, and insist on the return to power of Mr. Zelaya (a strong ally of Mr. Chavez in Central America). The Obama administration’s approach to Foreign Policy is fragile and will not lead to the campaign promise of restoring the US moral authority and leadership throughout the world.
Great video. I found the first three chapters about torture and the reaction to 9/11 very interesting. Although I am not exactly sure how I feel about torture especially regarding national security threats but I think our government definitely uses it way more then necessary if in fact torture is ever necessary. It doesn't surprise me though that the government has a curriculum for torture. If found an interesting article on SERE: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2006/06/29/torture/