Friday, March 20, 2009

Is Obama Repackaging Bush's War on Terror?

Andy Worthington's done it again. This time, asking if Obama is really just repackaging Bush's war on terror.

Changing the names of things was a ploy that was used by the Bush administration in an attempt to justify some of its least palatable activities. In response to the 9/11 attacks, for instance, the nation was not involved in a limited pursuit of a group of criminals responsible for the attacks, but instead embarked on an open-ended “War on Terror.” In keeping with this “new paradigm,” prisoners seized in this “war” were referred to as “detainees,” and held neither as criminal suspects nor as prisoners of war, protected by the Geneva Conventions, but as “enemy combatants,” without any rights whatsoever. Later, when the administration sought new ways in which to interrogate some of these men, the techniques it endorsed were not referred to as torture -- even though many of them clearly were -- but were instead described as “enhanced interrogation techniques.”


No comments: