Global Politics

Obama's torture dilemma

One approach would be to turn the page and start fresh but it may be tough to do that. Pressure is building for assigning responsibility to the torture-related crimes. This ACLU spokesman says top officials must be held responsible and it would help restore the U.S.'s standing around the world. The ACLU would like to see a special prosecutor appointed, but this legal analyst says the Obama administration should stay away from this tactic and should instead just change the policies on torture through executive order and legislation rather than trying to look back. He says that wouldn't preclude victims of torture under the Bush administration from seeking legal remedies. But this law professor believes there must be a commission of inquiry and he gets the impression that it is being considered by Obama administration officials. He says the commission would need to be independent because the Justice Department is too deeply implicated in the whole issue. he says just changing the rules on torture is not enough because that suggests that interrogation policy depends on which party is in charge. Whether that consensus is achieved any time soon depends on how much political will there is to pursue the matter.

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