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The Future?

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Abstract

A glimmer of hope seemed to appear shortly after President Obama took office. His administration issued an executive order, outlining in broad terms the intention to close Guantanamo Bay within a year. It called for a ban on torture, ordered the CIA to close secret prisons, and review the cases of Guantanamo prisoners. It also required that Defense Secretary Gates ensure that within 30 days, conditions at Guantanamo would follow the Geneva Conventions. There were indications that aspects of it were followed. But a closer look exposes limits and resistance to reforming police state practices. While the executive order signified a general policy statement, officials in the Obama administration were looking into including a loophole that would allow the CIA to use interrogation methods not authorized by the Pentagon. The administration also has not addressed the use of extraordinary rendition and leaves the door open to enhanced interrogation techniques. Appearances can also be deceiving, as in the policies being adapted by Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, who ordered a review of Bush administration claims of state secrets to withhold information from defendants to circumvent lawsuits. According to Justice Department spokesman Matt Miller, the attorney general directed Justice Department officials to review claims of state secrets that could be used only in legally appropriate situations.

Keywords

Police State Attorney General Executive Order Bush Administration Geneva Convention 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 2.
    J. Brecher, J. Cutler, and B. Smith, In the Name of Democracy: American War Crimes in Iraq and Beyond (New York: Henry Holt, 2005) p. 62.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    M. Farren and J. Gibb, Who’s Watching You: The Chilling Truth about the State, Surveillance and Personal Freedom (New York: Conspiracy Books, 2007) p. 63.Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    A. M. Froomkin, The Death of Privacy, STANFORD L. REV., Symposium 2000, p. 1480.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Andrew Kolin 2011

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