Human Rights,  Obama

Obama acts on Guantanamo and torture

Doing what he said he’d do:

President Obama reversed the most disputed counterterrorism policies of the Bush administration on Thursday, declaring that “our ideals give us the strength and moral high ground” in the fight against Al Qaeda. But Mr. Obama postponed for months decisions on complex questions the United States has been grappling with since the terrorist attacks of 2001.

Mr. Obama signed executive orders closing the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, within a year; ending the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret prisons; and requiring all interrogations to follow the noncoercive methods of the Army Field Manual.

“We intend to win this fight,” he said. “We are going to win it on our own terms.”

This is good news because:

1. It’s the right thing to do legally and morally.

2. It helps clean a messy slate left by the Bush administration, which provided America’s enemies with too-easy targets for their wrath. Of course anti-Americans will continue to be anti-Americans, but we can at least deprive them of some of their favorite symbols.