The Bush Administration prisoner, torture and rendition apparatus was effectively dismantled today with four pen strokes.
That’s Marc Ambinder, commenting on the orders that President Obama signed yesterday. I’ll continue to follow Ambinder’s account, except that I’ve reformatted it.
President Obama convened a panel to determine how to close the Guantanamo Bay detainee prison within a year. […] He ordered the government to give the International Committee of the Red Cross immediate access to detainees. All CIA “black” [i.e., secret, hidden] detention facilities will be closed.
He ordered that all intelligence gatherers limit their interrogation techniques to the published Army Field Manual, revoking Executive Order 13440, the now infamous Bush administration gloss on the Geneva Conventions. […] He explicitly rejects the legal advice promulgated by President Bush’s legal counsel on interrogation policy.
Renditions to countries that are known to torture prisoners will be stopped.
In relation to torture, I love this point: He explicitly rejects the legal advice promulgated by President Bush’s legal counsel on interrogation policy. Ben Smith supplies a direct quote:
The Order also prohibits reliance on any Department of Justice or other legal advice concerning interrogation that was issued between September 11, 2001 and January 20, 2009.
I don’t know how this plays in the USA, but it will definitely receive two thumbs up from the international community.