Well. I'm feeling so much better about our torture policy now that Obama is in charge of it instead of Dick Cheney. Change is happening. Change you can believe in.
For example, that evil rendition policy where we send (likely innocent) detainees to other countries to be tortured for real, not that namby-pamby waterboarding stuff that's like a dip in your 5-Star hotel pool but the Real Thing - electricity through testicles, thumbscrews, Iron Maidens, racks, you know - is going to be totally dumped in favor of a new rendition policy where we send them to the same countries but now we're going to monitor the interrogators to make sure they don't do anything bad.
The Obama administration will continue the Bush administration’s practice of sending terrorism suspects to third countries for detention and interrogation, but pledges to closely monitor their treatment to ensure that they are not tortured, administration officials said Monday.
Yessir, some fine American is going to sit right there in some Syrian prison and if those interrogators get out of line one inch, s/he's going to write a very stern letter to...well, somebody in authority somewhere and they in turn will write a somewhat stern letter to some functionary in Syria who will pass it on to another functionary who will lose it when it becomes convenient. But we'll be watching, that's the point.
Attorney General Eric Holder today confirmed what has been suspected for many weeks: he has ordered what he calls "a preliminary review into whether federal laws were violated in connection with the interrogation of specific detainees at overseas locations." Holder's decision does not amount to the appointment of a Special Prosecutor, since a preliminary review is used, as he emphasized, "to gather information to determine whether there is sufficient predication to warrant a full investigation of a matter." More important, the scope of the "review" is limited at the outset to those who failed to "act in good faith and within the scope of legal guidance" -- meaning only those interrogators and other officials who exceeded the torture limits which John Yoo and Jay Bybee approved. Those who, with good faith, tortured within the limits of the OLC memos will "be protected from legal jeopardy" (the full Holder statement is here).
(emphasis in the original)
So I know there won't be any monkeying around. Yoo and Addington were fine Americans who set plausible and reasonable limits on torture so it's not really torture, not the way we do it. So I'm sure we'll once again have the world on our side as soon as they understand that our torture isn't real torture and that it's legal and that we're going to make sure dictatorships in Third World countries behave themselves.
Just think what would have happened if George Bush was still president. Aren't you glad he isn't? Things are so much different now!