Tuesday, November 25, 2008

On the Psychologists' Open Letter re: John Brennan

Below I have reposted an open letter asking Obama not to appoint John Brennan as CIA Director. Brennan, along with Jamie Miscik, is heading up Obama's intelligence transition team. The fact that Obama has entrusted the task of assembling Obama's intelligence policies and personnel to these two enablers and defenders of massive deception in the lead up to the Iraq War and of torture and rendition is very disturbing to anyone who has been holding out hopes that Obama will represent a decisive change from the horrid policies of the Bush White House.

Obama has repeatedly stated that he plans to shut Guantanamo down, which is welcome news.

But his team of advisers has also indicated that they may set up a separate category of so-called "National Security Courts" outside of the existing US federal court system. This would be a continuation of the fundamental logic of the Bush Regime's "War on Terror." See Attorney Candace Gorman's comments here and in these interviews posted at Fire John Yoo! See also Linda Rigas' new piece there on Eric Holder and the Bush Regime's torture policies.

The Open Letter below is a welcome development. I would underscore, however, that a "decisive repudiation" of the torture policies of Bush and Cheney would entail not only ending the practices of "preventive" detention and of "enhanced interrogation techniques," but also the prosecution of the torturers themselves. Without doing that, any future president could do it all and say that "Bush and Cheney did it, why can't I?"

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