The New Commander in Chief Can Take on the CIA

Having made history, now for the hard part

Obviously, I do not expect President Obama to dig into all of this on Day One, but he should soon get his staff going into Mohamed's enduring traumatic experiences of American justice—with attention to full accountability for those in the previous administration who authorized the penis-cutting and other tortures.

A subsequent public statement by President Obama—citing the case of Mohamed and other victims of the CIA renditions—could do a hell of a lot to rehabilitate us around the world. His predecessor issued an executive order soon after 9/11, and then another in 2007, giving the CIA license to commit these kidnappings and the as-yet-unknown tortures in its secret prisons. President Obama, by his executive order, can cancel these CIA "special powers" and can persuade the Democratic-controlled Congress to pass a measure that will force the CIA to adhere—as do all of our other armed services—to the Army Field Manual that forbids torture.

John McCain voted against the previous bill, and Bush vetoed it after the House and Senate approved it. Now, you're the redeemer, Mr. Obama.

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