Obama’s negative side is coming to light in his criminal pursuit of CIA officials who used interrogation tactics prohibited by international law in Guantanamo prison. Although former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez has left the Justice Department, there is still a possibility of charging lawyers and other officials that authorized these tactics and the formation of an investigative commission by Congress. The interrogation techniques used at Guantanamo included sleep deprivation, prolonged immersion in water until the point of drowning and requiring that the prisoners remain naked and exposed to extreme cold or heat. Obama’s decision president is surprising because one of his campaign themes was a “change” from the George W. Bush administration.
If the U.S. wants to recuperate its role as the world’s moral leader, it needs to begin by committing itself, without restrictions, to international rights. Above all, the U.S. needs to show a commitment to human rights issues.
The CIA officials who applied this torture, along with former President George W. Bush and other high ranking officials who authorized this practice, should be put on trial according to the Geneva Conventions against torture and other cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment. If the U.S. does not act on this, it should allow other governments to act if they are committed in their prosecution.
We must not forget that torture is a crime against humanity. Only the country of the individuals who used torture can prosecute them; however, this issue affects all of humanity. Impunity from punishment against human rights violations is a serious global issue, which is why the most powerful nations should set an example. Consequently, the Obama administration is sending a negative message because it is reinforcing positions that inhibit justice.