Obama on the Move!
Only two days in office and President Obama is signing executive orders towards the "change" he promised.
Just when I want to get behind my new president, he shows just how left of center he is, and how out of touch his perspective will prove to be. Two days in office, and what are the first two executive orders he signs? 1), America will not torture terrorists as a means of extracting intelligence to protect the country, and, 2), GITMO to close within one year.
Published on LatinoLA: January 23, 2009
Okay, fine, he thinks "water boarding" is torture and using this technique to obtain intelligence from enemies of our state are not acceptable. We will continue to use, however, the nineteen "techniques" described in the U.S. Army Field Manual for extracting information from enemy combatants, and, we may continue to use "other techniques," other than torture to extract information.
This is the Bush Administration policy, isn't changed one bit. The Bush Administration didn't view "water boarding" as torture, and therefore, stood steadfast in their assertion that America doesn't torture. America did, however, use "other techniques" such as "water boarding" to extract information that has thwarted additional terrorist attacks in this country since 9/11. This Obama executive order is a bunch of double-talk, intended to make liberals and pacifists "feel good," but will not change the way our military and intelligence forces do business. They just won't "water board" anymore.
And then of course, the exec order closing GITMO within one year. This one is even scarier than the "no torture" order. While most agree America shouldn't "torture" anyone, I don't know of a single person who thinks battle hardened Jihadists should now be housed in L.A. County Jail, or anywhere in America!
Are you kidding me? Can you imagine trained terrorists mixing with Los Angeles gang members, thinking up plots to assault corrections officers, ways to use the legal system to access rights guaranteed only to U.S. citizens to prolong any sentencing for activities committed in combat? Can you imagine being called to jury duty to decide if a terrorist who killed U.S. troops in combat in Afghanistan should be sentenced to Folsom Prison, or just get probation, community service and pay a fine?!
Terrorists are not "criminals" who should be tried in any court of law like a bank robber or home invasion suspect, these guys are trained combatants from terrorist nations, who kill our troops and civilians in war, not street crime, in an effort to rid the world of infidels!
While activists, leftists, and communists may praise Obama's wanting to close GITMO, once their elation has subsided and someone asks, "hey, when we close GITMO, where should these guys go," I can't wait to see the answer. U.S. Congressman, John P. Murtha, representing the 12th District of Pennsylvania, has already said he wouldn't mind having terrorists housed in his district, I think that's a great place for them! And, while I don't want any Islamic Terrorist in California period, I think Super Liberal, Nancy Pelosi, should get some GITMO detainees as well, perhaps we could find a new use for Alcatraz! Now there's a tour worth taking!
While closing GITMO may sound like a great idea and may make us feel better about whatever injustices we perceive the previous administration is guilty of, we shouldn't just barrel down the street with no lights and no GPS system, just because it seems like it would be a good ride. Closing GITMO takes thought, a strategy, and money. If we want to take the financial burden off the federal government and pass it on to states, cities and counties, I don't foresee any of those government entities being thrilled at the prospect of having to figure out how to pay for the housing, feeding, and security of some of the most dangerous people in the world.
I know it usually takes a near-death experience to get people to change, people mostly change out of desperation, not inspiration. But, I hope our political leaders who aren't following Obama in lock step because he is the flavor of the moment find the courage to ask this one simple question, "is what Obama wants to do in the best interest of the citizens of this country?" I know our little voices don't carry with the elite of this country, be they liberal or conservative, but we (not me I didn't vote Obama) are responsible for who we put in office, if they lead us down the wrong path and fail at their most important job, and that is protecting this country, not saving the world, then we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Much has been made about the fact that Obama's election as president somehow fulfills some of what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once dreamt was possible. However, as I look at Dr. King's words, I find that most people have them backwards. Dr. King said, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Most people that I know who voted for and support Obama, do so, not because of the content of his character, but because of the color of his skin.
For most, that fact that he is a half-black man, is more important than his views on this country, defending it and leading a nation. Most people are expecting utopia, Obamaland, as it were, but I suspect the reality will be very different. I suspect that once the money is wasted on the "economic stimulus" package, and regular folks "get" nothing more than a tax break, some will begin to question his motives. And once the GITMO detainees are being housed in our backyards, near "the children," and the country experiences another terrorist attack on our soil, since people like Murtha and Pelosi don't think terrorists are that dangerous, minds will begin to shift and people will begin wonder if they got duped. The problem is, we'll be in worse shape than we are now.
I know people think times are really bad now, especially with unemployment at 7 percent, however, no one remembers that unemployment in 1982 was over 10 percent, and we didn't see it as the end of the world. America is not in as bad a shape as you've been led to believe, but, if one sits in front of that idiot box called television long enough, it will put you in a trance and lead you down a path you don't even realize you're going until you get there. I think we've arrived.
Gil Contreras is an award winning journalist, former police officer, and writer living in Los Angeles.
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