The most efficient time to change course of the ship of state is when one has control of the helm.
Over objections from the U.S. intelligence community, the White House is moving to declassify—and publicly release—three internal memos that will lay out, for the first time, details of the “enhanced” interrogation techniques approved by the Bush administration for use against “high value” Qaeda detainees. The memos, written by Justice Department lawyers in May 2005, provide the legal rationale for waterboarding, head slapping and other rough tactics used by the CIA. [“rough tactics,” even as a euphemism, is a decidedly milquetoasty and diluted defining construct — voxd] One senior Obama official, who like others interviewed for this story requested anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity, said the memos were “ugly” and could embarrass the CIA. Other officials predicted they would fuel demands for a “truth commission” on torture.
Because of an executive order signed by President Obama on Jan. 22 banning such aggressive tactics, deputies to Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. concluded there was no longer any reason to keep the interrogation memos classified. But current and former intel officials pushed back, arguing that any public release might still compromise “sources and methods.”… Source
Especially do it before becoming subsumed in the groupthink of entrenched bureaucracy. Whether it causes embarrassment or ruffles feathers are irrelevant considerations. Agencies or their officials operating devoid of informed critique or restraint by that very nature operate outside the framework of the governmental system. Such shrouded policies and methods carried out under our name are either defensible under the rule of law and the Constitution or they are not. Being indefensible is no rationale for sweeping them under the rug.
FYI (and, if an actual reversal and when assiduously followed through, much more than symbolic — a reaffirmation of leadership and partnership in the company of nation-states):
The White House is set to reverse a key Bush administration policy by allowing some of the 240 remaining Guantánamo Bay inmates to be resettled on American soil.
The US is pushing for Europe to take a share of released inmates, but the Obama administration is reconciled to taking some of them, even though there will be noisy resistance from individual states.
Washington has told European officials that once a review of the Guantánamo cases is completed, the US will almost certainly allow some inmates to resettle on the mainland.
George Bush’s refusal to countenance a resettlement programme on US soil contributed to European reluctance to play host to freed prisoners.
Some of those to be released can return to their own homelands, but there are many others who cannot, such as the Chinese Uighurs who would face the risk of a death sentence.
A European diplomat said today the change of course in Washington would make it easier to persuade her government to take part in an international resettlement plan. “It changes the whole tone,” she said. Source