I do not understand this

From the Times:
The Obama administration will continue the Bush administration’s practice of sending terror suspects to third countries for detention and interrogation, but will monitor their treatment to insure they are not tortured, administration officials said on Monday.

The administration officials, who announced the changes on condition that they not be identified, said that unlike the Bush administration, they would give the State Department a larger role in assuring that transferred detainees would not be abused.
I am at a loss to explain this, as it makes no sense to me.

There are a few explanations, I suppose. Perhaps the administration's assertions about the State Department's role in preventing torture is a bunch of hot air, and this is just a continuation of the Bush administration's odious policies. While I hope this is not the case, I am not such a guileless Pollyanna as to presume that it is impossible. If this is the case, then it is a disgraceful moral failure on the part of the President.

The only other idea I have for what this means is that the whole Gitmo-detainee NIMBY phenomenon has left the administration with few choices for what to do with the suspects housed there. Perhaps they really do mean to monitor the prisoners, and they really won't be tortured. While I would find this a sad commentary on the hysteria surrounding Guantanamo, it would be the less horrible explanation.

Anyone else have any ideas? (And yes, John, I already know what you think.)


  1. Heh. My understanding[1] has the virtue of explaining lots of other actions of the White House, not just the continuation of Bush's policies (now with additional procedural safeguards!).

    [1] Which do you think is better? President Scary-Smart, or President Liar-Liar-Pants-On-Fire?

  2. Being as it were that I have no idea what "President Scary-Smart" is meant to signify, I can't really make an informed decision on that one, GJ.