CBS: There are a number of different things you can do early on pertaining to executive orders.
CBS: One of them is to shut down Guantanamo Bay. Another is to change interrogation methods that are used by U.S. troops. Are those things that you plan to take early action on?
OBAMA: Yes. I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that. I have said repeatedly that America doesn’t torture, and I’m going to make sure that we don’t torture. Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America’s moral stature in the world.
Part of what makes this country great is our willingness to aim for the high ground. Democracy is a concept that could never take off without that desire to aim for something better. Further, it is rooted in the notion of human equality and decency. Without that fundamental underpinning, Democracy must begin to fall apart.
By contrast, a nation that tortures has abdicated that fundamental respect for human rights by deciding that certain people don't deserve them, that certain people are less human than the rest.
That is not my America.
This is a nation defined by ideas, not by borders; and one of those ideas is the belief that all men are created equal.
Thank God Obama has embraced this most basic of American beliefs.
Oh, and for all those hardcases who talk about Army training being tougher than the torture being used on these detainees - fuck off. You can stand up to waterboarding when you're voluntarily submitted? Great. Why do you get submitted to it? Because the Army wants you to show that you can stand up to enemy torture. BECAUSE IT'S TORTURE.
This country is better than that. If we can't win without betraying our ideals, then we can't win at all.