For a fuller examination of Bush’s executive order from Friday afternoon banning torture and other forms of degrading interrogation, check out this David Cole piece in Salon. From Cole’s perspective, the order feels like a wolf in sheep’s clothing: another attempt by the Bush Administration to create loopholes while trying to appear on the up and up. Moreover, in places where the order does move us back in a humane and sane direction, it doesn’t go far enough. Concludes Cole,
With a different administration and a different history, one might be less inclined to read President Bush’s latest executive order so skeptically. But this administration has shown repeatedly that it approaches the prohibitions on coercive interrogation the way a particularly creative tax lawyer might treat the tax code. Instead of striving to uphold what we thought were our country’s moral principles, the Bush administration seeks to exploit every loophole it can find or manufacture. As a result, the administration has lost the trust of the nation and of the rest of the world. Executive orders like this one are not likely to win it back.