What a difference a day makes…

Dennis C. Blair at his confirmation hearing.

Dennis C. Blair at his confirmation hearing.

I have been brimming with hope and enthusiasm for our new president and his administration.  Yet, there always that little voice in the back of my head, reminding me of how many times I’ve been disappointed by a candidate I’ve supported (cough*Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell*cough).  But here we are on Day 2 of the Obama administration and I read news stories like this…

Dennis C. Blair, the retired admiral and sixth-generation naval officer nominated by President Obama to be Director of National Intelligence, during his confirmation hearing:

called torture “not moral, legal or effective” and said any interrogation program would have to comply with the Geneva Conventions, the Convention against Torture and the Constitution.

And:

“I do not and will not support any surveillance activities that circumvent established processes for their lawful authorization,” he said in the testimony. “I believe in the importance of independent monitoring, including by Congress, to prevent abuses and protect civil liberties.”

In a way, it’s really depressing that the Bush administration’s contempt for the law and the Constitution was so great that a statement like Blair’s feels like such a giant leap forward.

And I suppose it is, comparatively. I’ve become so used to artful phrasing and wishy-washy non-answers that hearing a straightforward and unequivocal repudiation of torture is pretty goddamn refreshing…  Which, in and of itself, is a sad testament to the nightmare of these last eight years of lawlessness.

Keep it up, Hopey…  You’re making me proud to be an American.

from NYTimes

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