Director of the CIA, Leon Panetta announced Thursday that The CIA had emptied its secret detention facilities and that they would be decommissioned. This is the latest step in accomplishing President Obama’s promise to have transparency in government and to return the US to the rule of law. The secret detention facilities or “black sites” were allowed to operate in foreign territories under former President Bush’s “War on Terror”. It is believed that harsh interrogation techniques which rose to the level of torture took place in these facilities, in contravention of US obligations under the Geneva Convention. President Obama has also taken steps to close Guantanamo, to release those detainees that do not pose a threat to the US, and to try those who do in regularly constituted civilian courts. These small steps will earn the US tremendous goodwill as both Guantanamo and the secret prisons were condemned by human rights organizations as well as from our allies all over the world and they are a welcome sign that we are on track to rejoin the world communities as a nation that respects and adheres to the rule of law.

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