1. Issue a simple statement: “When I’m President, there will be no waterboarding, no cold room, no sensory deprivation, no ‘long time standing,’ and no renditions.”
2. File, and ask for hearings on, a bill for the relief of Khaled al-Masri.
Unless she does one of those things, those of us for whom torture is a deal-breaker will have to conclude that her ambiguity was and is deliberate, either because she thinks it would be bad general-election strategy to be too far out there on behalf of human decency or because she’s not ready to limit her Presidential options with respect to the maltreatment of captives.
Update The Obama campaign decided to go after HRC on this, giving her campaign a chance to disambiguate as suggested above. No such luck. Instead, all we got was this rather Rovian let’s-change-the-subjec-to-an-attack-on-the-critic:
It’s unfortunate that Barack Obama is abandoning the politics of hope as his campaign stagnates and is launching false attacks on other Democrats instead. Senator Clinton explicitly stated that we “have to draw a bright line” against torture and “abide by the Geneva conventions.” Senator Obama’s attacks won’t bring change to America, but Senator Clinton’s strength and experience will.
I sent a polite note to Peter Daou, HRC’s director of on-line communications (heard from on this issue by both Kevin Drum and Greg Sargent) a polite note with links to this post and the previous post and a promise to print any response verbatim. The rest (so far) is silence.
Whether or not HRC was deliberately ambiguous in her comments to the WaPo, it seems to me that her campaign is deliberately maintaining the ambiguity she created. Waterboarding, the cold room, “long time standing,” sensory deprivation, renditions, “disappearances” into secret prisons: these are simple, concrete issues. Where does Her Inevitability stand?