#Article (Archive)

A Clear Signal of Intent

Jan 22, 2009, 4:55 AM

We welcome the move on the part of Barack Obama within hours of taking office to ask for a temporary halt to all tribunals to review the process involved in the cases of those held at GuantanamoBay.

The judge in the case of Omar Khadr - a Canadian man accused of killing an American soldier in Afghanistan in 2002 - suspended the case for 120 days. Later in the day a further four cases were suspended out of the total of 21 pending cases.

Mr Obama has repeatedly promised to close the GuantanamoBay detention camp, where some 250 inmates accused of having links to terrorism remain.

We hope that this will be a clear indicator of how the presidency will play out over the next four years. We have long been starved of a just American influence in the world and there is a real hunger for a new moral leadership on the part of the United States.

Watching his inauguration address one could not help but be filled with hope that we are entering a time of change.

In his inaugural address on Tuesday, President Obama emphasised the idea of respect for justice and the rights of the individual, rejecting "as false the choice between our safety and our ideals".

However, closing GuantanamoBay will not be easy. Questions remain over where those charged will be tried and where those freed can be safely sent.The new president spoke of his desire to usher in a new era of peace, "to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan".

We wish him luck in these endevours and pray that he can stay the course, adhere to his high ideals and usher in a new era of peace on Earth.

"Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better."

[if !supportLists][endif]Richard Hooker