(a) Common Article 3 Standards as a Minimum Baseline. Consistent with the requirements of the Federal torture statute, 18 U.S.C. 2340 2340A, section 1003 of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, 42 U.S.C. 2000dd, the Convention Against Torture, Common Article 3, and other laws regulating the treatment and interrogation of individuals detained in any armed conflict, such persons shall in all circumstances be treated humanely and shall not be subjected to violence to life and person (including murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment, and torture), nor to outrages upon personal dignity (including humiliating and degrading treatment), whenever such individuals are in the custody or under the effective control of an officer, employee, or other agent of the United States Government or detained within a facility owned, operated, or controlled by a department or agency of the United States ["Executive Order: Ensuring Lawful Interrogations," WhiteHouse.gov, 2009.01.22]
And in his own words:
We believe that the Army Field Manual reflects the best judgment of our military, that we can abide by a rule that says we don’t torture, but that we can still effectively obtain the intelligence that we need.
This is me following through on not just a commitment I made during the campaign, but I think an understanding that dates back to our founding fathers, that we are willing to observe core standards of conduct not just when it’s easy, but also when it’s hard.
...the message that we are sending around the world is that the United States intends to prosecute the ongoing struggle against violence and terrorism, and we are going to do so vigilantly, we are going to do so effectively, and we are going to do so in a matter that is consistent with our values and our ideals. And all of the individuals who are standing behind me, as well as, I think, the American people, understand that we are not, as I said in the inauguration, going to continue with a false choice between our safety and our ideals.
We think that it is precisely our ideals that give us the strength and the moral high ground to be able to effectively deal with the unthinking violence that you see emanating from terrorist organizations around the world.
We intend to win this fight. We’re going to win it on our terms.[President Barack Obama, "CQ Transcript: President Obama Orders Closing of Detention Facility at Guantanamo," CQPolitics.com, 2009.01.22]
Fly those flags a little higher, friends. Contrary to the confused machismo of certain Jack Bauer fans, The moral high ground is not for sissies, and it's not an obstacle to defeating terrorism. The moral high ground is where we win that war.