Promises not to kill or torture

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Anyone else think there's something wrong when US government has to promise not to kill or torture people?  Via the NY Times:

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a letter sent to the Russian minister of justice this week that the United States would not seek the death penalty against Edward J. Snowden, and would issue him a passport immediately so he could travel back to the United States.

The letter also offered reassurances that the United States would not torture Mr. Snowden, the former intelligence contractor who faces criminal charges of disclosing classified information and has been hiding in an airport in Moscow in order to evade the American authorities.

If there's one thing we've learned from the Obama administration, it's that there's a massive delta between what they say and what they do. Why anyone would believe anything these war criminals say is beyond me.