Jim Geraghty first wrote that all of Barack Obama’s promises come with expiration dates, and broken promises from politicians are nothing new, of course. However, one usually expects politicians — especially those running on hope and change — to either remain true to their professed core values and the issues that fueled the most passion on the campaign trail, or at least explain their change in the daylight. Obama did neither, nor did he apologize to the man he besmirched endlessly on the campaign trail while adopting the policy that Obama most demonized as a candidate.
Andrew Malcolm can’t believe the chutzpah:
In yet another sign of political perfidy, the White House of President George W. Bush has drafted a presidential executive order that would allow that double-dealing Republican chief executive to hold suspected terrorist detainees indefinitely.
According to the president’s intentions, such suspects could be detained for long periods of time, virtually indefinitely. Is this really what the nation voted for last November?
Oh, wait. No. According to an exclusive Washington Post/Pro Publica report this afternoon, it’s the refreshing new Democratic administration of Barack Obama that’s now preparing this new executive order to hold certain terrorist suspects indefinitely.
This is an obviously inspiring sign of the new style of leadership the Democrat promised and is finally bringing to the White House. As one blogger put it, George W. Obama. And it shows the kind of powerful political pragmatism with which the ex-senator from Illinois approaches this job at such a crucial and globally turbulent time.Strangely, it was leaked to the Post on a slow summer Friday afternoon when it wouldn’t gain much attention.
This goes beyond the policy, which I think returns to a rational processing of illegal combatants in wartime. We don’t release POWs until after the conclusion of hostilities, and we sure as hell shouldn’t be releasing illegal combatants any earlier, incentivizing terrorists for operating outside the rules of war. The fact that they joined an endless jihad against the US shouldn’t get them any consideration for earlier release dates; when the radical Islamists either surrender or get destroyed, then we can see about releasing them. Until then, they should stay locked up and away from the fight.
Obama has essentially endorsed the detention policies of George Bush without the courtesy of apologizing for slandering him over the last two and a half years. Obama and his allies screeched endlessly about indefinite detentions, and not just in Gitmo, either. They specifically railed against the holding of terrorists without access to civil courts in military detention facilities around the world, specifically Bagram, but in general as well. Not even six months into his term of office, Obama realized that Bush had it right all along.
Did he even have the grace to admit that? No. Instead, the White House took the cowardly method of a late-Friday leak to let people know that Obama had adopted the Bush policy all over again. Barack Obama just appeared at a press conference this last Tuesday to discuss Iran, energy policy, and ObamaCare, where he could have told the national press that he had changed his mind on indefinite detention. Instead, he kept his mouth shut, and had his media staff whisper it into phones to a couple of White House favorites in the press.
It’s a shameful performance, and the measure of the man in charge.
Addendum: I guess Obama has finally conceded to Dick Cheney on national security, hasn’t he?