Maybe Bush was Right on Detainees?
At least that appears to be what the Obama administration is thinking now.
When this morning I read the President is now weighing the option of indefinitely detaining terror suspects I was taken aback. Wasn’t this man the same who, as a presidential candidate, steadfastly opposed every part of Bush’s strategy of dealing with detainees at Guantanamo? Who decried every action Bush took?
Responding to the McCain campaign’s criticism of his desire to extend constitutional protections to the residents of Gitmo in June 2008, Obama stated “…and I think, in fact, it’s the failed policies of the Bush administration and the unwillingness to look towards the future that is causing us so many problems around the world.” He was implying, of course, that Bush’s policies on the treatment of terror suspects jeopardized national security by creating anti-American sentiment around the world.
Now he’s going to continue a policy he so long denounced.
But this isn’t the only issue where Obama’s flipped to support a previously abhorred Bush policy now that he’s occupying the White House.
Late last month Obama was aboard a fast train Hell-bent to release more photos of detainee “abuse,” but switched yesterday when he announced the release of the photos would “…further inflame anti-American opinion, and to put our troops in greater danger.”
Too bad his mind wasn’t changed before the release of the so-called “torture” memos. Just four days prior to his reversal on releasing the aforementioned photos, he justified the release of the previously classified memos by claiming it would make the world like us more and we would therefore be more safe.
Photos bad, memos good according to Obama. A little contradictory, no?
Don’t forget his reversal on military tribunals either.
From the February 13, 2008 SFGate.com article on the pros and cons of tribunals in the cases of 6 terror suspects who faced the death penalty: “Obama said the men should be tried either in a U.S. criminal court or by military court-martial, either of which would ‘demonstrate our commitment to the rule of law.’ Both those systems are more protective of defendants’ rights than military tribunals, which allow evidence obtained through coercion and hearsay.”
Well, he didn’t really mean all that. Earlier this month, news broke that Obama’s going to fire the tribunal machine back up again. According to the NY Times, “The Obama administration is moving toward reviving the military commission system…” and “the first public moves could come as soon as next week.”
You remember, the tribunals that denied due process to those poor guys at Gitmo who chop off people’s heads and fly planes into buildings.
So, Obama’s general frame of mind when the Bush administration ran the tribunals was that they were bad, really bad. Not only did they fail to protect the rights of folks who…oh…cut of American’s heads on camera and kill thousands by flying planes into buildings, but they made other terrorists mad at us.
Now that he’s getting his mail at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., military tribunals are just what we need.
Something changed his mind. Maybe he thinks his middle name will make the tribunals more palatable to radical Islamic terrorists?
This adoption of Bush policies opposed by Obama on the campaign trail appears to be a developing habit. Keep your fingers crossed and maybe he’ll adopt one more and keep Gitmo open since no other country seems to want the abused terror suspects and we certainly don’t want them here.
Okay, that may be too much wishful thinking.
But, with so much of Obama’s change so closely resembling Bush policy in this arena, Obama supporters might just have to admit that maybe Bush was right on Gitmo and the detainees all along.