According tothis list, the traditional gift is tin…
More seriously, what an utternightmare and national embarrassment.
Obama had a duty to the country to undo the damage caused by Bush and Cheney and their wrecking crew and, instead, he’s pretty much embraced what they’ve done. Whether it’s out of mistaken belief that the military and the CIA know what they’re doing, or that he secretly approves of their actions makes little difference in the outcome. He could have closed the prison at Guantanamo. He could have repudiated the principle of indefinite detention and returned the so-called “war on terror” to the province of the courts and the criminal justice system where it belonged in the first place.
But, he didn’t. He could have used the power of the office to dispel the climate of fear in the country, to counter those in the nation bent on enlarging authoritarian policies for self-serving purposes. For those and other failures, I doubt that history will treat him kindly.
Montaq, I’d have to weakly (very weakly) say in Obama’s defense that he floated the closing of Gitmo but met overwhelming repub support. Like so many other issues, even with a dem majority, Obama caved in.
His background was as a community organizer where he worked to find consensus. At some point perhaps he’ll learn that no matter what he does, the repubs won’t allow there to be consensus. Different tools are needed.
My own .0000002 cents worth is that Guantanamo is virtually a Pandora’s Box. Of course it’s difficult if not impossible for anyone to close the damn thing, and, not to get too cynical, but the plain truth is that “the worst of the worst” don’t really end up there. Instead they go to the black sites in Eastern Europe or Syria or Afghanistan (where we’ve got at least two horrific miscarriages of justice that we know of with Maher Arar and Kalid El-Masri…and those are just the ones we know of).
To me the real shame is that Bush-Cheney and all the so-called realists or pragmists or whatever are actually stunningly cynical and viciously anti-American in declaring that the justice system is supposedly incapable of handling terrorists…and, for that matter, that even a specially appointed justice system is somehow incapable of handling the same.
Last night when I was thinking about how not only did we handle the Nazi and Japanese war criminals of World War II with trials, but even Israel chose to prosecute Adolf Eichmann in court…and it’s not like terrorists, ugly as they might be, are anywhere in the same league as the Nazis or Japanese Imperialists…
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