Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Interesting story of Obama betraying his principles and his promises

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Obama is doing some good things, but some bad things as well, including… well, just read this article in TIME by Massimo Calabresi and Michael Weisskopf. A few passages:

Interviews with two dozen current and former officials show that Obama’s public decision to reverse himself and fight the release of the photographs signaled a behind-the-scenes turning point in his young presidency. Beginning in the first two weeks of May, Obama took harder lines on government secrecy, on the fate of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay and on the prosecution of terrorists worldwide. The President was moving away from some promises he had made during the campaign and toward more moderate positions, some favored by George W. Bush. At the same time, he quietly shifted responsibility for the legal framework for counterterrorism from Craig to political advisers overseen by Emanuel, who was more inclined to strike a balance between left and right…

Craig won early victories for the liberal agenda. Against resistance from the intelligence agencies, he drafted a series of Executive Orders that ended the CIA’s "enhanced interrogation" of suspected terrorists, suspended extrajudicial powers for holding and trying detainees and set a one-year deadline to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay. Obama signed the orders two days into his Administration. Craig was delivering much of the change Obama had promised during the campaign…

On March 15, Craig informed Obama that, faced with a court deadline, the Justice Department planned to make public these so-called torture memos in three days. As with the abuse photos, the issue tested Obama’s commitment to openness… [which, it turns out, was no commitment at all, just a campaign lie. – LG]

Obama quietly killed the Gitmo plan in the second week of May; Craig never got a chance to argue the case to the President. "It was a political decision, to put it bluntly," says an aide…

Obama needed to regain control quickly, and he started by jettisoning liberal positions he had been prepared to accept — and had even okayed — just weeks earlier. First to go was the release of the pictures of detainee abuse. Days later, Obama sided against Craig again, ending the suspension of Bush’s extrajudicial military commissions. The following week, Obama pre-empted an ongoing debate among his national-security team and embraced one of the most controversial of Bush’s positions: the holding of detainees without charges or trial, something he had promised during the campaign to reject…

Read the whole article.To me, it sure sounds like political cowardice and shallow commitment to principles.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 November 2009 at 10:55 am

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