Our foolish president

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on March 22, 2009

President Obama, fresh from solving the economic crisis facing our nation and an appearance on the Jay Leno show, had this to say about former Vice President Dick Cheney's comment that Obama's policies are making Americans less safe.

Commenting on former Vice President Dick Cheney's recent assertion that the closure of Guantanamo will make America more vulnerable to attack, Obama said, "I fundamentally disagree with Dick Cheney. Not surprisingly. You know, I think that Vice President Cheney has been at the head of a movement whose notion is somehow that we can't reconcile our core values, our Constitution, our belief that we don't torture, with our national security interests. I think he's drawing the wrong lesson from history."

"The facts don't bear him out. I think he is, that attitude, that philosophy has done incredible damage to our image and position in the world. I mean, the fact of the matter is after all these years how many convictions actually came out of Guantanamo? How many terrorists have actually been brought to justice under the philosophy that is being promoted by Vice President Cheney? It hasn't made us safer. What it has been is a great advertisement for anti-American sentiment. Which means that there is constant effective recruitment of Arab fighters and Muslim fighters against U.S. interests all around the world."

There is no evidence anyone was tortured at Guantanamo Bay. I know some believe waterboarding is torture, but it doesn't meet the UN definition. The idea that Gitmo has done "incredible damage to our image and position in the world" is due mainly to Democrats like him who compared the detention facility to the Soviet Gulag.

But the big part Obama gets wrong is when he judges the effectiveness of the Bush administration terror policy by the number of convictions obtained. How ideologically blinkered do you have to be to spout that nonsense? The ultimate goal of Gitmo wasn't to serve as a nice, sunny court system -- it was to hold unlawful combatants (a term Obama's administration has dropped -- to be substituted with "rude guests") until the end of hostilities.

Now, that may be a very long time, which is why the Military Commissions Act was passed to create some structure for trying these terrorists. We didn't get to try many of them because you had Obama's legal allies trying to get the terrorists so many legal protections that American civilian criminals would be wanting to be designated enemy combatants so they could take advantage of them.

No, the mark of Gitmo's success is the fact that we have not been attacked since 9/11. And the evidence that the Obama administration doesn't get "it" is last week's news that some of the terrorists held at Gitmo may soon be released -- in the U.S.


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March 2009



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