We all remember that President Obama wanted to keep his blackberry so that he could keep in touch with what’s going on “outside the beltway”.
In the parlance of Dr. Phil….“How’s that working out for you?”
A Democratic strategist close to the White House said: “The president looked resolute, and like he had threaded the needle perfectly on the substance: The heat from the right was preposterous, and the heat from the left was manageable. But now they look like the scarecrow, pointing in both directions. They got the policy right, but they look confused and beaten down by critics.”
The implications go beyond a typical Washington spat over “message control.” Obama’s moves virtually guarantee a sharp public focus on two uncomfortable questions that his team previously sought to leave vague:
*Should people be tried and even sent to prison—as many Democrats want—for what Obama regards as illegal practices under Bush?
*Even if wrong, did those practices have any positive results in stopping new attacks?
Obama’s own statements are murky on both questions.
There are many opinions of things that have more than one viewpoint. The definition of torture is one of them. What is it? Exactly what is it? And is it the same for all people even though some may have higher tolerances? Congress refused to take any responsibility for the definition.
That leaves legal minds.
When/if later legal minds change their minds, should those that came before be prosecuted to the full extent of the new legalisms? I’m trying to think of big examples we’d all know but interestingly things usually change from less free and unencumbered to more so. Those aren’t good examples.
How about should those who refused to let women vote be prosecuted for their clearly illegal stance??
No. There are plenty of iffy things in this world and if you want deciders instead of sluffers, you can’t prosecute the deciders unless there is clear abuse of reality.
Ralph Peters puts it well.
If the Obama administration fails to keep us safe and our citizens are attacked at home or abroad, shall we then prosecute those who dismantled our safeguards and gutted our intelligence effort?
Where would such show trials stop? Will we try Supreme Court justices for issuing legal opinions with which a future administration disagrees?
And how do you deal with an administration that keeps changing it’s mind? From bonus pay for executives of TARP bailouts to not allowing TARP recipients to pay back what they borrowed to deciding not to investigate or to investigate into peoples lives.
People are wrong. It’s not Obama’s teleprompter that’s running things, it’s his blackberry.
Instead of doing what he’s going to do he’s being run by the folks who are freaking out. And being the unexperienced executive that he is, he doesn’t understand.
“His whole thing is: ‘I banned all this. This chapter is over. What we don’t need now is to become a sort of feeding frenzy where we go back and re-litigate all this.’ “
“I banned all this”…..why are we still talking about it? Why is everyone still so upset. It’s over. I did it.
And yet the blackberry keeps buzzing.
Yes Mr. President. People are upset. The right, because these interrogation procedures went through the entire drills necessary to make them ok, and they saved lives. The left, because they think somehow that Bush was/is a criminal and needs prosecution.
You can not keep both groups happy. You can only do what’s right.
So throw away your blackberry and listen to your conscious.
Read: Ed Morrissey today who notes that
Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) challenges both his colleagues on Capitol Hill and the Barack Obama administration to honest debate on the interrogations of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah in today’s Wall Street Journal. Hoekstra, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, accuses Obama of dishonesty by selectively releasing memos from the program — and he accuses Congress of cowardice by not admitting their own role in sanctioning the interrogations. He wants names and dates made public in this debate, a prospect that will likely chill enthusiasm on the Hill:
Congressman Dana Rohrbacher, R-Calif. was there getting no answers:
Are you in favor of releasing the documents that Dick Cheney has been requesting be released?,” asked Rep. Rohrbacher.
“Well, it won’t surprise you, I don’t consider him a particularly reliable source of information,” responded Secretary Clinton to a smattering of laughter in the hearing room.
Congressman Rohrbacher appeared none too pleased and went at it again. “Madam Secretary, I asked you a specific question,” he said sternly.
“Congressman, I believe we ought to get to the bottom of this entire matter. I think it is in the best interest of our country and that is what the president believes and that is why he has taken the actions he did,” said Clinton.