December 4, 2009

THE BLOT RESOLVES INTO A W:

Afghanistan: The Betrayal (Garry Wills, 12/02/09, NYRB Blog)

I did not think he would lose me so soon—sooner than Bill Clinton did. Like many people, I was deeply invested in the success of our first African-American president. I had written op-ed pieces and articles to support him in The New York Times and The New York Review of Books. My wife and I had maxed out in donations for him. Our children had been ardent for his cause.

Others I respect have given up on him before now. I can see why. His backtracking on the treatment of torture (and photographs of torture), his hesitations to give up on rendition, on detentions, on military commissions, and on signing statements, are disheartening continuations of George W. Bush’s heritage. [...]

I cannot vote for any Republican. But Obama will not get another penny from me, or another word of praise, after this betrayal.


Obama's Betrayal: His Guantanamo policy violates the principle of freedom. (Owen Fiss, Dec. 4, 2009, Slate)
The firestorm of criticism over the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, should not obscure a darker truth: Trial is only one prong of Obama's Guantanamo strategy. Some of the Guantanamo prisoners, including those who have been detained for seven or eight years, will remain imprisoned indefinitely with no prospects of ever seeing the inside of a courtroom. Obama's much-lauded intention to close Guantanamo will not change the fate of these prisoners, who will be transferred to other prisons in the United States or abroad, and as a result, the president will perpetuate one of the most troubling policies of the Bush administration. If Obama does not repudiate this policy, it will define what the government can do in the future.


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Posted by Orrin Judd at December 4, 2009 3:20 PM
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