Charles Krauthammer has it right:
"As in his rhetorically brilliant national-security speech yesterday claiming to have undone Bush's moral travesties, the military commissions flip-flop is accompanied by the usual Obama three-step: (a) excoriate the Bush policy, (b) ostentatiously unveil cosmetic changes, (c) adopt the Bush policy."
The right-wing Krauthammer undoubtedly approves.
Those on the left, however, were "stunned" by Obama's embrace of military commissions --or tribunals-- and even more shocked at his announcement that he would develop a "legal framework" to justify preventive --or prolonged-- detention.
Constitutionally speaking, how is that any different than the Bush administration soliciting legal opinions to justify torture, which Obama seems disinclined to investigate, let alone prosecute, even though torture is clearly a crime both domestically and internationally?
Here's the Center for Constitutional Rights' Michael Ratner:
And the Center's Shayana Kadidal:
Speaking of torture, The Progressive's Matthew Rothschild writes
That's true on a number of levels. But you only hear it from the left. Or from those well-versed in law, especially Constitutional law. And therein lies the ultimate irony.
Barack Obama taught Constitutional law. He knows what passes Constitutional muster and what doesn't. Yet the "new" tools he says we need to combat the threat of terrorism all apparently involve the undermining of Constitutional rights.
In short, as the anti-left Wall Street Journal concluded last February, Obama is "...erring on the side of keeping the country safe rather than appeasing the political left."
"Appeasing the left" is right-wing speak for taking steps to protect Constitutional guarantees of fundamental civil liberties.