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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Interesting thoughts over at ABC news

It turns out that the Obama adminstration is going to hold the Bush line on extraordinary rendition, suggesting that a) Obama is in on the conspiracy, b) Obama is also a moron, or c) that those who disparaged President Bush for his actions concerning GWOT now must start turning their sights against the new administration. The news story has some luke-warm criticism by lawyers at the ACLU, nothing like what was hurled against Pres. Bush:
Ben Wizner, a staff attorney with the ACLU, who argued the case for the plaintiffs said, “We are shocked and deeply disappointed that the Justice Department has chosen to continue the Bush administration’s practice of dodging judicial scrutiny of extraordinary rendition and torture. This was an opportunity for the new administration to act on its condemnation of torture and rendition, but instead it has chosen to stay the course. Now we must hope that the court will assert its independence by rejecting the government’s false claims of state secrets and allowing the victims of torture and rendition their day in court.”

However, there was this in the comments section:
The issue here is the difference between Barack Obama the Senator, and Barack Obama the President of the United States. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in the days before Obama took office; the days when he was informed of the issues relating to the most vital and national security matters. I do not know about the rest of you, but I was watching the press pics of Obama closely, and I do believe that if you were a careful observer, one could see the man change before our eyes.

The issue of his position in this particular matter relates more to the real weight and burden of being the President than it does to what all of us think we might really want to happen or that might be right or wrong. The bottom line is, Obama now realizes that there is much more at stake now than just campaign issues, and if the man really has integrity toward protecting the country to the best of his ability, then he will do what has to be done; regardless of what the press, the courts, the ACLU, or anyone else thinks. When he does, he will change again before our eyes, just like George W. Bush did, and just like all the other Presidents that were before him. He will age from the weight of the burden, he will lose that generous vigor that he displayed during the campaign, he will endure for the betterment of the country, rather than just for the betterment of political gain.
I generally disagree with government secrecy and yet there is a very difficult line to toe when it comes to national security. My take on this is that the next big attack on American Soil will likely have an impeachment proceeding associated with it. Thus, rational politicians who aspire to the presidency have already internalized that once they are in office they will do everything they can to stave off an attack, even if they tell us they are being more "transparent" and less bellicose in the GWOT. We are only three weeks in, so perhaps the current administration is going to dramatically change the direction of the GWOT, but I am a bit skeptical.

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