As many of us expected, President Obama’s decision to block any investigation or prosecution of war crimes has led Republicans to rehabilitate George Bush’s legacy. The latest claim came from former Vice President Dick Cheney who previously boasted about the torture program in public — unconcerned about any prosecution from Attorney General Eric Holder. Now, Cheney is boasting that Obama has “learned from experience” that some of the Bush administration’s decisions on terrorism issues.
Cheney stated “I think he’s learned that what we did was far more appropriate than he ever gave us credit for while he was a candidate. So I think he’s learned from experience. And part of that experience was the Democrats having a terrible showing last election.” He added “I think he’s learned that he’s not going to be able to close Guantanamo . . . That it’s — if you didn’t have it, you’d have to create one like that. You’ve got to have some place to put terrorists who are combatants who are bound and determined to try to kill Americans.”
Obama opened himself up to his unwanted alliance when he decided to protect Bush officials from prosecution despite the obligation of his Administration under existing treaties to investigate and prosecute acts of torture. Just last week, a senior former Justice official denounced the Administration for its complicity and said that it would leave a lasting stain on the country.
Cheney also called Obama a one-term president. If so, Obama has earned both Cheney recommendation and his loss of a second term. As promising the Senate that he would not continue his political conduct from the Clinton years at Justice, Holder proceeded to make the ultimate political act by blocking prosecutions after Obama promised that CIA officials would never be prosecuted for the alleged war crimes. It was the triumph of politics over principle — even war crimes principles were not enough to risk alienating the right. Politics should not have been part of the equation, but it also proved to be a remarkably illogical choice since the right never warmed to Obama despite a series of compromises from the White House. The result is that Obama is both unpopular and unprincipled in this area.
Source: The Hill