Obama’s Broken Promises – by Andrew Cline

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Last Friday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the United States would try Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed and four other suspected terrorists in a federal court in New York City, not a military tribunal. The same announcement contained the news, subsequently under-reported, that the U.S. would try five other terror suspects in military tribunals, not civilian courts.

President Obama followed that bombshell with another: his admission on Wednesday that he won’t close the Guantanamo Bay prison by Jan. 22, as he had promised earlier this year.

The back-to-back announcements show that Obama continues to be torn between his campaign rhetoric and reality. If terrorism is a crime, why not try all suspects in civilian courts? The administration’s decision to try some terrorists in military tribunals is an acknowledgement that the tribunals are not inherently unjust, and that at least some acts of terror are acts of war.

If the tribunals are not unjust, as Holder tacitly admits, then why not try all terror suspects there? Strangely, Holder acknowledged on Wednesday that the 9/11 attacks were an act of war. His explanation for trying KSM and other terrorists in federal court was that the act of war committed on that day was also a federal crime. Said Holder:

“…the 9/11 attacks were both an act of war and a violation of our federal criminal law, and they could have been prosecuted in either federal courts or military commissions…At the end of the day, it was clear to me that the venue in which we are most likely to obtain justice for the American people is in federal court.”

Really? Holder cannot possibly be ignorant of the fact that the risks of failing to obtain justice are higher in a civilian criminal trial, where the government must expose sensitive secrets to public scrutiny if the defense requests them. And the defense certainly will. That fact alone can hamstring the prosecution. How in the world is the United States more likely to prevail in a criminal trial than a military one? It isn’t. Holder’s statement is an obvious rationalization.

But that is par for the course for this administration. Obama’s claims that the Guantanamo Bay prison must be closed quickly because holding suspects there is against our core national values was pure fiction. Obama railed against the prison during the campaign and pledged to close it within a year of taking office. That won’t happen, he acknowledges. But it’s not because, as he claims, the logistics are too difficult. It’s because his rhetoric was so obviously wrong that even Democrats in Congress refused to aid him in transferring terror suspects to civilian prisons inside the United States.

Had Democrats gone along with Obama’s plan, the prison could have been closed by the end of this year. But too many decided that campaign rhetoric is one thing, and having a terrorist in one’s own congressional district is another.

So Obama must break another promise and preside indefinitely over a military prison he claimed was a symbol of Bush’s betrayal of American values.

This is nothing new. In January, Obama signed an executive order banning the use of interrogation techniques not approved in the Army Field Manual. That very day, The New York Times reported that White House Counsel Gregg Craig “acknowledged concerns from intelligence officials that new restrictions on C.I.A. methods might be unwise and indicated that the White House might be open to allowing the use of methods other than the 19 techniques allowed for the military.”

Symbolically, the president was banning harsh techniques, but in reality he reserved the right to use them at any time.

In March, the Defense Department sent a memo throughout the Pentagon which stated, “this administration prefers to avoid using the term ‘Long War’ or ‘Global War on Terror’ [GWOT.] Please use ‘Overseas Contingency Operation.’ ”

And yet on Wednesday Attorney General Holder said, “We are at war, and we will use every instrument of national power — civilian, military, law enforcement, intelligence, diplomatic and others — to win.”

Symbolically, Obama ended the “War on Terror” while reserving the right to fight it at any time – using the same methods President Bush used.

The trial of KSM and closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison are, to Obama, purely symbolic acts. Unfortunately, they will come with real costs. The United States seems fated to pay a heavy price for Obama’s obsession with style over substance.

Andrew Cline is editorial page editor of the New Hampshire Union Leader.

  • Robert Bernier

    Obama Admits he is a muslim!!! THIS IS OUTRAGIOUS!!!

    Every American should know the truth

    No one should miss this video:

    http://xrl.us/bf29mb

    Look to the end ( 10 min.)

  • http://www.BraunsteinSpeaks.com/ Paul Braunstein

    TO: Frontpage Magazine:

    I appreciate your new format and larger font, but must you print quotes in itsy-bitsy pica? I, for one, can't read it.

  • mojobebop

    enemy in the white house.

  • kbond

    Did you hear Holder yesterday answering questions regarding his desicion to prosecute Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed in NY Federal Court? It was outrageuos! Holder sounded like an incompetent buffon, not much different from our inexperienced laxidasical Moslem President.

    What a travesty.

  • vilan20
  • Lary9

    Here's a few more headlines for you guys to take-off on:
    1) Obama Linked To AIDS Bio-migration From Africa
    2) Lou Dobbs Leaving CNN Under Cloud Because of Obama's !st.Term
    3) Cheney Continues To Spout Foolish Things Due To Obama's Style
    4) Another Republican Caught In Sordid Affair. Obama suspected.
    5) Liquor Store Robbery In Obama's Old Suburb.

  • bushlikesdick12

    If Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed is guilty of the crime he commited then why should anyone be concerned if he is or isn't tryed in a criminal court?

    If the Govt. screwed up the evidence and the trial location and so forth like the did with the O.J trial then we deserve whatever verdict is decided and unlike other governments, we can learn from our prosecutors and move on to the next.

    I once told a bunch of ninnies that wanted to lock the dorm from the inside so that no one can get out of the building ( there excuse that potential terrorist could break in easily but not so easily if the handles from the inside were chained — the real reason was because they didn't want anyone sneaking out at night and doing god knows what)

    I told them the day we have to barricade ourselves in fear is the day the terrorists have won.

    If we become so intimidated by the enemy that we don't feel safe using our regular course of justice at our discretion, then the terrorists have already won!

    After all isn't that why we call them terrorists?

    Even if some terrorist are found innocent or given a hung jury when they are presumed guilty — even that doesn't really matter that much. You suppose the terrorist group that we got him from are happy we are sending them back? get real — Where the f*ck are they going to get those 72 or 73 or whatever of virgins?
    From my understanding, if they don't die in the name of Allah while commiting their stupid Jihad, they have lost face.

    But not us — we come across as presistent and deliberate in our search for justice.
    and the world respects and honors us for that.
    Unlike some countries that would assume put a bullet in the back of your head then have to look at you one more day.

    You should be gratefull that we have a system that would more likely free a guilty man than kill and innocent one.

    Bin Laden would laugh his head after reading Clines article.

  • bushlikesdick12

    Oh come on Larry that's not fair.

    I see your sarcasim here. Obama has been a pain in the rear sense before he came into office.

    First of all, he only got elected because of the color of his skin. If he wasn't a black man he would just be another smooth talking Senator of Illinios.

    He promised to close Gitmo and he didn't — now we can't complain about him closing Gitmo which means we can only complain about him saying he would

    Then he started this stimulus stuff. Give me a break! He should have keep giving to the banks till they felt secure enough to give it back to us plus interest. ( uh I mean we give them interest for uh — paying taxes to give them money —even I'm a little confused) Well he should have finished what our honorable President Bush started. ( what did he start? I forgot oh the recession that's right — no he didn't do that Clinton did !! wait a minute — Edith — get me another beer!)

    And then he wants to make medical care affordable? lol!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! give me a break!!!

    Nobody needs that! they should just walk it off.

    Your truely,

    Archie Bunker

  • Lary9

    Shall we wait for the Fat Lady's song? Jeez! Give the guy 1/2 a term at least willya?

  • Lary9

    Incidentally, today the public poll (CNN) breaks down 49%=miltary 46%=civilian. I dont know why the big leveling off–yesterday it was 76% for military.

  • nina

    * Claiming “Islam” means “peace” is fraudulent to begin with. Islam is an Arabic word. And the word for peace in Arabic is “solh,” and not Islam. Islam is derived from the root word “taslim,” which means submission or surrender. Hence, Islam’s true name, surrender, is in fact most descriptive of what it is: total, unconditional submission and surrender of the individual and the community to the will and dictates of Allah as revealed by his “rasool,” messenger, Muhammad.

    * A quick scan of the daily news shows the adherent of the religion of peace engaged in unspeakable acts of mayhem and murder in much of the world. There is hardly any need to allude to them here. But the Islamists have an answer for that too. Islam is not responsible, they say. It is only a bunch of opportunists who commit these acts for their own political and economic objectives. We are to believe that those daily suicide bombers explode their vests in the midst of marketplaces, funeral processions, and even mosques are doing so to further their own personal agenda.

    http://www.faithfreedom.org
    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com
    http://www.thethirdjihad.com

  • abeljerry123

    Lary9 your right we should give some time to obama.he has restored America's image in other world.
    Addison preschool
    addison private school
    addison child care

  • Joe

    Hey! A Leftist Obama Believer found his way to the site. His name is Lary9

  • Lary9

    I didn't just find my way to the site. You make it sound as if somehow
    I was stumbling through the blogosphere blindly and tripped on my
    shoelaces. I've been reading and writing about radical Islam and the Muslim
    Brotherhood's agenda of a reclaimed Caliphate for about 8+ years now. I'm
    also a member of Act for America. And, ironocally, I happen to be a
    political liberal. But this does not preclude my sharing the values of
    national self-awareness and caution concerning radical Islamists in America
    with conservatives . Also, I am not a believer in any man born of woman. I
    fancy myself someone who *follows the plan, not the man*.

    with conservatives on this critically pressing issue of

  • bushlikesdick12

    There is one thing for sure and that is FPM is reneging on fighting on the side of the opponents of Obama’s health care. It seems that FPM is only interested in publishing propaganda articles when some lame-duck jive ass feels he has some one-up-man-ship on the left wing political rhetoric. As soon as some “Gallup poll” or tulip article pops up regarding the polls of his performance of fixing Bush’s problems shows up, FPM is surely to write some squirrely shit about it.

    The Senate has its hands full gentleman and the rigid debate will escalate through the first quarter of the new year. As you *sswipe FPM worshipers figure out what lies you are going to propagate next, you surely are going to have to work overtime to figure out how you are going to dismiss the valiant courage that President Obama has displayed in pushing his care for the American people.

  • bushlikesdick12

    What I'm trying to say is FPM is too busy right now in trying to collect on the Hasan's insane actions for the purpose of manipulating it for their own benefit.

  • bushlikesdick12

    The word Islam is a homograph, having multiple meanings, and a triliteral of the word salaam, which directly translates as peace. Other meanings include submission, or the total surrender of oneself to God (see Islam (term)).[1] When the two root words are put together, the word 'Islam' gives the meaning 'Peace aquired by submission to the will of God'.
    —http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam

    Your citations are extremely subjective: you my as well cite Horowitz.

    Do you see how you distort the facts when you leave out parts?

    Submission to God! Not your implication of submitting to the religious fanatics and their ideas. Never the less, we have plenty of subjugation through Christainity and just as much of a history of bloodshed.

    You are extremely distorting the facts as what usually happens on this web site.