Breathe in deeply. Do you smell that? That’s the scent of vindication. After being hammered by some on the left and the right (but mostly the right) for pointing out how little change has happened with regards to national security policy, Obama has decided to come to my aid.
President Obama has decided not to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian court in New York, and now, after all is said and done, is considering trying him in a military tribunal instead. One official said they can’t find a location for the trial, and it has become “politically untenable.”
The truth is that there are limitations on what a president can actually change in terms of national security policy. All democratic leaders have to operate in a fairly confined box of unfortunate realities (both geopolitical and political) that can only be broken by a dramatic event like 9/11.
For those of you that want the history of the debate about my George W. Obama argument, click here, here, and here. David Forsmark woke up one morning and decided it’d be fun to be wrong and criticized my viewpoint here, to which I responded here. He then followed-up noting that the war in Iraq wouldn’t have been launched under Obama’s watch, which is a fair point, but my analysis is focusing on what sort of “change” Obama has actually brought (and by the way, in 2004, Obama said that his approach to handling the war in Iraq was essentially the same as Bush’s).