Obama is taking some punches from the right, and from a disgruntled few on the left, for keeping many of the same Bush policies that he blasted in the campaign. From a conservative's viewpoint his about-face is a good thing. We're glad he decided not to release the photos, for example, of detainee interrogation.
The issue of military commissions is also a page from the Bush book. It's a little disconcerting that Obama suspended the commissions when he only came back to reinstate them, but I'm not complaining because in the end it simply keeps that many more enemy combatants out of civilian courts. The ones who are complaining are those who see it as delayed justice. The families of the USS Cole have long been ready for these guys to be tried and brought to justice.
Obama's excuse for delaying the commissions is that they were "flawed" and needed his supreme guidance to clean them up. On this, Krauthammer is not convinced:
"Cosmetic changes such as Obama's declaration that 'we will give detainees greater latitude in selecting their own counsel.' Laughable. High-toned liberal law firms are climbing over each other for the frisson of representing these miscreants in court.
"What about disallowing evidence received under coercive interrogation? Hardly new, notes former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy. Under the existing rules, military judges have that authority, and they exercised it under the Bush administration to dismiss charges against al-Qaeda operative Mohammed al-Qahtani on precisely those grounds."
The whole subject of Guantanamo is one I've followed closely and blogged about ad nauseum. Pundits saw it as a great victory when the Senate voted 90-6 to reject funding the closing of Gitmo. In the end it doesn't really matter because Obama has the authority to move those guys anywhere he wants to whenever he wants to. The vote is mostly a CYA move for those who want to be able to go back home and vow "Not in my backyard!"
What will happen to the detainees remains to be seen but under no circumstances should they be allowed to enter the United States. One needs only to read, or listen to, the speech Cheney gave yesterday to understand how dangerous these people are. I continue to reject the notion that these are poor innocents rounded up for bounty or political expediency or whatever excuse.
As long as Obama continues to adopt the policies of Bush, maybe he'll see the light on this one as well and find another home for them besides this one. As of yet, though, he doesn't have a plan on that one.