Can you guess who wrote this, about Barack Obama’s largely channeling the Bush administration when it comes to combating terrorism?
Dick Cheney is not only free of ignominy, but can run around claiming vindication from Obama’s actions because he’s right. The American Right constantly said during the Bush years that any President who knew what Bush knew and was faced with the duty of keeping the country safe would do the same thing. Obama has provided the best possible evidence imaginable to prove those claims true.
…Obama has won the War on Terror debate — for the American Right.
If you guessed Glenn Greenwald, you’re correct. If, more likely, you’ve never heard of Greenwald, he is a left-winger who gained notoriety a few years ago by waxing hysterical over the Bush administration’s treatment of captured terrorists. He thought that Bush’s waterboarding of three terrorists put him on a par with Caligula. (I could never understand that theory; in my view, waterboarding is a humane alternative to torture–it lasts only a couple of minutes, is nearly always effective, and does zero physical harm.) Now Greenwald, like many on the left, is feeling badly let down by his hero Barack Obama.
He’s correct, though–the debate is over, and the Right won it. Tom Maguire takes a victory lap:
Obama’s total flip-flops do create the impression that he was a lying, opportunistic, unprincipled poseur during the years he positioned himself as the liberal champion of Hope and Change who would deliver America from the oppression of the Bush years. I almost feel sorry for Greenwald (almost!)…
Of course, we should all be grateful that Obama has, in many ways, bowed to reality. But it does seem odd that a controversy that once riled the commentariat (if not, ever, the nation) should end with such a whimper.