Two years ago, it was one of President Obama’s first acts as president: an executive order to shut down Guantanamo Bay naval prison within a year.
At the same time, he vowed to move any prisoners left at Gitmo to maximum security federal prisons in the U.S. and try them in federal criminal courts.
Those steps were important in the war on terror, Obama said at the time, because Gitmo had become a big recruiting tool for al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, stirring up hatred against the United States.
Well, that was then. This is now. President Obama has signed another executive order doing just the opposite: keeping Gitmo open and bringing back military tribunals.
By which move, Obama has not only disappointed his liberal base. He’s also let down anybody who understands the importance of fighting terrorism and protecting the Constitution at the same time.
As Americans, we should not be holding some prisoners indefinitely, without a trial, in a hated military prison.
And for those we do take to trial, as Americans, we should provide a fair trial, not a rigged military kangaroo court.
By his latest executive order, President Obama is saying, in effect: George Bush was right.
That’s my parting shot for today.