Forecast for Liberals: Gloomy!
Their latest defeat is the failure of the administration to try 9/11 architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a federal criminal court in Manhattan. He will face a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay instead.
Guantanamo Bay? Wasn't that supposed to be closed years ago? Wasn't that the first thing on President Changey Hope's To-Do list? What's it doing still open and holding some of America's most committed enemies?
Anyway, Hendrik Hertzberg is gloomy.
The collapse of Obama’s effort to close Guantánamo is the kind of failure that, in our atomized, increasingly dysfunctional political system, has a thousand deadbeat dads. But it has always been within the President’s power to remedy one aspect of the moral morass that Guantánamo symbolizes: the lack of any official accountability for the abuses of the past, especially the embrace of torture. There is no dispute that there was torture, that it was systematic, and that it was encouraged at the highest levels—George W. Bush, in his memoir, currently adorning the best-seller lists, practically boasts of approving it. Perhaps there are good, prudential reasons for stopping short of prosecuting those who authorized this vile offense to elementary morality for the crimes against American and international law that it entailed. No such reasons forbid the appointment of a truth commission. The work of such a commission, charged with compiling the record, affixing responsibility, and formally acknowledging what was done, would be a healthy act of atonement.Ah yes. A "truth commission." What a great idea. And after Obama leaves office, another one can be appointed to investigate all the innocent civilians, woman and children in countries like Afghanistan and Libya who were killed by drone missile attacks authorized by this president. Affixing moral responsibility and atonement will demand it.
But I wouldn't hold my breath if I were Hendrik. Obama may be a naïve, promise-breaking hypocrite, but he isn't stupid. Listening to and trying to please the left-wing base of his party is what dropped his approval ratings from 80 to below 50 percent.
They are now whining in wind. Neither the president nor his advisors are about to act on this sort of nonsense. They've been tone-deaf enough to the concerns of the American people and they've got a reelection campaign to win.
But you've got to love the New Yorker. What other American magazine would put umlauts over the second "e" in reelection?
A week ago, on the same day that President Obama officially launched his campaign for reëlection...Now that's class!