I continue to be baffled by this: If President Obama truly is the transformative, transcendent figure all the hype tells us he is, why can’t he “cleanse” Gitmo of its purported terror-driving taint by his personal certification that it’s now a top-notch detention center – ”rule of law” compliant, consistent with “our values,” and otherwise worthy of The One’s very own seal of approval? Why is that straightforward, cost-free alternative not an option? After all, he’s maintaining Bush policies like rendition, state-secrets, and military commmissions. We are now told we can trust that these former atrocities have been purged of their Bushie taint because Obama has personally scrutinized them and decided to keep them after an oh-so-thoughtful nip here and tuck there. Why does that rationale not work for Gitmo?
Look, as I said last week, this business about Gitmo being a blight on our reputation in the world and a driver of terror recruitment is the most uninformed gust of high-minded, reality-defying blather ever blown across a debate. But even if we concede this dreck for argument’s sake, shouldn’t the problem be an easy one for a messiah of Obama’s stature? Obviously, nothing will satisfy the ACLU until the combatants are roaming America’s streets while Pelosi waterboards Cheney, but if Obama says Gitmo is now fine, shouldn’t that be enough for the Europeans?