President Obama delivered a "major" address on US counter-terrorism policies today at the National Defense University in Washington. It was largely devoid of any real news. The professorial president (a) spoke contemplatively about interest balancing -- some instances of which pose legitimate quandaries -- (b) defended his administration's heavy use of drone strikes as an effective, legal and proportional means of fighting terrorism, and (c) renewed calls to close the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay. As I said, nothing new. The speech was a blend of sound policy, thoughtful analysis, rank hypocrisy, bad ideas and occasional incoherence. It was framed as an attempt to break free from both the Clinton administration's pre-9/11 mentality that left us vulnerable to attack, and the post-9/11 mindset of the Bush administration. Unsurprisingly, Obama touted his abolition of so-called "torture" (without mentioning that some of the now-proscribed harsh measures helped break the mastermind of 9/11 and bring Osama bin Laden to justice). He also vigorously justified using a drone strike to kill Al-Qaeda leader and US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki. He did not mention the other three Americans that have met the same fate. If Obama hoped his remarks would shift the narrative away from his administration's scandals, I'm skeptical he'll succeed far past tonight's evening news. I more or less agree with this:
This speech will be forgotten in three hours. Distraction over.— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) May 23, 2013
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography