Way Left of the Mainstream

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: May 21, 2009 3:38 PM
It's hard to overemphasize just how extreme the President's position on closing Guantanamo is.  As has been widely reported, the Senate -- where his own party holds an almost filibuster-proof majority -- repudiated the President with a startling 90-6 vote.

How far left is the President?  Look at the lonely six senators who supported him: Dick Durbin of Illinois (who has shown remarkable solicitude for terrorists in the past at the expense of the American military), Patrick Leahy of Vermont (who's had his own national security leak issues), Tom Harkin of Iowa, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Jack Reed of Rhode Island,  and Carl Levin of Michigan.  That's it.  That's the fringe.  That means that even far-lefties like Barbara Boxer and Russ Feingold wouldn't go along.

In his speech today, the President engaged in more of the moralizing and attitudinizing that has marked his approach to critical matters of national security.  Ironically, while criticizing his predecessor for an "ad hoc legal approach" to the handling of detainees, the President effectively promised more of the same.  He's going to figure out different procedures for different detainees, you see, and get back to us.  Hello -- what is that but an "ad hoc legal approach"?

In any case, it's shocking to learn that terrorists still want to kill Americans in New York -- wasn't all this supposed to stop on 1/20/09?  Coming full circle to the President's attitude toward Guantanamo ("policy" is too generous a term, at this point) it's worth noting that, as the linked piece states, "Several of the suspects have previously been arrested on drug charges and may have converted to Islam in prison."

Gee, maybe those 90 senators who lack the President's zeal for bringing terrorist detainees into American prisons may have thought of a thing or two that Obama hasn't.