Advancing a Free Society

A Thought on President Obama's Remarks

Saturday, September 11, 2010

As Jack already noted, at President Obama’s press conference today, the president stated that “we have succeeded on delivering a lot of campaign promises that we made.  One where we’ve fallen short is closing Guantanamo.  I wanted to close it sooner.  We have missed that deadline.  It’s not for lack of trying. It’s because the politics of it are difficult.”

I think this is wrong. Or to be more precise, I think Obama’s comment reflects a certain lack of awareness concerning where his Guantanamo policy went off the rails. The problem, in truth, was not a matter of speed of closure. And it was not ultimately that politics have interfered with the closure either–though that certainly happened. The problem was that the administration, and Obama himself, profoundly misconstrued from the beginning the nature of the project at hand.

Continue reading Benjamin Wittes at Lawfare...