In posting earlier this evening this speech by Republican Rep. Buck McKeon, the incoming chair of the House Armed Services Committee, I promised thoughts on its virtues and vices. The short version is that its vices include its laughably unfair analysis of current American policy, one that does not auger well for a strong working relationship with the administration on counterterrorism issues. On the other hand, its virtues include a clear statement that McKeon wants to write framework legislation on detention. That’s a potentially very big deal, though his speech lacked any details.
Let’s deal with the vices first—not because they are more important, but because they show up first in the speech.