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Of Tax Cuts, Gitmo, and the Ghost of George Bush


John Hinderacker of PowerLine has an interesting post today titled, "Why Obama Can't Shake George Bush."

John's thesis is that the current furor (mostly among liberals) about extending all the Bush tax cuts is a reflection of the fact that Obama, as President instead of candidate, has to deal with reality.  As respects Gitmo, Obama's reneging on his promise of closure reflects the reality that the terrorist threat is real, not a right wing fantasy.  John continues, quoting Politico, that the President's cave in on taxes "is the domestic counterpart of Obama's early decision not to repudiate and investigate reviled Bush national security policies such as indefinite detention and warrantless wiretapping, but to refine and embrace them."  He observes:

It remains to be seen whether, in political terms, Obama's compromises will allow him to triangulate successfully, like Bill Clinton, or will leave him in the worst of all worlds, satisfying hardly anyone. The national security case is an interesting one. Obama has defaulted on his campaign promise to close Guantanamo Bay, but not for lack of trying. One thing we learned from Wikileaks is the length to which the administration would go in order to persuade foreign governments to take prisoners off our hands--generally unsuccessfully, it appears. So the administration has pursued a policy of closure by degrees through premature release of terrorists from Gitmo.

As documentation, he quotes Tom Joscelyn in the Weekly Standard:

150 former Guantanamo detainees are either "confirmed or suspected of reengaging in terrorist or insurgent activities," according to a new intelligence assessment released by the Director of National Intelligence's office on Tuesday. In total, 598 detainees have been transferred out of U.S. custody at Guantanamo. 1 out of every 4, or 25 percent, of these former detainees is now considered a confirmed or suspected recidivist by the U.S. government.

Read John's full analysis here.


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