Leading on Day One

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Obama Administration

By now you’ve heard that President Obama has issued orders to close Guantanamo Bay. He had clearly said several times during the campaign and transition that he would do so. Nevertheless, no end of lefties who have been reading between the President’s lines like soothsayers reading chicken entrails predicted he would not close Guantanamo Bay. That it may take a few months is understandable. It’s going to take some time for the new team to understand what’s really going on down there and to separate people who might really be dangerous from the innocents who got swept up in indiscriminate nets.

Michael Shear of the Washington Post also writes,

Sources familiar with the briefings said Obama also will sign two executive orders altering CIA detention and interrogation rules, limiting interrogation standards in all U.S. facilities worldwide to those outlined in the Army Field Manual, and prohibiting the agency from secretly holding terrorist detainees in third-country prisons.

In other words, he’s putting an end to torture and closing CIA “black sites.” Again, some on the Left — a minority, but a loud and annoying minority — doubted he would do these things, even though he said he would do them.

Also:

President Obama is moving quickly to undo the Bush administration’s regime of secrecy.

Yesterday, he repealed a 2001 executive order granting former presidents, and vice presidents, the ability to seal their papers forever.

It’s like he read my mind.

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22 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Comrade Rutherford  •  Jan 22, 2009 @9:52 am

    These are good signs. The brazen flaunting of the law under Bush must be repudiated.

    When I heard the news that Obama was focusing on closing the illegal prison at Guantanamo Bay, one thought I had was all the money Bush wasted there building a huge new facility. What a waste! I wonder what good use that new place could be use for?

    I am really happy that the prisoners there are finally going to be processed one way or another.

  2. Dustin  •  Jan 22, 2009 @9:56 am

    Also:

    President Obama is moving quickly to undo the Bush administration’s regime of secrecy.

    Yesterday, he repealed a 2001 executive order granting former presidents, and vice presidents, the ability to seal their papers forever.

    It’s like he read my mind.

    Don’t forget about their heirs having the ability to seal papers too. That parts so farcical it’s too funny to leave out.

  3. D.R. Marvel  •  Jan 22, 2009 @11:28 am

    I’m encouraged…Cautiously…

  4. joel hanes  •  Jan 22, 2009 @11:57 am

    flaunting of the law

    Flouting. You want “flouting”.

    Flaunting is something completely different.
    No one flaunts a law — they flaunt their new Rolex, or something else they’re proud of.

    Yes, I’m an annoying pedant.

  5. moonbat  •  Jan 22, 2009 @12:02 pm

    The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” popped into my mind as I read this. Haven’t heard or thought of this song in ages.

    It’s been a long, cold, and lonely winter.
    It seems like years since it’s been here..

  6. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 22, 2009 @12:06 pm

    Dustin,
    As to what they could do with all of the money spent on Gitmo, they could create a right-wing theme park called “BUSHWORLD” (they would have to pay some naming fee’s to Maureen Dowd).
    It would be a facility, where people who believe in torture and their fmailies could enjoy eating the great food served there. They could experience sleep deprivation and water-boarding together as a family-bonding experience.
    It could also be used as the exclusive (meaning you can’t go anywhere but there) Convention Center for military contractor’s and any companies taking federal money for a bailout. Just think, Halliburton, Blackwater, and AIG exec’s frolicking on the beaches and then going back to their cells to spend the night.

  7. Mike G  •  Jan 22, 2009 @12:12 pm

    All encouraging signs.
    Stopping the criminality is very good, but the real test is if we will see the criminals of the last eight years prosecuted for their actions.

  8. Pat Pattillo  •  Jan 22, 2009 @1:03 pm

    The question in my mind is whether the brief interval during which the executive order was in place allow Bush to abscond with the evidence.

    Thoughts on Bush administration ineptitude and what mighta been with grandpa McCain have led me to reconsider whether this job is not a younger man’s game. Vitality is important as well as heart and intelligence. Wisdom does not always come with age either.

    The stream of changes is really gratifying but the basic cessation of pain upon the exit of Bush doesn’t return me to “normal”…it’s more like a state of ecstasy. Sure it will wear off eventually but it really is something to enjoy, isn’t it?

  9. Comrade Rutherford  •  Jan 22, 2009 @1:41 pm

    Comment by joel hanes:

    Flouting. You want “flouting”. Yes, I’m an annoying pedant.

    Yes, you are right of course. It should have been ‘flouting’. I usually am correct with my diction…

    I could have said something like, “flaunting their brazen violations of the Law and the Constitution”.

  10. gypsy howell  •  Jan 22, 2009 @2:33 pm

    I’m not used to this idea that you can wake up each day, read the political news and find that things are getting BETTER instead of HORRIBLY, DISASTROUSLY WORSE.

    This “good stuff might happen” thing might grow on me.

  11. gil mann  •  Jan 22, 2009 @3:52 pm

    Again, some on the Left — a minority, but a loud and annoying minority — doubted he would do these things, even though he said he would do them.

    I’m a loud and annoying minority, and I took the guy at his word. Besta both worlds!

  12. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 22, 2009 @4:18 pm

    gypsy howell,
    After 8 years of the Paste-eater ‘n Thief, we’d forgotten what it was like to have an intellegent human being in the White House. One who knows how to do stuff – or even cares.

  13. joanr16  •  Jan 22, 2009 @6:27 pm

    Paste-eater ‘n Thief

    Ha! Reminds me of the immortal dictum of cartoon presidential candidate Ralph Wiggum (age 8): “When we get mad, we should use our words, and then the only boom-booms will be in our pants.”

  14. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 22, 2009 @7:39 pm

    joanr16,
    What cartoon was that from? I must have missed that one.

  15. BPx3  •  Jan 22, 2009 @8:24 pm

    Yes, @10 and @12. What a joy the past two days have been.

    For over five years, I had to change the channel whenever Bush appeared on my TV screen. Today, I happened to pop the TV on when Obama was speaking at the State Department. I couldn’t stop watching and listening to the guy.

    This will require some period of adjustment.

  16. Doug Hughes  •  Jan 22, 2009 @10:08 pm

    I was watching CNN yesterday and in a discussion about differenes of opinion between Obama & Congress, it was observed that Obama wants to ‘look forward’ signaling he is not going to make it a priority for Justice to investigate Bush & Company for war crimes. But Pelosi wants (reportedly) to investigate.Add to that mix that Obama moved to unseal the records of what Bush has done for the last 8 years, and commitments by Obama to let Justice operate autonomously and you wonder – just wonder – if the prior administration has their worst days ahead of them.

    One other opinion – Obama has little affetion for Bush; but Obama does not want to be seen as pursuing a partisan vendetta when there are other pressing problems on his desk. On the other hand, he might not work too hard to protect W either.

  17. Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist  •  Jan 23, 2009 @11:33 am

    Yesterday, he repealed a 2001 executive order granting former presidents, and vice presidents, the ability to seal their papers forever.

    Yay! I hope that the records have not in fact all been destroyed. I’d be curious to see what’s in those Reagan and GHW Bush papers.

    Maybe soon there’ll be some kind of armed standoff at the Bush presidential library between the staffers and some agents coming to act on FOIA requests.

  18. joanr16  •  Jan 23, 2009 @11:49 am

    Gulag, it’s from The Simpsons, last season. Since no one was obeying the Constitution any more, 8-year-old Ralph Wiggum (paste-eater and sage) was allowed to run for president.

  19. felicity  •  Jan 23, 2009 @12:12 pm

    Would you say the Bushies had a penchant for secrecy? In 2004 information was classified 45.6 million times – at a cost of $7.2 billion. (My calculator’s broken so I can’t figure out the cost/time but it does sound like an awfully expensive procedure.)

    If 2004 was typical, it’ll take Obama people more time than he has in office to uncover what must be a lot of dirty linen.

  20. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 23, 2009 @12:13 pm

    joanr16,
    Thanks, I’ve been a little preoccupied with the Obama campaign for a while. I’m a little behind on cultural stuff. :-)

  21. grannyeagle  •  Jan 23, 2009 @4:19 pm

    Obama has also taken steps to stop the killing of wolves which Bush thought was okay. Since my best friend is a descendant of wolves, that makes me happy.

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