Sunday, May 17, 2009

David Sanger: Breaking with Bush policies means taking risks with security

Saturday's news analysis by David Sanger, "Obama After Bush: Leading by Second Thought" is a recounting of how Obama has, particularly in the last few weeks, gone back on many pledges regarding detainee policy, and in several areas adopted positions at least partially in line with the Bush Administration.

Much of it is relatively straightforward, but then there's this:
Faced with the choice of signaling an unambiguous break with the policies of the Bush era, or maintaining some continuity with its practices, the president has begun to come down on the side of taking fewer risks with security, even though he is clearly angering the liberal elements of his political base.

It's a "News Analysis", so he gets to say just about whatever he wants. And that's enlightening, if nothing else, because here we find out that he believes that deviating from Bush's policies risks U.S. security.

Personally, I think that Bush's policies on detainees were and are a hindrance to U.S. security. In terms of some of the particular issues at hand in the past few weeks, various people have made arguments for why they think using military commissions will make the U.S. safer, and why not releasing this batch of abuse photos will make the U.S. safer. I haven't seen anything that's convinced me. David Sanger is apparently convinced, though he doesn't explain his thinking on the evidence here.

Sanger is welcome to have whatever opinions he wants. Now that I know how he sees the above issues, I'll be skeptical of everything he writes.


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