Here’s what Barack Obama had to say about in an ABC News interview regarding the Gitmo decision:
I’ve always thought from the very beginning of this election that more than anything else, Barack Obama’s candidacy was tapping into a desire among a growing part of the electorate to move into a post-post-9/11 world in which terrorism is no longer a central issue. This is what has scared me most about his candidacy. The only way terrorism can succeed is for civilization to become indifferent to its threat. Terrorists strike most effectively when we aren’t paying attention. Normally, Obama’s argument for moving on from 9/11 is subtle, as he promises to “turn the page” or end “the politics of fear.” But now he is making the specific argument that we should go back to the 1990s way of handling terrorism, when it was treated as a criminal justice matter rather than part of a larger war. For him to cite the handling of the first WTC bombing is particularly discouraging.
Here’s what the 9/11 Commission had to say about the aftermath of the first WTC bombing that Obama sees as an example of how he’d want to handle suspected terrorists:
Third, the successful use of the legal system to address the first World Trade Center bombing had the side effect of obscuring the need to examine the character and extent of the new threat facing the United States. The trials did not bring the Bin Ladin network to the attention of the public and policymakers.
Our old policies allowed terrorists to increase the frequency, boldness, and sophistication of their attacks while we were reactive. And now Obama offers “change” that would represent a return to the failed counterterrorism policies that were in place prior to 9/11.
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