Monday, February 23, 2009

Effect And Cause

Ann Althouse via Instapundit:

The Guantanamo Bay military prison meets the requirements of the Geneva Conventions, according to a Pentagon review ordered by President Obama. So… great. I’m proud of our military. But am I proud of our President who first promised to close the place and then got the study showing the facts relevant to the question whether it should be closed?

I'm of the school of thought that the Guantanamo prison needs to be closed, not because the tales told of that place are necessarily 100% true; no doubt some bad things happened and no doubt criminals and terrorists are willing to make up the rest. But the prison there has become a symbol so loaded with negative connotations that it's not worth it. Move the prisoners somewhere else, increase scrutiny over the operations for awhile and let's move on.

That said, it doesn't paint the President in a positive light to order this review after calling for the closure; instead it make him look like he values style over substance. If anything, this review decreases the need to close the prison at all.

He could have not ordered a review, closed the facility, and no one except a few persistent loudmouths on the right would have cared enough to comment on it. But if he was going to order a review, why not wait for the result before making a decision? What was the point?

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