A reader writes:
Beinart is truly ensorcelled. Obama's pretty words on the importance of adhering to the rule of law are staggeringly hypocritical, given that he has chosen to treat the issues of torture and unjustified military aggression against a country that did not attack us (Iraq) as mere policy differences with the previous administration and that he has continued many of the Bush administration's most egregious violations of international and U.S. constitutional law.
Praising Obama for understanding that we "must bind our power within a framework of law" to "distinguish ourselves from the predatory powers of the past" is delusional. Beinart seemingly does not understand that "binding" means accountability and consequences for wrongdoing. The Obama administration and the Holder Justice Department have done everything they can, with the exception of releasing a few memos, to block all efforts at accountability for the lawbreaking of the recent past and have reserved the right to continue much of it themselves (Bagram, indefinite detention without charges for Gitmo prisoners, trial by military commissions that violate Art. 82 ff of the 3rd Geneva Convention, etc.).
These failings are the reason I can no longer support Obama. Health care reform, cap and trade, job creation - None of these initiatives had anything to do with my vote for Obama. It was his promise to bring accountability and restore the rule of law that made me support and campaign for him. That he has broken that promise so quickly, so completely, and shows no sign of any interest in remedying these gaping holes in our constitutional and international legal order ("Look forward, not backward," i.e., "Move along, nothing to see here") is by far the most disappointing aspect of his presidency.
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