While President Obama claims that he wants to move forward and look to the future he is continually focusing on the past and playing the blame game. Obama has an obsession of pointing out how he wants to distance and differentiate himself from Bush administration policies. At every possible chance Pres.Obama criticizes the Bush administration and loves making a theatrical scene while promoting himself at the same time. Today, Dick Cheney took the opportunity to defend the Bush administration foreign policy decisions. Cheney even had the courage to challenge President Obama on much of his foreign policy rhetoric and claimed that Obama is putting politics before national security.
Cheney gave a very moving speech with an account of where he was and how he was touched and changed on September 11,2001. Cheney expressed how he and others' in the Bush administration realized that they had an obligation to protect Americans and prevent another terrorist attack from happening on U.S. soil again.
"Part of our responsibility, as we saw it, was not to forget the terrible harm that had been done to America … and not to let 9/11 become the prelude to something much bigger and far worse.That attack itself was, of course, the most devastating strike in a series of terrorist plots carried out against Americans at home and abroad...and then the hijackings of 9/11, and all the grief and loss we suffered on that day.
Nine-eleven caused everyone to take a serious second look at threats that had been gathering for a while, and enemies whose plans were getting bolder and more sophisticated. Throughout the 90s, America had responded to these attacks, if at all, on an ad hoc basis. The first attack on the World Trade Center was treated as a law enforcement problem, with everything handled after the fact - crime scene, arrests, indictments, convictions, prison sentences, case closed.That's how it seemed from a law enforcement perspective, at least - but for the terrorists the case was not closed. For them, it was another offensive strike in their ongoing war against the United States. And it turned their minds to even harder strikes with higher casualties. Nine-eleven made necessary a shift of policy, aimed at a clear strategic threat - what the Congress called "an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States." From that moment forward, instead of merely preparing to round up the suspects and count up the victims after the next attack, we were determined to prevent attacks in the first place."
As many Americans look back and ponder which of the Bush foreign policies including enhanced interrogation techniques worked or didn't work, whether they were justified or not, and whether any of these techniques constitute torture or not; we as Americans while in deep thought must remember the great threat Americans faced on Sept.11,2001.
I believe unless a person has actually has been in President Bush's shoes, or Cheney's shoes in having to deal with the aftermath of 9/11, in which these two officials knew that they had to protect Americans from another terrorist attack, a person would not know for sure exactly how they would have reacted being given the chance to be in that same exact situation. I believe No person has the right to judge the Bush administration in that regard. Even President Obama was not acting there as commander-in-chief on that tragic day, so how can he really know how he would have reacted had it actually been him who was commander-in-chief on that tragic day?
What gives a person the moral authority to judge others' when we have no idea what the "true" intentions of our commander-in-Chief consisted of after 9/11 happened? I believe Bush's interests were in acting for the good of the country in order to keep us safe from another terrorist attack. So, I believe we should give him the benefit of the doubt instead of judging him and others in the Bush administration harshly.
Yesterday, Obama said that the United States reacted out of fear. I know for me, when 9/11 happened that brought fear to the forefront. Were you afraid after 9/11 happened? I think fear in that circumstance was the most natural response a person could have had. As a United States citizen I feared that another attack would happen on U.S. soil. In reaction to this real, imminent and grave threat against the United States the Bush administration felt the need to stop the terrorists over in the mideast before the terrorists entered the United States.
For a President who wants to distance himself as much as possible from the previous administration, Obama, contrary to his mantra, has adopted many of Bush's foreign policy positions. He has adopted re-instating military tribunals, The Patriot Act, Wire Tapping, Iraq and Guantanomo just to name a few. I encourage you to read an article By Charles Krauthammer which includes more information on this topic.
President Obama even reserves the right to use or request the use of these enhaned interrogation techniques when necessary for the safety of our country. If he truly categorically rejects the use of enhanced interrogation techniques and believes that the Bush administration was taking the low road than why is he reserving the right to make use of these very same techniques?
I think that former President Bush and his administration deserve the benefit of the doubt in that they loved the United States so much as to want to do everything necessary to prevent another terrorist attack. That is exactly what happened for the past 7 or so years. I just am thankful that President Obama is adopting many of the same policies of the Bush administration. I say to everyone, let us hope and pray that all things necessary are enacted from henceforth in order to prevent another future terrorist attack.