Monday, February 22, 2010

Bushama the Valiant

Yet more proof that there is really very little difference between Bush and Obama- unless, of course, you count the fact that Obama seems to be more commited to the wars than Bush ever was. Especially given this tidbit from this article (written, by the way, by a republican sympathizer):

"But Obama has rejected this advice and instead increased the Bush defense budget from $513 billion in fiscal year 2009 to $537 billion for fiscal year 2010 and $549 for 2011. If defense budgets are one of the best indicators of the direction of policy, Obama's defense budgets mark him as no leftist."

And so we discover that Obama is not only a quasi-Republican, at least in defense issues, but he's even more Republican defense-wise than Bush was!

Big surprise.

Thanks to Don Emmerich for the link to the article. :)


Teresa said...

I agree with Obama's decision to increase the pressure on Muslim Terrorists and increasing the number of forces in Afghanistan. Even Dick Cheney gave him props for doing that.

But, as far as Obama being like Bush, I msut disagree.

Bush would have never authorized and promoted civilian trials for high-level Muslim terrorists. A lot of those you pointed to in that report you posted on my blog were lower-level convictions related to eco-terrorism, smaller or lesser charges related to terrorism, and most were not even convicted on the terrorism charges they were charged with, but rather on a lesser charge. But, Obama is fine with giving extra rights to high-value terrorists whereas Bush was not in favor of doing that. But, yes, sometimes the Justice Dept. overruled the Bush adminsitration on charging low-level al-qaeda
terrorists in federal court.

Here is an article:

Liberty said...

Thanks for the comment Teresa. :)

I really don't like Cheney either- he's a fascist warmongerer, and I find it hard to admire people like that.

Bush set the precedent for terrorist trials. Like I explained elsewhere (I think it was on your blog), each President views the former President's work as a floor, not a ceiling. So whatever Bush did, Obama will build on- and it'll be the same stuff, just worse. Bush couldn't carry things that far; he hadn't managed to build on Clinton's pantheon enough yet. If we had given him a few more years, he probably would have taken it farther.

I'd like to bring issue with one part of the article, in particular:
"But following federal criminal rules means closing our ears to valuable information. As soon as the underwear bomber got his Miranda warning, he stopped talking."

That is his right. We can't deny people basic rights just because we want to be able to suck them dry of every bit of information (whatever information Abdulmutallab might have had. He was a kid who knew absolutely nothing about effective terror plots. At all).

But the trial thing really wasn't what the post was was more about how Obama-Bush are the same entity, even on the issue of defense.

suntzusays said...

FBI says he was and is still talking even though he has been Mirandized. It doesn't actually matter for the purpose of that talking point what his "rights" are or whether he should have them, it matters whether or not those "rights" have impeded a criminal prosecution for a criminal act. Which they haven't. I think I will listen to the cops and the FBI (and the military command structure which approves of this type of activity) over the ranting of a few partisan GOP talking heads that blithely assume that "Miranda warnings" means that a criminal stops cooperation with police. They are not required to cooperate or not cooperate any more under Miranda rights than they would be if they were being waterboarded as it seems likely some of us would prefer happen. Therefore I don't see what the potential harm is. Bush also Mirandized and arrested and detained Richard Reid under the same protocol. Or rather, the FBI did, because those are the FBI's rules for criminal arrests and prosecutions. If you have a problem with that, take it up with the FBI. It mostly suggests that your actual interest is not convictions for criminal activity and a preference for the national security police state attitude with violence toward our enemies rather than appropriate governance over our own territory.

Bush DID authorize and promote civilian trials for terrorists, almost 300 of them. Including the convicted "20th hijacker", who would seem to qualify as a "high-level Muslim terrorist", even if none of his other convictions do somehow. All of this was also done without "giving extra rights", in accordance with the peculiar national-security rules governing highly sensitive trial materials. Bush also released without trial a lot more people than Obama has planned to because they never put in place a systematic way to evaluate the guilt and culpability of suspects. Many of them turned out to be total innocents, regardless of propaganda which stated these were only "the worst of the worst".

Cheney sucks and should be held in trial as a war criminal, personally, not as merely a warmonger. But when he acknowledges that somehow the policies of the Obama presidency are basically the same as the Bush presidency, by stating that he opposed the changes Bush made later in his term and that Obama has continued to pursue, that pretty much indicates that we have the same policies. He should at least be given credit for helping make your case.

As to the actual point of the article, I still like how spending even more money on defence is seen and portrayed in the punditocracy as "cutting defence".

Don Emmerich said...

Teresa --

“Bush would have never authorized and promoted civilian trials for high-level Muslim terrorists.”

That’s simply not true. Bush would have and in fact did try high-level terrorists in federal court.

Bush tried Zacarias Moussaoui, “the twentieth hijacker,” in federal court. Moussaoui was part of the 9/11 crew. He was taking flight lessons. He intended to join Mohamed Atta and the boys and fly an American plane into the White House but was arrested by the FBI shortly before 9/11.

Bush also tried Richard Reid, “the shoebomber,” in federal court. Reid was an al-Qaeda member who tried to blow up a commercial airliner.

The article you link is an op-ed written by a former Bush administration official. Not exactly the most trustworthy or credible source.