Love Obama, Hate Bush? April 4 Was a Dark Day
The Huffington Post echoed Holder's spin: Congress was to blame, not the White House. But that excuse did not fly with their writers Michael McAuliff and Jon Ward:
The Obama administration quickly scapegoated Congress to explain the decision.
Clearly, the assessment among the president's most ardent progressive supporters was that the Holder announcement was yet another reason to walk away from the Obama reelection effort. Staying home might be the more preferred route, unless a primary opponent challenged the president for the Democratic nomination.
The New Yorker's Jane Mayer wrote that she felt personally betrayed by Attorney General Holder. For her, the personal became political: Holder once privately confided to Mayer that his decision to end military tribunals for terrorists was for him a "defining moment" for his term as attorney general. Mayer blogged:
[It] may indeed be the defining moment for the Obama Justice Department, defining it, unfortunately, as incapable of standing up to to the political passions still stirred by the threat of terrorism.
The Center for Constitutional Rights, which proudly has represented many of the terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, was equally morose:
The decision is clearly driven not by the nature of the alleged offense, or where and when it was committed, but by the unpopularity of the detainee and the political culture in Washington.
Andrea Prasow, who is described as a "senior counter terrorism counsel" at the activist group Human Rights Watch, wrote:
[Obama] has squandered a key opp0rtunity to reject the unlawful counter terrorism policies of the past. ... [He has] sacrificed fundamental protections under the U.S. constitution and international law in what may be the single most important case of President Obama's tenure.
Salon's Jane Walsh was downbeat, too:
It's the haunting 43rd anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination (which Obama's materials don't mention). ... Finally, Monday was the day Obama broke a campaign promise by announcing that 9/11 planner Khalid Sheikh Muhammed would be tried in a military tribunal at Guantánamo.
The Daily Beast had an abbreviated item about the administration's reversal in its "must read" section, but told its readers that to learn more they should go to CBS. There, if you wanted to find it, in the last paragraph CBS National Homeland Security Correspondent Bob Orr was quoted simply as saying that today's announcement "is an embarrassment for the administration."
There are some true believers who will always tow the line. Among the official organs of the American Left, the Holder decision did not appear as news anywhere. You couldn't find a word of it at the websites of the Center for American Progress, the Campaign for America's Future, or at the anti-war Institute for Policy Analysis.
And Media Matters, obsessed with Fox News and Glenn Beck, also had nothing to say about it.