During the presidential election campaign, Mister Obama had been cheeky enough to lecture the Bush administration about morality.
Similarly, a few days ago, the president pretended to be offended by the interrogation methods used by the CIA under his predecessor.
All this is very fine, but once more, Mister O. has proved that these are words, words, words, and nothing else.
And he'd better think twice before he speaks.
Yesterday, the New York Times revealed that the new administration may revamp and restart the Bush-era military trial system for suspected terrorists, although it had pledged the Guantanamo Bay prison by January :
Camp of shame : In this Jan. 21, 2009, file photo, reviewed by the U.S. Military, a guard talks to a Guantanamo detainee in the open yard in Camp 4 detention center on the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, FILE). Nothing has changed.
This military tribunals system was created by the Bush administration for the 241 detainees still held at Guantanamo Bay.
The move would further delay terrorism trials and, coupled with recent comments by U.S. military and legal officials, amounts to a public admission by President Barack Obama's team that delivering on that promise is easier said than done.
Almost immediately after taking office, Obama suspended the tribunal system and ordered a 120-day review of the cases against the 241 men being held at the Navy prison in Cuba. That review was supposed to end May 20. But two U.S. officials said Saturday the administration wants a three-month extension.
The delay means that legal action on the detainees' cases would continue to be frozen. Neither of the U.S. officials were authorized to discuss the delay publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
One official said the Obama administration planned to use the extra time to ask Congress to tweak the existing system .
Asked at a Senate hearing last week if the administration would abandon the Guantanamo system, Defense Secretary Robert Gates answered: "Not at all."
"The commissions are very much still on the table," Gates said, adding that nine Guantanamo detainees are already being tried in military tribunals.
Attorney General Eric Holder went further at a recent House hearing, saying the military commissions still could be used but "would be different from those that were previously in place."
Although as many as one-third of the detainees will be released or sent to other nations for trial, Holder said the administration is considering how to prosecute the rest of them.
So now, I suppose Obama's voters are satisfied, aren' they ?
Yes, they are !
Yesterday, the news of potential 90-day delay provoked severe criticism : rights and civil liberties groups immediately protested :
"To revive a fatally flawed system that was specifically designed to evade due process and the rule of law would be a grave error and a huge step backward," Jameel Jaffer, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union.
Paul F. Rothstein, a Georgetown University legal ethics professor, said the dilemma highlights differences between campaign rhetoric and the realities of the courtroom :
"Once you become president and see the whole panoply of issued that you face, some of the things that seemed easy to promise or talk about during the campaign sometimes appear more difficult," he said on Saturday.
Ha ! Ha ! Ha !
Obama is different from the others, isn't he ?