Thursday, April 30, 2009

CURL: Obama looks back in anger

Places blame on the GOP
from The Washington Times
Thursday, April 30, 2009

President Obama said his prime-time press conference on Day 100 of his presidency was intended as a "look forward to ... all of the hundreds of days to follow," but it turned into more of a look back in anger, complete with finger-pointing.

Throughout his hourlong session in the White House East Room on Wednesday, the candidate who vowed a new post-partisan Washington, free from the rancorous bickering that often grinds the city to gridlock, ripped Republicans as the members of a do-nothing party of no.

He began at the top, calling his predecessor, the former head of the Republican Party, a torturer.

"Waterboarding was torture," he said, making no exception for post-Sept. 11 circumstances and giving no credence to claims that the "enhanced interrogation techniques" authorized by George W. Bush saved Americans lives.

"We could have gotten this information in other ways," Mr. Obama said, without adding that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-described planner of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, was waterboarded 183 times before he divulged plans of a massive attack planned against Los Angeles.

The cerebral president, who most recently shook hands with America-hater Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and plans talks with nuke-happy Iranian leaders, was content to muse philosophically: "Could we have gotten that same information without resorting to these techniques?"

(Still, he did steal Mr. Bush's daily mantra that his first obligation is to keep the American people safe: "That's the responsibility I wake up with and it's the responsibility I go to sleep with.)

But on the arbitrary day of presidential measurement, Mr. Obama often appeared to still be running for office. In one breath, he said: "I do think that, to my Republican friends, I want them to realize that me reaching out to them has been genuine."

In another: "There is still a certain quotient of political posturing and bickering that takes place even when we're in the middle of really big crises," with "political posturing" targeted at Republicans who apparently do not believe their jobs are to rubber-stamp each expensive Obama initiative.
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