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On Gitmo, Obama has two faces.

“The idea that we would still maintain forever a group of individuals who have not been tried, that is contrary to who we are. It is contrary to our interests and it needs to stop,” responded President Obama earlier this week to questions regarding terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

To whom exactly is our president lecturing? He’s the one who opposes it, and he’s the one who has the power to close Guantanamo. So, why isn’t Guantanamo closed yet? Might it be that it’s a lot easier to talk about closing Guantanamo — for the cynical purpose of appeasing his base — then it is to actually close it? One should not hold their breath despite the recent posturing and promises to “re-visit” the issue. Re-visit away, Mr. President. Come the next election the odds that Guantanamo is still open are highly likely.

In fact, here’s a dirty secret on which our lapdog press seldom challenges the president: Obama to date has continued or expanded every Bush-era anti-terrorism policy that he denounced as a candidate.

Military tribunals are still on the table; ditto warrant-less wiretaps and other Patriot Act tools; In fact, just last January we learned that the Obama administration was still practicing the highly controversial policy of rendition — hey, maybe Reese Witherspoon could get herself out of bad press by offering to do a sequel to the 2007 flop! — and of course President Obama is conducting drone missile assassinations at a rate that would make Dick Cheney blush. We now know that Osama bin Laden was shot dead unarmed — not that I think that was the wrong choice, mind you, but it’s a strange moral calculus where our liberal friends get more upset over detentions and harsh interrogations then they do targeted assassinations.

That our most dovish president since Jimmy Carter takes this approach only affirms that it’s a lot more difficult to actually be president then it is to be a candidate for president. It’s one thing to promise the Marquess of Queensberry rules of counter-terrorism, and another thing to actually protect the American people.

Here’s another highly interesting secret recently revealed by the WSJ — President Obama is using naval ships in international waters as a loophole to detain and interrogate terrorist suspects for long periods of time — without charges, etc. and so on, all the crap the liberal handwringers long denounced Bush for doing.

Except the legal and conceptual justification for his covert global targeted killing campaign—including the Abbottabad raid that killed Osama bin Laden—is the same one that underlies Guantanamo: The U.S. is engaged in a Congressionally authorized armed conflict against al Qaeda and its franchises. The drones flying over Pakistan and the Horn of Africa certainly aren’t doing routine law enforcement.

Recall the case of the Somali Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, the single terrorist whom U.S. forces have captured under Mr. Obama outside of Iraq and Afghanistan. The White House refused to send him to Gitmo but it did hold him aboard a Navy ship in international waters for a two-month interrogation. Senator Obama might have called that a “secret prison.”

In other words, Mr. Obama as Commander in Chief wants to use the means that the Bush era gave him to fight terrorism, but he also wants to pretend for political reasons that he’s somehow different.