Good Cop, Bad Cop

Today the Obama administration released nine Bush administration documents, including a secret memo on search and seizure written a month after 9/11.

It says constitutional protections against unlawful search and seizure would not apply to terror suspects in the U.S., as long as the president or another high official authorized the action.

So policies considered in October of 2001 that the Bush administration itself rescinded were made public by Barack Obama because . . . ?

It’s becoming clear why Barack Obama insisted on being so ungracious toward George W. Bush during the transition and why he continues to be ungracious up to this day. Forget the “national healing” he spoke of so earnestly during the campaign; he’s opting for the much more useful national resentment that got him elected.  Obama is keeping his anti-Bush ammo in reserve, to fire off as needed. When it seems as if he’s about to meet with public disapproval, he can reignite the spirit of ’08 by reminding Americans that anything’s better than the evil torture regime that preceded him.

It’s good cop/bad cop, except the bad cop quit the force over a month ago, wishing the good cop the best of luck on the beat. Moreover, with rendition still in place, the commitment to Iraq still holding, the war in Afghanistan about to ramp up, and the possibility for tough interrogations left open, the good cop is keeping all the bad cop’s most effective moves.

With the market reacting miserably to the new president, and no headway being made in our toughest international challenges (Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, etc.), we can expect to hear more, not less, about how Obama “found this national debt, doubled, wrapped in a big bow waiting for me as I stepped into the Oval Office.” We will be subject to more addresses during which Obama actually gets Congressional Democrats to stand and cheer by mentioning “the deficit we inherited.”  Our president will take more international trips during which he’ll tell the foreign press “the U.S. ‘took our eye off the ball’ in Afghanistan over the last several years.” And there will be more inflammatory stunts like the releasing of inconsequential but lurid Bush memos.

Good cop/bad cop is intended to put one over on suspected criminals. Just who does President Obama intend to fool?