Boy, I can't promise I won't have to recycle that headline a lot in the next four years.
At any rate, the Chicago Tribune reported the other day that we shouldn't rush to assume Obama will swiftly carry out his announced hope to close down Guantanamo Bay. Excerpt:
Denis McDonough, a foreign policy adviser to Obama, said the nascent administration would wait until its national security and legal teams are in place before determining how to proceed.
"President-elect Obama said throughout his campaign that the legal framework at Guantanamo has failed to successfully and swiftly prosecute terrorists, and he shares the broad bipartisan belief that Guantanamo should be closed," McDonough said in a statement. "There is absolutely no truth to reports that a decision has been made about how and where to try the detainees, and there is no process in place to make that decision until his national security and legal teams are assembled."
Now, fans could read this as a mere tautology; of course, he can't figure out exactly how he's going to go about doing something with some potentially complicated repercussions until he's got his team all a-working on it. But the fact that a high-up aide took the trouble to stress this to reporters on the record seems like a preemptive attempt to lower expectations on this matter.
The Washington Post on some Gitmo chatter that does stress that Obama really, really does want to do something about it, even if he's not quite sure yet what. The people on his team more adamant that quick Gitmo-closing action is just around the corner are, note, anonymous in this piece, since "they are not authorized to speak for the president-elect."
It somewhat makes you miss the days of Democratic administrations crowing about "stroke of the pen, law of the land." But Obama is a very smart guy, and very smart guys need to think very carefully about what they are going to do and how they are going to do it.