Jack Goldsmith points out that Barack Obama’s words of admonishment towards Republican presidential candidates could just as easily have been directed at Candidate Obama, back in 2008:
. . . everything he says about the republican candidates applies to many of candidate Obama’s 2008 criticisms of Bush administration counterterrorism policies. Those criticisms were made by someone with no national security responsibilities, who did not have to face the concrete impact on U.S. national security of changing the Bush policies, and who thus could engage in bluster and big talk about the vices of the Bush approach. Once Obama became Commander in Chief, once he assumed responsibility for U.S. national security, once he was forced to consider the concrete costs of the counterterrorism changes he promised or hinted at on the campaign trail, he acted more prudently. And that more prudent course ended up looking a lot like the late Bush era counterterrorism policies.
Of course, for those who are still caught up in the belief that Undiluted Hope and Change have visited themselves upon the country, this truth will be rather difficult to accept.