In the debate about the closure of Guantanamo Bay perhaps the most interesting contribution was made by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates. Mr Gates, who was appointed by George W Bush and retained by Barack Obama, said that the Guantanamo detention facility was one of the best prisons in the world but its name was too potent a cause for America's enemies and critics:
Yesterday, in clashing speeches President Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney set out competing visions on national security and human rights. The table below has Obama's words in blue and Cheney's in red (click on the graphic to enlarge):
Taken from the Washington Wire.
Despite the rhetorical differences between Obama and Cheney the Wall Street Journal suggests that recent administration decisions owe much to Bush era doctrines:
"Yet for all of his attacks on the Bush Administration, which he accused of making "decisions based upon fear rather than foresight," Mr. Obama stuck with his predecessor's support for military commissions, adding some procedural bells and whistles as political cover to justify his past opposition. For the record: Both the left and right, from the ACLU to Dick Cheney, now agree that the President has all but embraced the Bush policy."
In contrast David Brooks in the New York Times writes that the Cheney policy ended her Bush:
"The reality is that after Sept. 11, we entered a two- or three-year period of what you might call Bush-Cheney policy. The country was blindsided. Intelligence officials knew next to nothing about the threats arrayed against them. The Bush administration tried just about everything to discover and prevent threats... By 2005, what you might call the Bush-Rice-Hadley era had begun. Gradually, in fits and starts, a series of Bush administration officials — including Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Hadley, Jack Goldsmith and John Bellinger — tried to rein in the excesses of the Bush-Cheney period. They didn’t win every fight, and they were prodded by court decisions and public outrage, but the gradual evolution of policy was clear."