President Barack Obama's failure to back up his words on narrowing the fight against terror is "almost Shakespearean," a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation has claimed.
“You have a president who’s basically arguing against himself,” James Jay Carafano, an expert on national security and homeland security, told The New York Times.
Carafano highlighted Obama's speech last month at the National Defense University in which the president said the time had come to cut back on drone strikes and narrow the scope of the fight against al-Qaida.
“In the speech, he’s saying we’re going to stop doing this stuff, it’s bad. But then he keeps doing it,” said Carafano.
"It's almost Shakespearean."
The Times pointed out that Obama has carried on many of the policies that President George W, Bush introduced after 9/11.
"The disclosure of the government's vast surveillance of American telephone records and foreigners' e-mail and other Internet communications on Thursday served as a potent reminder that Mr. Obama continues to deploy many of the national security tools he inherited from his predecessor even as he seeks to turn the corner in the way the United States responds to terrorism," the paper reported.
"Rather than dismantling Mr. Bush's approach to national security, Mr. Obama has to some extent validated it and put it on a more sustainable footing."
The Times points out that Obama signed an executive order banning waterboarding, which already had ended six years earlier, and said he would close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and try its inmates in civilian courts, but those plans have both been blocked by Congress.
In his Defense University speech, Obama suggested the threat from terrorists was back to pre-9/11 levels, "a regular danger but not the overarching issue it had become," the paper said.
"But just as an unmanned aerial vehicle strike in Pakistan days after the speech made clear the drone war is not over, so, too did fresh revelations about government surveillance indicate little retreat from the expansive tactics of the past."
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