Letter writer Joshua D. Bellin is eloquent in expressing his disappointment with Barack Obama's recent decisions ("Recanting Promises, Obama Betrays Supporters," May 26), which have dismayed the progressive anti-war community and are reversals of many of his pre-election stances.
Those of us old enough to be cynical are no less disappointed, only less surprised. Mr. Obama showed himself more than willing to reverse his stances for political expedience all through the campaign (Rev. Jeremiah Wright, campaign funding, FISA). And for all his rhetoric criticizing the war policies of George W. Bush, he has embraced the very principles that were most objectionable to his own anti-war supporters.
He orders the closing of Guantanamo, while maintaining "state secrets," which are at the heart of denying detainees' rights. All interrogations must comply with the Army Field Manual -- except when "enhanced interrogation methods" are needed. He promises transparency, then asserts the same radical secrecy doctrines as Mr. Bush to prevent courts from ruling on torture and spying programs.
Progressives still hanging on to their idealism when it comes to Mr. Obama should have their eyes wide open by now. Just like Mr. Bush, he is claiming "war powers" because we are engaged in a "war on terror." This was the lesson we were supposed to have learned the last six years -- Bush was wrong -- and our new president is not only not rejecting those mistakes, he's affirming them.
Betrayal, indeed, and kudos to Mr. Bellin for speaking out. He shows the principles his president lacks.