I am writing in response to the news that President Barack Obama plans to "revamp," rather than eliminate, the system of military tribunals established by his predecessor ("Obama to Keep Tribunal System," May 16). Once again, President Obama has retreated from promises made by candidate Obama. In so doing, he has betrayed those in the anti-war community who helped to elect him.
During the campaign, Mr. Obama promised to end the war in Iraq. Now he admits that thousands of "non-combat troops" (whatever those are) will remain indefinitely.
During the campaign, Mr. Obama promised to lift the veil of lies with which the Bush administration prosecuted its illegal wars. Now the president seeks to suppress documentary evidence of torture practices central to those wars.
During the campaign, Mr. Obama promised to do away with Guantanamo Bay and its secretive military tribunals. Now, even if he does honor his post-election promise to close Guantanamo, he has effectively kept that facility open by perpetuating the system it housed.
Thousands of progressive constituents donated money, time, labor and dreams to Mr. Obama. Had it not been for these activists, he would not be in office. By recanting his promises, he has stolen the resources of the people who put him in the White House before selling them down the river.
Those of us who still believe -- as apparently our president does not -- in the injustice of the wars being waged by his command and in our name must finally admit that no single man, however grand his promises, can or will end those wars.
We must do so ourselves.
JOSHUA D. BELLIN