May 21, 2009

Rove: Our president isn't quite as advertised

Posted: 07:57 AM ET

By Karl Rove, former Senior Adviser to President Bush

Barack Obama inherited a set of national-security policies that he rejected during the campaign but now embraces as president. This is a stunning and welcome about-face.

For example, President Obama kept George W. Bush's military tribunals for terror detainees after calling them an "enormous failure" and a "legal black hole." His campaign claimed last summer that "court systems . . . are capable of convicting terrorists." Upon entering office, he found out they aren't.

He insisted in an interview with NBC in 2007 that Congress mandate "consequences" for "a failure to meet various benchmarks and milestones" on aid to Iraq. Earlier this month he fought off legislatively mandated benchmarks in the $97 billion funding bill for Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Obama agreed on April 23 to American Civil Liberties Union demands to release investigative photos of detainee abuse. Now's he reversed himself. Pentagon officials apparently convinced him that releasing the photos would increase the risk to U.S. troops and civilian personnel.

Read more of Rove's commentary at the Wall Street Journal

Filed under: Karl Rove • President Obama

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Dave of Detroit   May 21st, 2009 9:36 am ET

Karl-If our politicians were actually described as they operated, our prisons would be overflowing and you would be in a jail cell as well. That being said, I am waiting for the citizens of the U.S. to get their fill of Politicians that add gun lobby legislation to Credit Card Reform-The sad part of this is the two bills were related-The U.S. citizens that are being subjected o Credit Card charges and harassment from Financial Institutions on foreclosures should be permitted to wear their guns into the Banks and other Institutions that are causing their stress-why take it out on the poor animals in wildlife Refuges that have harmed no one? I truly believe that if citizens could openly carry guns while Congress and the media are carrying on for the benefit of the interests of the few that the world would get a whole lot more reasonable and polite!

CA -Taxpayer   May 21st, 2009 10:04 am ET

Obama made promises during the campaign that he had no business making, he didn't know what he was talking about. The media never called him on anything or to explain HOW he would accomplish his far fetched ideas. Obama was very protected by the media. There is so much about this man that we don't know, but should. His past associations and lack of experience should have been brought to issue, they were not. Now the media has the hard job of protecting his mistakes. The media is responsible for the future of the country.

Franky   May 21st, 2009 10:17 am ET

*sigh* know Larry, I came here to give you props for busting out lately on your show and giving yourself a good sense how you are but since Rove is here, let's talk about the economy...I'm sorry, I mean, National Security, LOL!!! Ohhh man, they don't remember what happened, huh? Good lord, he does look cute as a baby, LOL!!

This is soooo funny...but for real, that's cool, you've been busting out Larry!

Dave of Detroit   May 21st, 2009 2:20 pm ET

CA Taxpayer-GITMO is costing us $50 to 55 million a year-Let's start there!

Michael C. McHugh   May 21st, 2009 3:00 pm ET

I don't pay much attention to any of this criticism from the Right. It's all by partisan opponents of Obama who would be attacking any Democratic president no matter what his policies. Bush Junior's administration left Obama with such a huge number of problems you'd think they'd just shut up for a while and consider their own mistakes, but I have never heard Rove, Cheney, or Bush Junior ever admit that they made any mistakes. Not once. So pardon me if I don't really care what they have to say about Obama as he tries to deal with the tremendous disaster they left for him.

CA Taxpayer   May 21st, 2009 6:29 pm ET

Dave of Detroit – You got room at your house for a few guests?? Let's talk about saving billions and deport all those here illegally. Free lunches here in CA could save millions per year. Gitmo is a drop in the bucket compared to the trillions he is giving away.

Rich   May 21st, 2009 8:57 pm ET

Get over it Karl......Don't tell us Dubya or his father never went back on any campaign promises........"Read my lips......No New Taxes". But Dubya had to have the largest "tax-cut" during a time of war that has lead us to the dire economic straights facing our country today.

Can't you and the GOP find a way to come up with some real solutions instead of continually attacking through Rupert Mudoch's media outlets!!

Terry, TX   May 21st, 2009 10:22 pm ET

Gitmo is just fine....not on this soil....not in our prisoners...anybody here going to protect the guards and employees of this prison...not to mention their don't think they will become targets. Just leave them there...this isn't brain surgery.

su   May 21st, 2009 10:50 pm ET

Leave the prisoners where they are. We don't need any more problems. Why are we bailing out GM again? They are broke because they went to India...just like the other broke companies. Obama said he would take care of that and bring back our jobs to the US. Fat chance....another broken promise.

Dave of Detroit   May 21st, 2009 11:13 pm ET

Ca Taxpayer-Room in my house? Detroit's population has gone from 1.5 million to 812,000 and we have so many empty houses that the Mayor is thinking about fencing off parts of the city and turning the utilities off to save on costs of patroling. I am also a retired teacher that has watched as Detroit Schools went through the Judge Feikens Integration and massive bussing of the late 1960's and the buses are still going eeven though the Schools are close to 90 percent Black students. This brings me to an interesting point-The NAACP and ACLU were really trying to get a Federal Judge to force integration of Detroit Schools and Suburb Schools but our State is based on School Districts rather than a State System and Judge Feikens did not have the authority to change that. Result was bussing, white flight to the "Burbs" and the complete loss of Detroit's tax base-another government and minority group fiasco that ended up with a great city becoming a slum area-I could name others but you get the picture! We are a government of the Minority, lobbys, special interest, and a Supreme Court that thinks that their landmark decisions have resdulted in a safer, kinder USA-They really don't get out much!

Dave of Detroit   May 21st, 2009 11:15 pm ET

P.S. Karl-Our President thinks that he is the President! What is Dick Cheney?

Johnny   May 22nd, 2009 6:04 am ET

What would you expect? Obama is a typical Democratic politition, say what you think people want to hear and do the exact oposite!!

Rose   May 22nd, 2009 1:40 pm ET

As far as the Gitmo prisoners are concerned – many have NEVER had a trial. They are not in prison by virtue of being found guilty as are other prisoners. These men were rounded up in Afghanistan – deemed to be "terrorists" and imprisioned for years now without trial. There was one man who was a taxi driver when he was thrown in with the others and brought there. Canadian Omar Khadr was a child soldier and held at Gitmo since he was underage. This defies international law and there is a lot of debate in Canada over his imprisonment. Two British men were also brought to Gitmo and released after several years. They were not terrorists.

Unfortunately, the innocent and the bad are mixed together at Gitmo and all painted with one brush. We have to keep this in mind before condemning all of them in one stroke. Many are terrorists but many are not.

All of this talk about not letting them come to "our country" when it was "our country" that for years bombed both Iraq and Afghanistan, killing hundred of thousands of innocents who had nothing to do with American grievances. Obama is right for wanting to close Gitmo. It has done nothing but hurt America's position in the world by holding a relatively small number of men with torture and lack of representation.

The US has NOT found the people responsible for 9/11. Gitmo has NOT produced them. This debate about "our prisons or Gitmo" is ridiculous and misses the larger picture totally.

Demond   May 22nd, 2009 2:03 pm ET

It took Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rove eight years to create the mess that the U.S is in and they along with the rest of the GOP rightwingers are attacking President Obama for not cleaning thier mess up in 123 days. Who is out of touch here?

Ca Taxpayer, Johnny lets hear your solutions for getting out of two wars, fixing the economy ( gas prices, unemployment, bank failures, national deficit), fixing health care, fixing education, restoring the respect for America around the world, immigration issues, just to name a few as well as raising two young children.

I will be anxiously awaiting your reply(ies).

Rose   May 22nd, 2009 3:12 pm ET

Would someone please tell Karl Rove that his job is over. It ended along with his failed boss' -GW Bush. Rove's deceit and schemes to lie and cheat Bush's way through 2 elections have caught up with him. Rove's approach had long lasting negative effects on the country. We are not interested in his views about anything. Least of all – his criticisms of President Obama – the person in charge of cleaning up Rove, Bush, Rumsfeld & Cheney's toxic mess.

Dave of Detroit   May 22nd, 2009 5:00 pm ET

Rose-As long as the Defense Contracts that were given out to Halliburton are still in effect, the U.S. is still shelling out tax payer dollars to the firm. No one will admit to owning Halliburton Stock outside of Dick Cheney but if Don Rumsfeld and Rove don't have any in their financial portfolio, they should be put in the looney bin and neither is mentally incompetent and both have done well as a result of the war in Iraq!

Rose   May 22nd, 2009 5:57 pm ET

Dave: Don't forget the Bush family's Carlyle Group. The purpose of the company was to acquire interests in weapons manufacturers. They were the biggest beneficiaries of the American drive to war making it's investors very rich.

The following directly profitted from the Bush Administration:

– George Bush, Sr. – Carlyle Senior Advisor
– Frank Carlucci – former Sec. of Defense & CIA Director – Carlyle Chaiman, retired 2005
– James Baker – former Sec. of State – Carlyle Senior Counselor, retired 2005
– Richard Darman – White House Budget Advisor – Carlyle Managing Director

Since the "war on terrorism" Carlyle is the thread which links American military policy in Afghanistan to the personal fortunes of its investors – including the Bin Laden family. The longer the war went on, the richer they all became. American soldiers' lives lost. Innocents killed in other countries. No WMD. GW Bush set forth to wage war against Iraq – that had nothing to do with 9/11.

Don't forget Bechtel – the leading engineering and construction company awarded major contracts in Iraq:
– Donald Rumsfeld, a lobbyist for Bechtel
– George Schultz, a president of Bechtel
– Casper Wineberger, a vice president of Bechtel
– William Casey, a consultant for Bechtel (CIA director)

If the two wars are about finding the culprits – they"ve done a lousy job. If it's about making billions of dollars with the blood of others – well done. How convenient for them to have had GW Bush in office.

Robert Craig   May 22nd, 2009 7:03 pm ET

Hands down, Kris has half the vocal capacity, performance ability and stage presence of Adam Lambert. How could this happen?

Was the sampling a true reflection of middle stream America or some sort of group lobiest scheme?

This really has thrown me for a loop, I have lost confidence in the
truly popular voting system.

Linda Murray   May 22nd, 2009 9:17 pm ET

Adam I really wanted you to win. I was looking forward to seeing you every week and of course what you were going to sing..Love you both

Donnie   May 22nd, 2009 9:41 pm ET

Congratulations to Kris. My biggest fan is Danny Gokey and wish him best of luck. His duet with Lionel Ritchie was awesome. Enjoyed watching American Idol and never miss LKL which is aired daily in Perth Australia.

Kealey   May 22nd, 2009 10:00 pm ET

Adam has such class.

Dave of Detroit   May 22nd, 2009 10:55 pm ET

Rose-The problem is the huge number of innocent people that lost their lives, limbs, peace of mind, and a Nation that once stood for peace and integrity in the World that now has to apologize to its allies for misleading them. Sadly, the terrorists of the world are zealots to their faith, we are just zealots of the Buck!

als   May 22nd, 2009 11:36 pm ET

Pres Obama is a bipartsan Pres he takes ideas from both. If the idea works why not use it. A good Pres can admit he do not have all the answers to every problem that we face today because we have so many. He wil need all our help in the near future to get this country back in order.

Terri   May 23rd, 2009 2:05 am ET

Why is this man constantly given a public forum? Does the 'architect' of the most deceitful and disastrous administration of our recent history really think the slime he tries to dish out isn't finally seen for what it has always been?

He deserves to share a jail cell with Cheney, not treated like a reputable spokesperson.

Dave of Detroit   May 23rd, 2009 8:26 am ET

I stand corrected again-Just found out today that most of the Taliban are in it for the $500 million in Opium profits and only a small number are zealots for their faith. Evidently, having a Drug lord is more profitable. I am also curious as to when my Christian Brethern are going to get wise to the fact as the Unions have that their causes are just buttons that politiciians push to get elected and their own agendas through. McCain was the sponsor of the McCain Feingold Act that is responsible for the IRS threats against any and all advertising for political purposes on Christian Websites. Abortion has never been the issue-sexually promiscuity is and most Churches refuse to preach against illicit sexual activity and a divorce rate that should be a scandal for fear of offending their congregation-plus abortion is a great fund raiser. We are entering the "Last" days and a Church in Revelations is censured for leaving its first love....

Dodie ~ California   May 23rd, 2009 9:35 pm ET

To: ((( Rove, Cheney and baby Bush ))) (Sorry Larry for such a long blog)

You are all idiots. You don’t even get it. I am just a simple American citizen and I get it. President Obama is PICKING HIS BATTLES. He knows that if he tries to make good on every promise, nothing will be passed. Something that you all should have done but were not bright enough to do. All you did was steal from the American taxpayers and rake the land all over the world for as much money as you can grub! You used the Christian religious front to vote for Baby Bush so you all could make your trillions of dollars now moved off-shore. You three are nothing but money grubbing as-ho- -s!!! I absolutely have NO respect for any of you. I was on to you even before the first election. After the first 4 year, it was obvious to me and now more Americans what you were doing. But you knew that the religious Christians would follow you. They know how to follow and you used that. So you again won for the second 4 years again with some help of friends to mediate votes. Because of your greed, you three and probably a dozen others, who have never been in the news, finally brought us to our knees. You dodged responsibility; you did not care what you did to Americans and the US so long as the dollars kept coming in by the millions to each of you. You used 9/11 to launch your war against Iraq (I suspect due to oil & having the American taxpayers paying the tab for Cheney’s corporation making trillions of dollars to supposedly rebuild the country), You enraged millions of people in the middle east by bombing Bagdad and killing countless innocent people in the name of democracy~! And many Americans fell for the fear tactics. You are STILL using fear to manipulate us You used us; you manipulated the mass uneducated and innocent. You should hang your heads in shame but with little or no conscious, that will never happen.

Bush! You bankrupt every company you started, so it was obvious that you would bankrupt this country. And in all honesty and fairness, as much as I hate you three, I also know that this mess we are now in also started many, many years ago, when corporations first started with special interests and paying off wall-street and Politian’s to vote the way they want!

There are several ways to seize a country. By a dictator, by an army and by large and powerful corporations.

I am neither Republican nor Democratic. I like to think “out of the box”!!! This is NOT a popular view, but it is my view.

Thank you Larry, CNN and staff to allow me the privilege of expressing myself!

Rose   May 25th, 2009 10:10 am ET

We thank our troops for their service. We also apologize for sending them into harms way for unjustified reasons – such as waging war in Iraq – against a country that never attacked us and had no weapons of mass destruction. We apologize to those killed, maimed and with post traumatic syndrome. To the great number of troops who have committed suicide as a result of participating in Bush's wars.

We apologize to our troops (and their families) for our toleration of 2 terms of the Bush-regime and hope whomever voted for him and accepted his administration's propoganda of lies will think twice in the future about what they base their votes on. The wars are not about freedom and democracy – they are about making members of Bush's circle very, very rich. No Bin Laden found. Trillions of dollars wasted on destruction. Please support our troops by bringing them home. End the wars.

Rose   May 25th, 2009 11:08 am ET

Dodie made some very good points. The Republicans did and do rely heavily on the Christian vote. They easily duped them into believing that a vote for Bush was a vote for someone who believes in Jesus. As Christians value life, virtue and respect for God – why is it that this particular voting block cannot see that Bush represented everything BUT value for life, virtue and respect for God?

I think Christians vote with sincerity. However they are immersed in issues such as abortion and stem cell research – not wars. Bush appeased them by appointing very conservative supreme court judges and related policy. Rove-ian tactics are consumed by this block easily.

There is nothing Christian about supporting a party (GOP) that wages an unjust war, condoning it with scare tactics. There was nothing Christian about Pres. Bush who said he prayed to Jesus every night on guidance to run the country – and then take the most destructive actions the next day. Why does the Christian-right fall for this? Such emphasis on "faith" rather than "ability" (support of Palin comes to mind). Can they not use their substantial voting block for good instead of supporting evil actions that results in murder of innocents? Why all the myopia (I know I sound naive)? Just some thoughts for the next election (thankfully Bush is not running).

Shirley Butler   June 11th, 2009 10:16 pm ET

I think Bush; Rove; and Cheney...are all Sociopaths....albeit, 'White Collar Sociopaths' conscience what-so-ever. Obviously, true to any Sociopath worth his salt.....Rove and Cheney are continuing to look for their next victims all the while feigning concern for their fellow victims...oops, I mean Americans.

Michael Surber   June 15th, 2009 2:38 pm ET

Dear Larry,
I thought I would write to you to tell you the story this government and how they have put so much grief on me. This will be a quick story so you can get an ideal of all the wrong and all the pain this has caused me. My husband was a war hero in the Koran War and he was 100% service connected and his income from the Army was $7000.00 a month tax free. He was drawing so much because the Army preformed Experimental Surgery on him for frozen feet. He passed away Feb.16th 2006 because the VAMC would not give him the equipment for proper health care. They also didn't pay any of his life insurance they owed him. They also dropped my pay from $7000.00 to $1400.00 a month and me being a Widow of a 100% veteran I should continue to draw the full amount. My house payment is $1345.00 a month. I have written every official from the mayor to President Obama. Of course he never got to read any of the letters. I have my only son to fax them to the White House every day. My son and I took care of my husband for 14 years and now he can't get a job and we are about to lose the house and everything we own! This country is in the worst way and treats people like me awful. I have photos of the soars on my husband that show how much he suffered and they would make you sick to look at them. So to sum all this up, I am about to lose everything and no one will help me at all. All I get is lies and double talk. I have tried to refinance my home to try and buy some time in hopes my son can find a job and CitiMortgage want even do that. I thought President Obama would help and that is why I voted for him but my letters never make it to him. So I thought I would write to you and I pray to God you will at least get to read this! Maybe if you get to read this you will want to know the whole story how I have and am being treated. I just don't know how long I can hang on. So I thought I would reach out to you because you are God fearing women that have a lot of power and that really cares about people!
I cry every night because I am scared to death I will be put out on the street and this is all too much for me to handle.
Can you help me please?
Thank you and God Bless.
Margaret Surber

JS   June 22nd, 2009 9:05 pm ET

Bush simply violated the International law as usual.

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