When Obama and Graham agree, so do I

For some time, I’ve had a sort of axiom I’ve more or less lived by: If John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman are for it, I probably am, too. If I find myself disagreeing with those three guys (not that I ever do, but theoretically), I need to look at the issue a little harder.

Admittedly, getting McCain and Graham to agree is not much of a standard to meet. They’re sort of joined at the hip, policywise. But if Lieberman is on board, you’ve met a higher test. Mind you, if it’s just one or the other, I might not be on board. For instance, I don’t think Joe agreed with McCain about picking Sarah Palin, so bad call there. And I don’t agree with Lieberman on abortion. But if they agree, it’s probably a good call.

And now I’ve got a corollary to that: If Graham and Obama agree, so do I. I sort of indicated that in a column back just after the election (and went into more detail about it on my old blog). And here’s a fresh instance of the phenomenon:

Graham Applauds President Obama’s Decision to Use Military Commissions to Try Terror Suspects

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the decision by President Obama to use military commissions to try terror suspects.

“I support President Obama’s decision to seek a further stay of military commission trials.  Today’s action will afford us the opportunity to reform the military commission system and produce a comprehensive policy regarding present and future detainees.

“In my first meeting with then President-elect Obama in Chicago in December 2008, we discussed a path forward for Guantanamo detainees.  I appreciated the opportunity to meet with him and focus on the types of reforms that would protect our national security interests and help repair the damage done to our nation’s image.  I continue to believe it is in our own national security interests to separate ourselves from the past problems of Guantanamo.

“Since that initial meeting I have personally met with the President on two occasions and with his staff numerous times to discuss detention policy.  Our meetings have covered a wide range of topics including the various ways we could improve the military commission system to ideas on establishing a proper and appropriate oversight role for the federal courts.

“I have had extensive discussions with military commanders and other Department of Defense officials about the overall benefit to the war effort of reforming our nation’s detainee policies.  The commanders believe a reformed system would be beneficial to the war effort as long as such a system is national security-centric.

“Detainee policy is very complex.  The President wants to collaborate with Congress to reform detainee policy and we should use this additional time to come up with a sensible national security policy regarding terror suspects.

“I believe a comprehensive plan should be in place before Guantanamo is closed.

“I also believe that no detainees should be released into the United States.  Detainees determined by the military or a federal judge to no longer be held as enemy combatants should be transferred to the custody of the Department of Homeland Security pending their transfer to another country.

“I agree with the President and our military commanders that now is the time to start over and strengthen our detention policies. I applaud the President’s actions.”


Good call there, fellas. I agree.

7 thoughts on “When Obama and Graham agree, so do I

  1. slugger

    Yes to the statement but could this include a country that shelters terriorist? I do not agree to turn over detainees to any country that would use their expertise to destroy our country.

  2. Brad Warthen

    Well, I get the impression that Lindsey agrees with you, since he says in a slightly different context, “as long as such a system is national security-centric.”

  3. Pat

    The whole country is very fortunate to have Lindsey Graham in Washington DC. His loyalty to the USA, his support of the military servicemen and women (he knows the kind of support they need), his common sense, and his sense of rightness and justice (obviously biblically rooted) make his opinions respected. He is obviously the “go to” man for the media (Meet the Press, Face the Nation, etc) when the media needs a good interpretation of the events taking place and what needs to be done. I’m glad that he has offered his services and proud that South Carolina has given him to our country.

  4. Karen McLeod

    I’m glad to see Sen. Lindsay agreeing with the president on this. Too often lately I’ve heard him not just disagree, but simply spout partisan line, without offering a viable alternative or seeking a middle way, and that bothers me. That’s not to say that I think that he always has to agree with the president. Its just that from time to time I see him doing a ‘werewolf’ from reasoned senator to Republican attack dog, and I dont’ find it appealling or useful.

  5. bud

    We’re increasingly getting side-tracked by secondary issues. While I may agree that Obama has little choice but to go along with the military tribunals this whole issue raises, yet again, the question of whether our expensive involvement in Iraq has been worth it. Why do we even have these folks to deal with in the first place? It’s because Bush and his lackeys like Graham went into this misguided war effort in the first place. Now we have this whole host of issues, especially the torture stuff, to deal with. This is getting more costly and complicated by the second. Now that it’s clear that this whole endevour has failed to make us safe the President should quickly pull the plug and try to cut our losses. Perhaps then we can start to recover from this insane misadventure. Until then we’ll just have to put up with Brad and his smug, condescending attitude about every side issue that comes along.

  6. bud

    Speaking of the torture stuff, it’s now becoming increasingly clear that the previous administration was using torture to obtain confessions, either true or not, that Saddam was culpable in 9-11. Thanks to Larry Wilkerson, former assistant to Colin Powel, we now know that waterboarding was used to obtain evidence to justify the invasion of Iraq. If true, and it seems very likely that it is, the former VP and perhaps Bush himself, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This is nothing short of treasonous behaviour to gin up false evidence to justify a war that has cost 4600+ American lives and $3 trillion in taxpayer money. So instead of worrying about whether Graham and Obama agree on a relatively minor side issue Brad, why don’t you express some patriotic condemnation of the previous administration for it’s criminal behavior? Seems like that would be a better use of your time.

  7. Lee Muller

    Well, the Democrats yesterday voted almost unanimously to not allow GITMO to be shut down, or any prisoners to be moved to the USA.

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