Mike Allen at Politico created news yesterday, by reporting that Shoe-bomber Richard Reid was read Miranda rights in December 2001.
The argument goes that since the Shoe-bomber was given Miranda rights while George Bush was President in December 2001, Obama is insulated from criticism for the decision to read Miranda rights to the Undie-bomber in December 2009.
Tom McGuire takes that argument apart on the facts, showing very different circumstances in December 2001 versus December 2009.
But the argument, which Steve Benen adores, is even weaker than the weak factual comparisons.
If Bush were wrong in hindsight, that would not make Obama right for doing the same thing with the benefit of the hindsight Bush did not have. I think we all learned a similar principle in kindergarten.
It would be similar to saying that because we may have exited a bus at the wrong stop once, we must do so forever despite knowing of our prior error.
Given all that we learned in the eight years between the two failed bombings about al–Qaeda networks, the policy changes in the interim, and the creation of the legally-valid Guantanamo military tribunals capable of trying such individuals, the Obama administration can find no solace in a “Bush did it too” argument.
Benen is correct that some people have been “acting like shameless, transparent, dishonest hacks” on this issue. But it’s not the Republicans.