One of the first things that Barack Obama did after being swept into office on the wings of “hopenchange” was to sign an executive order that would close the terrorist detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

President Obama gave a one-year deadline after which, he triumphantly promised us, the facility would be closed. Well, we are at one year plus ten days after the signing of the order and Gitmo is still open. Yet few stories expressing outrage about this lapsed promise have made the rounds in the Old Media.


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On January 22, 2009, Obama signed the Executive Order that gravely asserted that Gitmo would be closed “no later than 1 year from the date of this order.” That was January 22, 2009. It is now February 3, 2010. I’d say a year and ten days after the order was signed just might constitute more than “no later than one year,” wouldn’t you?

Naturally, last year when Obama signed this order the Old Media covered it quite heavily. It was big news and was represented as an example of Obama’s fulfilling a campaign promise. All one need do is type “close Guantanamo executive order” into Google and page after page of Old Media coverage of the signing of the EO will be discovered.

Certainly the Old Media was all aflutter over the signing in 2009. The Washington Post, for instance, trumpeted that Obama’s action, “drew praise from human rights groups as well as politicians and statesmen around the globe.” MSNBC breathlessly informed its readers that, “President Barack Obama on Thursday moved quickly to undo a contentious Bush administration national security program…” For its part, the AP had a report posted on the CBS News page with a headline screaming that, “Obama Upends Bush, Will Close Guantanamo.” And that’s just the news, not the commentariat. Treatment was even more adulatory by political commentators throughout the Old Media.

Read More: By Warner Todd Huston, Big Journalism


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