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Bobby Jindal and the Soft Bigotry of Good Intentions


Interesting story today on how Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal supposedly rebuked former Vice President Dick Cheney for asserting the U.S. is less safe due to some of President Obama's decisions.

Despite the Huffpo's headline on this alleged controversy, after reading the story it's not clear to me that Jindal was attempting to "rebuke" the former VP. And I'm all for Jindal's showing support for our President, and urging conservatives to give him a chance. But if Jindal's comments, like those made not long ago by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, were intended to counter concerns raised by Cheney recently, they disingenuously sidestep the issue.

To Cheney's assertion that the Obama administration's policies have made the country less safe, Napolitano said, "This administration is very committed to the safety of this country. I wake up in the morning thinking about what we can do to be more safe, more secure. My colleagues do the same and the President does the same."

But Cheney never attacked Obama's patriotism or his intentions, much less questioned what's on his mind when he wakes up in the morning.

In reality, the former VP raised concerns about some of President Obama's policy decisions, including the move to shut down the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

That decision, which if not reversed will usher in a raft of legal complications, seems especially unwise in light of the fact that approximately 12 percent of the Guantanamo detainees already released--who were thought to be less potentially dangerous than those who remain there--have gone on to participate in terrorist activities. In January it emerged that one of them, Said al-Shihri, whom the U.S. had released to a terror "rehabilitation" program in Saudi Arabia, had gone on to become al Qaeda's number two man in Yemen, helping to mastermind a bombing that killed ten innocent people, including guards and civilians waiting outside the embassy.

Neither Jindal nor Napolitano has addressed Cheney's criticism of President Obama's highly problematic decision to close Guantanamo, seemingly without a viable alternative for managing about 200 individuals the Department of Homeland Security has characterized as "extremely dangerous men."

The defense of our President's good intentions when no one is attacking them is unnecessary. The problem is, good intentions do not equal sensible policy.