I have little to add to Andy's comments about the President's speech on national security and the future of GTMO. Among alternatives discussed were "preventive detention" [without trial of course]; GTMO already is "preventive detention" without adjudication (an "alternative" as suggested by the President), and it is the best recruiting tool al Qaeda ever have. The commissions, which he proposes to restart, are, of course, very problematic as well. But the tone of the President's speech, including reiterating the commitment to close GTMO, and the atmospherics of the National Archives... were pretty good. What else can I say (other than does it get any better for the President's political fortunes than being denounced by Dick Cheney?)
I will just say that I have finally, finally had it with Harry "Crap-in-his-pants-over-terrrrrrrrorists-being-imprisoned-let-alone-released-stateside" Reid. He has earned all of our contempt, he has earned a primary challenge, and his opponent, whoever he or her is, has earned my commitment to donate at least $50 to their campaign, regardless of party. As a Democrat, the greatest service we can do for our party and our nation is to send that cowardly, feckless asshole (who never EVER fails to cower whenever the Republicans say "boo") packing, once and for all, and to help Nevada voters to do it. There, I said it.
BTW, the "terrrrrrorists" at GTMO that Harry is scared sh*tless over are winning over 86% of their habeas corpus cases, meaning our courts have concluded that there is no evidence that they have done anything warranting their continued detention, at GTMO or anywhere else.
Ultimately, we all have to face up to the fact that we are living in a society built largely around certain organizing lies ("tax cuts mean the government will collect more money," "GTMO is full of terrrrrrrorists," "socialized medicine is eeeeeeeevil," "the rich and powerful are above the law", "driving SUVs and living in McMansions is our God given right", etc.) that our sheeple will take at face value, just because they hear it enough times. Heck... it's on t.v.... so it must be true!!! At some point, we'll have to either face up to all of this... nah, let's continue the fantasies... including... "Fearing fear itself."
Update: (23 May 2009) William Glaberson, writing in the Grey Lady, addresses a number of the difficulties associated with "America's legal tradition" presented by prolonged "preventive detention." Hint: the practice, even if actually codified by our worthless Congress, would be brazenly unConstitutional, and would demonstrate once and for all that we have irreversibly crapped in our pants (i.e. "the terrorists will have won"). Just saying.