Those on the left who made the argument — often quite vehemently and with plenty of personal invective (“war criminal”) — that water-boarding three known and quite proudly confessed foreign-national terrorists represented a “war crime” must now come forward and turn that vitriol on the Obama administration, which just executed an American citizen abroad on suspicions of terrorist activity. (Most nonpartisans might consider water-boarding three self-described terrorists less a “crime” than executing over 2,000 suspected terrorists — and any and all who, as collateral damage, happen to be in the general vicinity when the sentence is carried out.)
If we see anything less than commensurate protest against the present administration, then the entire hysteria of 2002–8 in retrospect becomes rank partisanship and hardly principled anguish. But as we have seen with the continuance of Guantanamo, renditions, tribunals, preventive detention, and the Bush policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, these once-acrimonious issues are simply not issues any more. I guess critics “moved on” around January 2009.