Indignation is a curious thing in the era of Barack Obama. Having seen the mockery this White House can heap on voters who dare to show it anger, this week has provided a window to what in turn sparks the Obama team to outrage.
The current scorecard:
•Release of one of the world's most notorious terrorists by Scottish authorities - not much indignation.
•Techniques used by the previous administration to get answers from terrorists to keep Americans safe - massive indignation. The evidence mounts that an administration that cannot even bring itself to use the word "terrorist" has shown itself thoroughly unfit to fight them. From the wildly foolish notion of affording Guantánamo detainees access to American courts to the stunning gullibility of its soft stance on Iran, this administration has made it clear to terrorists: there is indeed a new sheriff, and his holster is empty.
I have expressed gratitude to President Obama for not pulling the rug out from under our troops in Afghanistan as he has constantly sought to do in Iraq. But I've also known that Afghanistan is the portion of the war liberals say they can stomach to insulate themselves from being identified as gutless pacifists.
Now that Afghanistan is entering a tough stretch, we'll see if Obama has the will to give our troops what they need to achieve greater success. This week's news does not inspire optimism in that regard.
First came the sick spectacle of the release of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi from a Scottish prison. As families of his 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 mass murder recoiled in shock - along with most of the civilized world - Obama, a supposed master of word choice, found the whole thing "disturbing."
A dip in the housing market is disturbing. The Scottish decision to release the only man convicted of blowing up 270 people is an unmitigated outrage, compounded by the hero's homecoming he received in Libya.
FBI Director Robert Mueller wrote a decently stern letter, but I suppose a presidential mouth that very nearly kisses the ring of Saudi royalty cannot be expected to speak truth to any evil cloaked in the Islamic faith. Might get in the way of that Happy Ramadan message on the White House Web site.
But the Obama administration did get its collective dander up this week against a specter of evil it has always been eager to fight: the Bush administration.
But not just administration officials. With its maliciously reckless decision to criminalize tactics used to interrogate terror detainees since 9/11, the Obama White House is seeking to demonize and punish trained professionals tasked with preventing future 9/11s, a job for which one might believe thanks are due for inarguable success.
It won't be coming from this administration.
Politicizing national security is a shameful thing. I dream of the day when that's all this White House does. Their current intent is not only to change interrogation policies (with a White House "Interrogation Group" sure to strike fear into al-Qaeda hearts), but to cast differing policies of the past as illegal and evil.
I can only imagine Attorney General Eric Holder choking back gasps as he heard of some detainees threatened with guns and power drills and others threatened with harm to family members.
Pardon my misdirected vexation. I'm still pretty worked up about my countrymen dying in various ways at the hands of the 9/11 hijackers. If, after careful evaluation of a suspect's value and demeanor, questioners thought a particularly intense method of interrogation would yield information that could save American lives, it is the height of moral idiocy to tell them not to do it.
The only thing more despicable is to prosecute them for it.