WHAT ARE OBAMA AND CHENEY REALLY ARGUING ABOUT?
I think it's worth asking what Obama and Cheney are really arguing about, because the exchanges have been somewhat vague. This is what Cheney said a few weeks ago:
When you go back to the law enforcement mode, which I sense is what they’re doing, closing Guantanamo and so forth, that they are very much giving up that center of attention and focus that’s required, and that concept of military threat that is essential if you’re going to successfully defend the nation against further attacks.
This is, on it's face, hard to square with what the Obama administration has done so far. Whatever the Obama administration's final decisions on detainee policy, they won't be rescinding the military's authority to detain combatants in a war zone. Thus far, they've maintained a wide detention authority and upheld the Bush policy of treating the entire world as the battlefield in the war on terrorism, which means that terrorist suspects will be treated as "enemy combatants" (even if they're not referred to as such) and subject to the approach outlined in the AUMF rather than the criminal justice system. They Obama administration may eventually move to treating terror suspects captured outside the zone of active combat as criminals, but there's no evidence yet that they're doing that.