President-elect Barack Obama is unlikely to radically overhaul controversial Bush administration intelligence policies, advisers say, an approach that is almost certain to create tension within the Democratic Party.Tension? Uh, yeah. I'd say so. More like downright war.
As a candidate, Mr. Obama said the CIA's interrogation program should adhere to the same rules that apply to the military, which would prohibit the use of techniques such as waterboarding. He has also said the program should be investigated.
Yet he more recently voted for a White House-backed law to expand eavesdropping powers for the National Security Agency. Mr. Obama said he opposed providing legal immunity to telecommunications companies that aided warrantless surveillance, but ultimately voted for the bill, which included an immunity provision.
The new president could take a similar approach to revising the rules for CIA interrogations, said one current government official familiar with the transition. Upon review, Mr. Obama may decide he wants to keep the road open in certain cases for the CIA to use techniques not approved by the military, but with much greater oversight.
I'm going to wait and see how things plan out before getting pissed off. But I hope Obama is just being his usual, deliberate self and looking at all sides - even the bad ones - of an issue before acting in an appropriate, pragmatic way.
Our frighteningly illegal, disgustingly inhumane counterterrorism policy needs serious overhaul, as Obama himself has said for, oh, about two years now. And I still believe that Obama, as a freaking professor of constitutional law, will restore the rule of law when it comes to the war on terror. But I certainly don't want to see any more stories like this one.