President Obama himself had criticised the military commission system during his election campaign, describing it as "an enormous failure".
But, his aides pointed out on Thursday, the president never rejected the possibility of using military commissions altogether if they could be made fairer.
They highlighted legislation he supported as a senator in 2006 which was intended to do just that.
Wow! That's an incredible amount of backspin. During the election, everybody looked at Obama as 'Clinton' without the namesake. I guess we'll see how accurate that is. What's really funny is that these policies are just what the Republican (Neo-Cons) want, so the issue of 'flip-flopping' hasn't been raised.
Cheney is out there right now making the case that torture is indeed effective, and the CIA has proof (in memo form). I'm guessing that he's assuming that terrorist only watch Al Jazeera (instead of Fox) and won't hear his commentary. Because if they do, they might take torture more seriously if they happen to capture someone on our side. But Cheney is smarter and less vindictive than that, right?
Let's be honest, though. The real problem is that the last administration was gung-ho on terrorism, and while there was a real concern at the beginning, that quickly evaporated in the followup reactions of Iraq. We are now in the same place Russia was in the early 80's with Afganistan, and rather than fix the situation quickly, our elected leaders are passing the buck. Republicans can't concede moral failures, and Democrats are blaming Republicans for their loss of moral compass. In the meantime, people who have nothing to do with any of these policies die on both sides of the argument.
I think that anyone looking for proof that McCain and Obama really are cut from the same cloth need only look at this issue. The only real difference is that McCain would not have altered the Bush agenda so rapidly (hence no back-spin) and Pelosi could have lived with her lie for another 4 years - the Republicans would not have had a reason to call her on it.