Here's what Obama should have said after receiving the court order to release the CIA documents:
I categorically refuse to release these memos on the grounds that so doing would endanger national security, by compromising certain CIA interrogation tactics. During my presidency there will be no public discussion of classified CIA operations by this administration. And anyone found to be leaking such information will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
This administration has already made its position clear on interrogations, and what is and is not acceptable. There is no point in obsessing about every detail of the former administration's policies. President Bush acted as he thought best in order to protect the country in the wake of 9/11. Naturally some of my actions would have been different. But there will be no politically-motivated prosecutions during my presidency, not of the CIA members who interrogated our enemies, not of the politicians who ordered them, or of the lawyers that advised them on the legal issues involved. That is all.
I know, I'm dreaming that Obama would ever have the nerve to do anything like that. I might as well wish he was a Republican. But it would be nice to see him take a strong stand to protect the secrecy of CIA operations, which is vitally important to national security. Hopefully the CIA has already used the experience gained from their various interrogations of Al Qaeda members to develop new, improved, secret methods of using psychological torture to break down terrorists and extract useful information. If so, maybe the release of the memos does no real damage. But it would be nice to see the president err on the side of protecting the country.
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