Siobhan Gorman reports:
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.
Italics mine. It’s difficult to know how to assess the story.
It’s obviously being placed by some Clinton and Bush officials angling for more continuity with Bush’s torture regime. And we have this caveat:
Advisers caution that few decisions will be made until the team gets a better picture of how the Bush administration actually goes about gathering intelligence, including covert programs, and there could be a greater shift after a full review.
But there is blather about "centrism" in national security. There is no centrism in adhering to the Geneva Conventions. Either we do or we don’t. We haven’t and we now must. There is no middle way here. But if this new president decides to pursue such a torture-lite policy, this blog will apply exactly the same standards applied to Bush. No torture ever. No exceptions ever. No separate CIA track. Executive power, allowed to torture, is dangerous regardless of which president is in the White House, of whichever party. But we will see. This struggle is just beginning. But Obama’s statements on the campaign trail are unequivocal.The same should apply to his interrogation policy.