Rhetoric notwithstanding, Barack Obama does not want a terrorist attack on his watch. Since he and the Democrats decided to politicize the entire war on terror by making it a virtual crime for the president to do much of anything to protect us, he has suddenly woken up to the fact that much of what Bush initiated might not be such a bad idea if you're a president who doesn't want to be blamed for a mass casualty assault on America.
Hence, his hedging on keeping the Terrorist Surveillance Program and other programs that, while being controversial, nevertheless were effective at keeping America safe.
And now we have another backtrack from Obama campaign rhetoric - this time on the practice of rendition:
Under executive orders issued by Obama recently, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the United States.The European Parliament condemned renditions as "an illegal instrument used by the United States." Prisoners swept up in the program have sued the CIA as well as a Boeing Co. subsidiary accused of working with the agency on dozens of rendition flights.
Current and former U.S. intelligence officials said that the rendition program might be poised to play an expanded role going forward because it was the main remaining mechanism -- aside from Predator missile strikes -- for taking suspected terrorists off the street.
The rendition program became a source of embarrassment for the CIA, and a target of international scorn, as details emerged in recent years of botched captures, mistaken identities and allegations that prisoners were turned over to countries where they were tortured.
But the Obama administration appears to have determined that the rendition program was one component of the Bush administration's war on terrorism that it could not afford to discard.
The decision underscores the fact that the battle with Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups is far from over and that even if the United States is shutting down the prisons, it is not done taking prisoners.
It also underscores the idea that Obama is a two faced hypocrite who pandered to his far left base during the campaign by savaging Bush and calling him a criminal but now that the responsibility is his, things take on a different light altogether and what Bush was doing is fine with him.