When in trouble, feed the base

Rick Moran
President Obama is currently in a bad odor with his liberal base over his hints that the public option may be dropped in the final heatlh care reform package.

He is also in trouble with the rest of the American people for even proposing such a plan. But presidents can always rally their base by playing to their red meat, partisan sensibilities. And Obama has hit just the right issue to do it.

His Justice Department is going to prosecute CIA interrogators according to this report by David Johnston in the New York Times:


The Justice Department's ethics office has recommended reversing the Bush administration and reopening nearly a dozen prisoner-abuse cases, potentially exposing Central Intelligence Agency

The recommendation by the Office of Professional Responsibility, presented to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in recent weeks, comes as the Justice Department is about to disclose on Monday voluminous details on prisoner abuse that were gathered in 2004 by the C.I.A.'s inspector general but have never been released.

When the C.I.A. first referred its inspector general's findings to prosecutors, they decided that none of the cases merited prosecution. But Mr. Holder's associates say that when he took office and saw the allegations, which included the deaths of people in custody and other cases of physical or mental torment, he began to reconsider.

With the release of the details on Monday and the formal advice that at least some cases be reopened, it now seems all but certain that the appointment of a prosecutor or other concrete steps will follow, posing significant new problems for the C.I.A. employees and contractors to prosecution for brutal treatment of terrorism suspects, according to a person officially briefed on the matter.

"A person officially briefed on the matter" would probably include very high level politicos at Justice or perhaps even someone high up on the White House staff. This was a deliberate leak designed to excite Obama's base and rally them at a time when the president finds himself in political hot water with just about everybody.

His base would dearly love to see not only CIA officers, but Bush administration officials in the dock as well. That will probably be the other shoe that drops as the Obama administration makes a virtue out of politicizing the Justice Department.

President Obama is currently in a bad odor with his liberal base over his hints that the public option may be dropped in the final heatlh care reform package.

He is also in trouble with the rest of the American people for even proposing such a plan. But presidents can always rally their base by playing to their red meat, partisan sensibilities. And Obama has hit just the right issue to do it.

His Justice Department is going to prosecute CIA interrogators according to this report by David Johnston in the New York Times:


The Justice Department's ethics office has recommended reversing the Bush administration and reopening nearly a dozen prisoner-abuse cases, potentially exposing Central Intelligence Agency

The recommendation by the Office of Professional Responsibility, presented to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in recent weeks, comes as the Justice Department is about to disclose on Monday voluminous details on prisoner abuse that were gathered in 2004 by the C.I.A.'s inspector general but have never been released.

When the C.I.A. first referred its inspector general's findings to prosecutors, they decided that none of the cases merited prosecution. But Mr. Holder's associates say that when he took office and saw the allegations, which included the deaths of people in custody and other cases of physical or mental torment, he began to reconsider.

With the release of the details on Monday and the formal advice that at least some cases be reopened, it now seems all but certain that the appointment of a prosecutor or other concrete steps will follow, posing significant new problems for the C.I.A. employees and contractors to prosecution for brutal treatment of terrorism suspects, according to a person officially briefed on the matter.

"A person officially briefed on the matter" would probably include very high level politicos at Justice or perhaps even someone high up on the White House staff. This was a deliberate leak designed to excite Obama's base and rally them at a time when the president finds himself in political hot water with just about everybody.

His base would dearly love to see not only CIA officers, but Bush administration officials in the dock as well. That will probably be the other shoe that drops as the Obama administration makes a virtue out of politicizing the Justice Department.