Hat tip: Reeko
As everybody with a brain suspected, the release of the so called torture memos was a completely political move by Obama, designed to hit back at Cheney, only instead, blowing up in Obama’s face.
Buried deep within the Washington Post’s front-page story on the decision to release the OLC memos, Barack Obama’s motivation gets revealed. Former VP Dick Cheney’s criticism that Obama’s policies had made America less safe apparently stung more than the White House admitted. Unfortunately, Obama may have gone a long way towards proving Cheney’s point in allowing himself to get baited (via Michael Goldfarb):
Several Obama aides said the president’s decision was in line with his frequent criticism during the campaign of President George W. Bush’s policies on interrogations at secret prisons. On his second day in office, Obama banned the prisons and the tactics in an executive order.
The aides also said they hope the memos’ release will focus public attention on the coldness and sterility of the legal justifications for abusive techniques, with Obama telling reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday that the documents demonstrate that the nation lost its “moral bearings” in the Bush years.
A source familiar with White House views said Obama’s advisers are further convinced that letting the public know exactly what the past administration sanctioned will undermine what they see as former vice president Richard B. Cheney’s effort to “box Obama in” by claiming that the executive order heightened the risk of a terrorist attack.
It’s not exactly working out the way they had planned, though. The truth’s a bitch when it ain’t on your side.