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First 100 days: Cheney vs. Obama

The New York Times: "Pressure mounted on President Obama on Monday for more thorough investigation into harsh interrogations of terrorism suspects under the Bush administration, even as he tried to reassure the Central Intelligence Agency that it would not be blamed for following legal advice… And while Mr. Obama vowed not to prosecute C.I.A. officers for acting on legal advice, on Monday aides did not rule out legal sanctions for the Bush lawyers who developed the legal basis for the use of the techniques."

More: "Some Bush administration officials, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, accused the administration of endangering the country by disclosing national secrets. Mr. Cheney went on the Fox News Channel to announce that he had asked the C.I.A. to declassify reports documenting the intelligence gained from the interrogations. Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the former C.I.A. director, has also condemned the release of the memorandums and said the harsh questioning had value."

Obama tried to reassure CIA staff yesterday that the agency has his full support, The Hill writes. "Now, in that context I know that the last few days have been difficult," Obama acknowledged. "Obama said that he had some conversations before his publicized remarks with 'senior folks here at Langley in which I think people have expressed understandable anxiety and concern.'"

"Top White House officials described the decision to release the torture memos Thursday as among the toughest of Obama's young presidency," Politico says. "There was a vigorous debate internally about which documents to release and how much detail to redact. In the end, Obama himself was described as carefully editing his final statement to make sure he hit just the right note."

"Republicans are hoping they have finally found the secret to taking on President Barack Obama -- by portraying him as overly apologetic about U.S. misdeeds and naive about engaging unfriendly regimes abroad," Politico writes. "But tagging Obama as a 'Jimmy Carter Democrat' on foreign affairs and national security may prove a difficult critique to make stick -- at least for the moment." 
 
But you have to ask: Isn't that a tough sell because: (1) Obama has a pretty centrist national security team that has been praised by Republicans and very likely some members would have been in a McCain cabinet; (2) his Afghanistan approach in particular has also been praised by Republicans and isn't seen as dovish; (3) his predator drone missions in Northwest Pakistan certainly couldn't be described as "Carter-like"; and (4) his ordering of military force resulted in the killing of the three pirates and the saving of the Maersk Alabama captain?