Just as President Bush publicly and repeatedly stated that “this nation does not torture,” but then secretly engaged in torture, President Obama’s public rhetoric against torture is increasingly at odds with his decisons to defend John Yoo (the former Justice Department official who authored the "torture memo" justifying Bush administration policy), keep in place policies that have protected torture, and even keep in office Bush-era appointees who helped establish torture policies.
A Gallup Poll released February 12 revealed that 62 percent of Americans want to investigate or criminally prosecute Bush administration officials who authorized torture in the so-called “war on terror.” But even though President Obama has said numerous times that “nobody's above the law,” on February 10 he used the Bush administration’s “state secrets” gambit to quash a lawsuit attempting to penalize some of those involved in renditioning torture subjects.
It wasn’t as expensive as one of former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens’ public works projects, but the strange alliance between President Barack Obama and Sen. Judd Gregg turned out to be a “Bridge to Nowhere” yesterday when the New Hampshire Republican announced he was withdrawing his name for nomination as secretary of Commerce.
President Obama on February 5 fulfilled another of his campaign promises by expanding on former President Bush's faith-based initiatives. Obama created a new office named "the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships" with the issuance of an executive order. Obama made a concerted effort to assure his secular followers on the left that his faith-based program is different from Bush's much criticized one. The Guardian reports:
The 63-year-old woman who will soon become the newest member of the U.S. Senate has a blank slate on political issues, despite a long record of administrative and leadership roles in government, business, and academia over the last 40 years. J. Bonnie Newman, the New Hampshire Republican chosen by the state’s Democratic governor to fill out the remainder of Judd Gregg’s term, has served two presidents, was chief of staff to Gregg when he was a congressman, and has supported a number of mostly Republican candidates for elective office. But she has never run for office herself and has never attached herself to causes and controversies that would define her politically.