President Obama's Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said today that the President is reconsidering comments he made Tuesday that a Truth Commission would be a proper venue to investigate alleged abuses by Bush administration officials on the matter of aggressive interrogation.
On Tuesday, Obama raised the prospect of legal consequences for Bush administration officials who authorized harsh interrogation techniques applied to "high value" terrorism suspects, and said if Congress is intent on investigating the tactics, an independent commission might provide a less partisan forum than a congressional panel.
Today the President was having second thoughts....
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs sought to clarify the president's views this afternoon, telling reporters at the daily White House briefing that "the president determined the concept didn't seem altogether workable in this case." Gibbs added, "The last few days might be evidence of why something like this might just become a political back and forth."
Let me decode that comment for readers: the President has been taking a whipping on this issue since Tuesday unlike anything he has experienced since taking office. The New York Times summed this up nicely yesterday:
Mr. Obama and his allies need to discredit the techniques he has banned. Otherwise, in the event of a future terrorist attack, critics may blame his decision to rein in C.I.A. interrogators.
Congratulations to the Times for getting it right. They succinctly described what most Americans intuitively believe about this issue in spite of the non stop screeching on the Left about torture. It's a political calculation for the President wherein he determined that he will be a net loser by allowing the prosecution of his predecessor's staff. Dick Cheney has won this debate.
H/T Hugh Hewitt