As he campaigned for the presidency in 2007 and 2008, then Sen. Barack Obama made clear there would be no torturing of terrorism suspects on his watch, as had been done by the agency with White House and Justice Department approval during the Bush administration in the years following the 9/11 attacks.
And as it turned out, one of the first things Obama did after becoming president was sign an executive order that included a ban on the tortureof terror suspects.
That was in 2009, shortly after becoming president. But with the campaign over, now came the bitter reality of actually having togovern. As president, one of the things Obama, the new commander-in-chief, was expected to do was to continue successful prosecution of the so-called Global War On Terror begun Sept. 12, 2001. To do that would require action, not campaign promises. And action meant sticking with what worked.
That’s why, despite public protestations and campaign-like slogans of “change,” Obama used a presidential sleight of hand to disapprove torturingon U.S. soilwhile granting the CIA authority to continue the practice in countries whose record on human rights abuses was already well-known.