2008-11-11

Morning Report: 2008-11-11

This Veterans' Day post offers some tantalizing clues about the future Obama administration.

Obama on torture: "Upon review ...". Ace of Spades cites WSJ:

As a candidate, Mr. Obama said the CIA's interrogation program should adhere to the same rules that apply to the military, which would prohibit the use of techniques such as waterboarding. He has also said the program should be investigated.

Upon review, Mr. Obama may decide he wants to keep the road open in certain cases for the CIA to use techniques not approved by the military, but with much greater oversight.

Advisers caution that few decisions will be made until the team gets a better picture of how the Bush administration actually goes about gathering intelligence, including covert programs, and there could be a greater shift after a full review.

Ace adds: 'I say "appears" to be flopping because this has all the hallmarks of the other situations where he comes along in 8 hours and offers a "clarification".'

Robert Malley is baaack. Fernandez has the latest on the return of Robert Malley to the foreign policy arena.

Today, Arutz Sheva reported that the man who would not “play any role in the future” was dispatched by the President elect to the Middle East to outline Obama’s policy in the Middle East.

According to a report on Middle East Newsline, President-elect Barack Obama has dispatched his “senior foreign policy adviser”, Robert Malley to Egypt and Syria to outline Obama’s policy on the Middle East.

Malley reportedly relayed a promise from Obama that the United States would seek to enhance relations with Cairo and reconcile differences with Damascus.

“The tenor of the messages was that the Obama administration would take into greater account Egyptian and Syrian interests,” an aide to Malley was quoted as saying. The aide said Obama plans to launch a U.S. diplomatic initiative toward Syria. Malley met both Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad “to explain Obama’s agenda for the Middle East.”

Nowhere is the United States more deeply hated than Egypt and Syria. The interesting question is whether the “greater account” given to these countries by Malley will come at the expense of one of the few countries in the region in which the US is popular.


Briefly noted. Iran News Round Up by Ali Alfoneh, Ahmad Majidyar, and Michael Rubin; all links in Farsi except as noted.

Commentary. This morning's Commentary section is dedicated to the theme of "ODS watch". First, here's some wisdom from last week's post by ShrinkWrapped:

The idea that Barack Obama's election is going to usher in the long, dark night of fascism in America is troubling. I have no doubt that there are groups and individuals on the far left who would like nothing more than to form the nidus of an American brown shirted militia, but we are a very long way away from such an eventuality.

Now leading the rabid paranoid pack is Rep. Paul Broun (R-Georgia), one of the crowd Charles at LGF aptly calls black helicopter Republicans

“That’s exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it’s exactly what the Soviet Union did,” Broun said. “When he’s proposing to have a national security force that’s answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he’s showing me signs of being Marxist.” ...

“We can’t be lulled into complacency,” Broun said. “You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I’m not comparing him to Adolf Hitler. What I’m saying is there is the potential.”


There are plenty of reasons to question Obama’s offhanded campaign promise to create a civilian force as powerful and well-funded as the US military, but there’s really no need to Godwin ourselves out before the guy even takes office.

And what would a tinfoil-hat conspiracy theory be without its truthers?

AUSTIN — State Board of Education member Cynthia Dunbar isn't backing down from her claim that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is plotting with terrorists to attack the U.S.

I shouldn't have to say this, but apparently it needs to be said: We can criticize Obama all we want, and I expect to do plenty of it. But there's no need to try to outdo the left-wingnuts with a conservative "Obama derangement syndrome". Heck, the man hasn't even taken office yet. It's too a little too early to declare a national holiday - or an apocalypse.