Top CIA Official: Obama Changed Virtually None of Bush’s Controversial Programs

Friday, September 2, 2011

In 2007, candidate-Barack Obama pledged “a top to bottom review of the threats we face and our abilities to confront them.” Obama promised a sweeping overhaul of the Bush administration’s draconian “war on terror” which Obama said compromised American values.

But FRONTLINE learned from John Rizzo, a 34-year agency veteran that Obama’s team had “signaled” they had no intention of rolling back secret programs begun under the Bush administration.

I was part of the transition briefings of the incoming Obama team, and they signaled fairly early on that the incoming president believed in a vigorous, aggressive, continuing counterterrorism effort. Although they never said it exactly, it was clear that the interrogation program was going away. We all knew that.

But his people were signaling to us, I think partly to try to assure us that they weren’t going to come in and dismantle the place, that they were going to be just as tough, if not tougher, than the Bush people.

Rizzo, who was forced to withdraw his nomination to be CIA general counsel because of controversy over his role in developing the CIA’s secret detention and interrogation policies, also told FRONTLINE:

With a notable exception of the enhanced interrogation program, the incoming Obama administration changed virtually nothing with respect to existing CIA programs and operations. Things continued. Authorities were continued that were originally granted by President Bush beginning shortly after 9/11. Those were all picked up, reviewed and endorsed by the Obama administration.

The FRONTLINE documentary “Top Secret America,” is scheduled to air at 9 p.m. on Sept. 6, 2011.

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5 Responses to Top CIA Official: Obama Changed Virtually None of Bush’s Controversial Programs

  1. Joe in Colorado says:

    I remember getting into a heated argument with an Obama supporter on a blog about the fact Obama had changed virtually none of Bush’s “spook policies.” So sure was the Obama supporter that I was convinced to go back and reread my sourcing on the subject but, I knew what I red was true. So much for the notion of Obama being some sort of civil libertarian. He’s just Bush with a tan.

  2. Brigadoon says:

    The real question here is, why has the mainstream media given Obama a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card with regard to CIA policies? No one seems willing to call this president on the carpet and hold him accountable because if you do, someone will try to label you a racist. Obama’s road is so easy as a result of it.

  3. Matteo says:

    Check this out, as the smog over Los Angeles is so thick I can’t see the San Gabriel Mountains.

    Obama Halts EPA Smog Regulation to Appease Republicans
    http://news.yahoo.com/obama-halts-controversial-epa-regulation-143731156.html

    President Barack Obama is sacking a controversial proposed regulation tightening government smog standards, bowing to the demands of congressional Republicans and some business leaders.

    In a statement Friday, Obama said he had ordered Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw the proposal, in part because of the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and uncertainty for businesses at a time of rampant uncertainty about an unsteady economy.

  4. JollyRoger says:

    I just posted about Bushack’s embrace of smog. I hope he enjoys it when he gets back to Chicago, which can’t be soon enough.

  5. Pingback: Philosophical Fragments » Bush Hatred Prevails Over Obama Love

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