And it didn't take long.
One key aspect of that policy would move forward Thursday, with Obama planning to sign an order to shutter the much-maligned Guantanamo prison within a year, according to a. This would redeem a promise that Obama frequently made on the campaign trail.
This is, however, attributed to the ubiquitous "anonymous aide," and so may be pure hokum designed to mollify a demanding liberal press intent on holding Mr. Obama to the most left-wing of his campaign statements. I therefore reserve the right to say I told you so if the order doesn't come about.
That said, if he does sign the order it's a mistake on the order of the Iraq timetable that many, including the new president, were demanding when the war was going badly there. Right now there are a) dangerous men in Guantanamo, unrepentent in their hunger to continue their bloody quest and b) others who, although releasable, have nowhere to go, including the U.S. mainland. It's not helpful to state you're closing it if you have no idea what to do with the inmates.
Unless you're going to move them from one holding facility to another, call it different, and use Guantanamo to continue the propaganda war against the now deposed service-concluded Mr. Bush. In that case I can see the purpose.
1/22/08 1005: Gabriel Malor at Ace of Spades writes that these moves, including "banning" harsh interrogations, appear to be fig leaves designed to appease the demanding left while leaving open the option of pursuing them if deemed necessary.
The new White House counsel, Gregory B. Craig, briefed lawmakers about some elements of the orders on Wednesday evening. A Congressional official who attended the session said Mr. Craig acknowledged concerns from intelligence officials that new restrictions on C.I.A. methods might be unwise and indicated that the White House might be open to allowing the use of methods other the 19 techniques allowed for the military.
So, a fig leaf, and an implicit acknowledgment that President Bush was right. The CIA hasn't waterboarded anyone since 2003, but they wanted the option if it became necessary. Obama just agreed.