No Moving On ~ The Prowler on 7.13.09
Despite reports to the contrary over the weekend, Attorney
General Eric Holder‘s review of a possible
criminal investigation into use of enhanced interrogation
techniques is taking place with the approval, and even the
encouragement, of the White House.
On Sunday, several news outlets, speaking to unnamed sources in
the Administration, said that Holder was considering the criminal
prosecution despite concerns or “against the wishes” of President
Barack Obama, who wanted to leave the issue in
|But Capitol Hill Democratic aides and several White House aides
who deal with outside political organizations say that’s not the
case. While the public stance of Obama and his senior aides may
be reticence on the enhanced interrogation investigation, “they
know the issue is one reason [Obama] has the support from groups
like MoveOn, and this is the kind of thing that politically will
keep them engaged on other issues,” says one White House staffer.
“We can’t afford to flip on every campaign promise or issue, and there is already a sense out there, what with our decision on terrorist detention, that we’re hedging a bit more than these supporters like.”
Another concurred, saying that while Obama and Holder would doubtless take political heat from many Republicans and other segments of the public, there was hesitancy to further agitate Obama’s friends on the left at a time when they needed that political coalition on a range of issues, including healthcare reform and climate change legislation.
“Better to keep our team happy and willing to fight and have the other side distracted,” says a House Democrat aide. “If Holder moves ahead, it doesn’t particularly hurt us, but it may indirectly help us: while the other guys get all riled about it, we can just push ahead with other things and leave them in the dust.”