If Barack Obama were still a senator, he too would have "probably objected" to the White House's reticence at sharing its legal justifications behind its drone policy, he admitted during a closed-door meeting with the Senate Democratic conference on Tuesday. But Obama sought to defend himself and the policy against irked members in his ranks, senators tell Politico, after Jay Rockefeller challenged him on the issue.
Obama said he hadn't drafted the Justice Department's controversial memos approving the strikes, and that he was open to more oversight than the Bush administration had been of its own anti-terror activities. "This is not Dick Cheney we're talking about here," he said. Rockefeller had claimed precisely the opposite earlier in the day during an Intelligence Committee hearing, complaining that once Brennan was confirmed, the administration resumed its drone silence, and things "went directly back to the way they were from 2001-2002 to 2007."