Obama Likely to Keep Bush Intel Policies

Positions likely to be filled with pragmatists
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2008 11:33 AM CST
President Bush and President-elect Obama walk in the shadows along the West Wing Colonnade at the White House to the Oval Office in Washington, Monday, Nov. 10, 2008, for a private meeting.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama isn’t likely to deliver the radical intelligence policy overhaul many civil liberty groups are craving, advisers tell the Wall Street Journal. Those advisers include former Republican supporters and centrist Clinton officials. “He’s going to take a very centrist approach,” said an ex-Bush and Clinton counterintelligence official. In particular, Obama is unlikely to curtail domestic spying, since he recently voted to expand NSA eavesdropping powers.

That vote came in spite of campaign trail attacks on Bush’s warrantless wiretapping and despite his own opposition to telecom immunity, which the bill included. Also at issue are the Bush administration’s harsh interrogation techniques, which Obama has said “qualify as torture through any careful measure of the law or appeal to human decency.” But one official says the president-elect may leave the door open for some techniques, with increased oversight.