Barack Obama and Dick Cheney conspired to perpetuate the same myth yesterday, writes David Brooks of the New York Times. In their telling, we have seen a sharp break between Bush-Cheney terror policies and Obama-Biden ones. “This is a completely bogus distortion of history.” In reality, the policies Cheney’s defending were in place for maybe three years after 9/11. After that, over Cheney's objections, Bush cleaned up his act.
Obama didn’t stop waterboarding, the CIA did, starting in March 2003. Bush was taking the same steps to close Guantanamo that Obama is. “When Cheney lambastes the change in security policy, he’s not really attacking the Obama administration,” Brooks argues. “He’s attacking the Bush administration.” Obama, meanwhile, realizes that public perception matters. He’s lightly reformed Bush’s final, moderate policies, and made them look presentable. That's made us more secure, not less.