Obama on Terror: New Style, Same Strategy

Bush insiders approve of new prez; stay mum to avoid Cheney
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2010 12:14 PM CST
A Naval officer replaces an official picture of outgoing President George W. Bush with that of newly- sworn-in President Barack Obama at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, Jan. 20, 2009.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley,File)

(Newser) – Barack Obama faced his first terror threat before he was even sworn in. There was strong evidence suggesting that a terror cell intended to attack his inauguration, so Obama and his team worked tirelessly on the issue with George W. Bush’s outgoing team. It was a surprisingly smooth collaboration, that ushered in a White House counterterror team strangely in-step with Bush, writes Peter Baker in an in-depth New York Times Magazine piece on Obama’s battle with terrorists.

Obama’s approach from his predecessors’ chiefly in what one adviser calls “mood music”—a changing of terminology and tone, coupled with outreach to the Muslim world. It’s a change even Bush’s appointees welcomed. “Mr. President-elect we’re doing things very well, but we’re losing the message war,” the director of the National Counterterrorism Center told him. “You have an opportunity to change that message.” Obama didn’t hesitate. “We’re going to do that,” he replied.

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