"Holy hell has broken loose over this," is how one of Mike Isikoff's sources has described John Brennan's attempt to prevent release of three damning OLC memos drafted by the Bush administration in its systematic program for torturing terror suspects. One begins to realize how deeply important it was that Brennan didn't get the top CIA job. You see now his attachment to the torture regime he pretended to oppose and his fierce loyalty to CIA officers who may have committed war crimes and now seek to prevent the American people from finding out what was done in secret, against the law, in their name.

Only the president can resolve this. And when he does, we will see more clearly than at any previous point how committed he really is to change we can believe in.