Massimo Calebresi and Michael Weisskopf's story on Greg Craig's resignation is really really depressing. For all of us who hoped that Obama would lead us out of the War on Terror dark years, the increasingly answer appears to be, sorta. For me, here is the key exchange:
Obama, a onetime constitutional-law professor, told Craig he needed more time and asked for an extension. But when Michael Hayden, Bush's CIA director who had stayed on in Obama's first month, learned that the memos might be released, he went ballistic.
"What are you doing?" Hayden, just retired, demanded in a March 18 call to Craig. If Obama released the memos, Hayden argued, al-Qaeda would be able to train its warriors to resist the techniques described in their contents.
"The President is never going to authorize any of those techniques," Craig replied assuredly, so there was no danger in disclosing the methods to the enemy.
Hayden pressed on: "Lemme get this right. There are no conditions of threat this nation might face that would prompt you to interrupt the sleep cycle of somebody who may have lifesaving information?"
There was a long silence. Craig would not concede the point.