Judging by his campaign rhetoric, President Obama's national security legal doctrine -- call it the Obama Doctrine -- would appear to be a model of restraint, where the powers of the executive are checked by a transparent screen and obsequious Congressional oversight.
Seventy days in, however, we know very little about how Obama the President thinks. We can judge him by his actions; in response to a flurry of pre-cooked court decisions, Obama's national security lawyers have been very active.
So far, the administration has thrice sustained the Bush administration's claim of the State Secrets Privilege in urging civil suits against Bush administration officials to be quashed. It has refused several entreaties from judges to re-argue points of law first used by the Bush administration. It has used a signing statement to affirm the right of the federal government to fire whistleblowers. It has treated as secret a draft version of an Internet Protocol treaty, leading Wired magazine to morph Obama's photograph into Bush's.
Obama was inaugurated after a cascade of court rulings and Congressional actions that limited the authority of the executive branch and created a patchwork of rules, laws and precedents. Some of the harder questions have been dealt with, from torture to secrecy issues related to detainee politics to the habeas rights of all Guantanamo detainees and most other detainees held elsewhere.