Lieberman Exercises Freedom Of Speech

In fairness, Joe Lieberman (I-CT) was asked for his opinion by Fox News's Greta Van Susteren in an interview yesterday; his opinion just happened to contradict what the Obama administration had done last Thursday--namely, to release Bush-administration legal memos supporting torture. (Lieberman retained his chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security Committee after the 2008 election, in which he supported his longtime friend John McCain, despite an outcry from Senate Democrats who thought he should be removed, possibly even from the Democratic caucus, for backing McCain and questioning Obama's patriotism.)

Here's what Lieberman said on Fox:

VAN SUSTEREN: Again, the whole business about the torture memos being released by the Obama administration -- good idea or bad idea?

LIEBERMAN: I thought release of the memos was a bad idea.

The President of the United States as the commander in chief has the right to decide what kinds of tactics he wants to use with detainees who we believe are associated with terrorism and what kinds he does not want to use. Congress legislated on that. I was a cosponsor with Senator McCain of the anti-torture provisions we put into law.

But once you start to take internal memos that have been designated as top secret --

Lieberman has praised Obama since the election and, in the same interview yesterday, supported Obama's initial response to Mexican drug violence. Obama, one could argue, saved Lieberman from castigation by reportedly telling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid he wasn't interested in seeing the former Democratic VP nominee punished, sending a message that campaign bygones were bygones, and that Lieberman was entitled to his freedom of speech without retribution. Looks as if Lieberman is taking that principle to the bank and exercising the freedom Obama (or the Constitution--whichever) bestowed.