White House Memo to Al-Qaeda: Now Is the Time to Strike

It is ludicrous to suggest that a president of either party secretly wants the United States to be attacked by terrorists for his own political benefit. This is still true despite the fact that some Democrats more than suggested it -- they openly declared it to be the case under President George W. Bush.

And until last week, it was equally ludicrous to suggest that a president of either party would embrace a policy that would directly lead to the death and injury of more Americans under his watch for his own political purposes. That is because before last week it was ludicrous to suggest that any president would order criminal investigations of executive branch employees for performing their duty to keep the country safe from attack.

Yet that is exactly what President Obama did when he decided to allow an investigation into the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques on high-value terrorist detainees in U.S. custody. After promising them that he was not interested in looking backwards, President Obama has now exposed every CIA operative, interrogator, and covert agent in the war on terror to prosecution for doing their job well in keeping the country safe from the plotting of al-Qaeda and its affiliates for close to eight years.

One leading explanation for what has been characterized as the president’s abrupt turnaround on criminal investigations of CIA interrogators is that it is a sop to his left-wing base, which -- incredibly -- is losing patience with Obama over its belief that he has governed too much from the center. That belief is symbolized best by the administration’s recent statements on health care, in which both Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and the president himself seemed to suggest that a government-run health plan was not a necessary component of a health care bill.