Professor Dawn Johnsen of Indiana University Law School is to head the Office of Legal Counsel. She distinguished herself by writing a law-review article taking issue with President Bush's efforts to keep us safe. It was titled, "What's a President To Do: Interpreting the Constitution in the Wake of the Bush Administration Abuses." Presumably, she'll bring back the days of the wall between criminal and intelligence investigations, which led to our failure to examine the computer of "20th hijacker" Zacharias Moussaoui, which contained wire-fund-transfer information on the other hijackers.
No less an authority than Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe, who taught Elena Kagan, the new solicitor general, predicted that she and Johnsen would "freshly re-examine some of the positions the previous administration has taken."
Obama's other Justice appointments, David Ogden as deputy attorney general and Thomas Perrelli as associate AG, bring back Clinton/Reno Justice Department retreads. Both participated eagerly in the constraints on intelligence-gathering that left us so vulnerable on 9/11.
Bush's legacy shows one clear achievement: He kept us safe after 9/11. Now his successor's policies are about to eradicate that singular achievement. The liberals will, of course, all cheer these appointments and the policies they'll pursue once in office, but these appointments make it frighteningly more likely that we will, indeed, be hit again.
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