Last week, news reports revealed that CIA director Leon Panetta recently told Congress that his agency had deliberately deceived the body about controversial policies for the past eight years, if not longer. Over the weekend, we also learned that Panetta told Congress that one specific, scary program — the details of which we still don't know — was concealed at the specific demand of former vice-president Dick Cheney. Panetta ended the program, which had never gone fully operational, as soon as he heard of its existence last month. These revelations have put the Obama administration under pressure from Democratic members of Congress — notably Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Dianne Feinstein, who took to the airwaves yesterday on Fox News to call for an investigation — to exhume more Bush policies. Attorney General Eric Holder, meanwhile, is said to be leaning toward appointing a special prosecutor to investigate whether prisoners in the war on terrorism were tortured. As Team Obama struggles to get their health-care agenda addressed before the August recess, and to keep a sense of urgency on the issue, these Bush-era holdovers are shaping up to be a big, troublesome distraction.
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