CIA Terror Memos

There wasn't as much outrage in the Congress the day after President Obama opened the door to a probe of Bush Administration lawyers who wrote memos approving the CIA use of controversial interrogation techniques.

There were Democrats speaking out and Republicans, too.  But it just didn't seem - at least to my mind - to be a political wildfire that was going to keep spreading.

We'll see what happens in coming days obviously.

The one flashpoint in the debate came at a House hearing with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was asked about the request of former Vice President Cheney to declassify information that he said would show that actionable intelligence was gained by the US after use of some tough interrogations.

In an exchange with GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California, Clinton both rebuffed the Congressman's argument and took a verbal swipe at Cheney.

"As you might expect, I don't consider him a particularly reliable source of information," Clinton said bluntly.

Rohrabacher returned to the issue a few minutes later and again pressed Clinton to urge the President to agree to Cheney's declassification request.

"What will be your recommendation?"

"I'm not going to share that with you," Clinton said flatly.

Over on the Senate side of the Capitol meantime, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont was again calling on torture memo author and now federal appeals court Judge Jay Bybee to resign.

But that was about it.  There were no other news conferences, no other big time coordinated Democratic demands for action.

And some Republicans took the opportunity to fight back against the idea of a wide ranging political investigation into the Bush Administration.

"I am opposed to the commission idea because all of the facts are readily available to the Department of Justice," said Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA.)

"As I have said before, once the Administration has a key to the front door, which they've had for several months, all they have to do is find the right filing cabinets and open them, which they're already doing," Specter added in a statement.

Yesterday, I noted how Democratic blood was boiling on this issue.

The day after, the party's blood pressure seemed to have dropped somewhat.

Whether it's going to keep going down - that's the interesting question right now.

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