Obama Torture Stumble

For all of the discipline this White House has shown on some major issues, there is a lot of head shaking going on in DC right now over how the President handled the terror memos issue this week.

Last week, everything seemed to be buttoned down.  The memos were released, the President stayed on message, and his aides repeatedly said that no one was going to be investigated or prosecuted.

While former Vice President Cheney was demanding attention on the story, the basics were sort of going away.

That is until the Presdient poured a whole lot of gasoline on the fire - all by himself.

That was on Tuesday, when he left open the possibility of an investigation into the authors of the torture memos, Bush era lawyers who had approved the legality of a series of controversial interrogation techniques.

Mr. Obama even seemed to leave open the idea of setting up a special Nine Eleven type commission to investigate Bush Administration wrong doing.

The White House struggled mightily to say that nothing had changed in terms of policy.

But reporters weren't buying that one bit.  And they kept hammering and hammering away at the White House Press Secretary.

Finally on Thursday, Robert Gibbs decided enough was enough and specifially rejected the idea of a "Truth Commission."

"The President believes, as both of us have said, that the release of the memos are not a time for a retribution but to reflect on what happens and that we're all best suited looking forward," Gibbs said at his daily briefing.

Gibbs has fought hard in recent days against media assertions that the President was trying to have it both ways by saying he didn't want a special investigation of the memos, but then by suggesting ways to do it.

No matter what Gibbs was saying, the story started to get out of control in a sense this week, and out of the control of the White House.

Republicans tried to push it even harder by demanding that the White House release memos sought by former Vice President Cheney, which he says would demonstrate that doing more than just poking detainees with a soft cushion gained the U.S. some high value intelligence.

It was a rare misstep by the Obama Crew. It's by no means a blunder or anything. But it's a reminder how "big" things can become because of what a President says.

We'll see if they learn from it.

You can also follow Jamie Dupree on both Twitter and on Facebook.