New York times columnist and "The News Hour" analyst David Brooks made the point recently that the Obama administration has essentially taken the same policy on Iraq and terrorism as the second half of the George W. Bush administration, when Dick Cheney's views were out of favor. I would pretty much buy into this, and I felt that Cheney's recent defense of torture tactics would not be supported by Bush now. However, George W. Bush gave some defense of these in a recent speech, saying that he believed they were legal at the time and that they made us safer.
Brooks also made the point that unlike Bush, President Obama gave a clear articulation of the reasons for his policy. While the policy changed in Bush's last few years, he did not emphasize this or build a case for it; instead he continued the approach of never admitting a mistake.