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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 28, 2009 / 4 Iyar 5769

Contortion a day: Our ever flexible president

By Paul Greenberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | How many Barack Obamas are there, anyway?


One day — Monday before last, to be specific — President Obama No. 1 is telling the CIA what a terrific job it's doing. He certainly needs to, since morale in those precincts has grown shaky of late, mainly because the president has been doing the shaking.


By now his administration has revealed in detail just how the CIA interrogated high-level al-Qaida types at Guantanamo with, shall we say, less than exquisite tact. The only thing that may have been blacked out was any mention of how effective such techniques proved in preventing more terrorist attacks on these shores.


The president's own director of national intelligence, Admiral Dennis C. Blair, wrote a memo to his staff just the other day noting that "high value information came from interrogations in which these methods were used," but somehow that observation was omitted when his memo was first made public. That omission surely would have been called politicizing intelligence if George W. Bush were still president. But now not even the war on terror is called the war on terror any more but "Man Caused Disasters" and "Overseas Contingency Operations." The newspeak in Washington keeps getting thicker.


It must all be rather demoralizing if you have the misfortune to be a CIA agent in this new tell-all era. And informing the enemy how far the CIA may now go and no further when questioning suspects doesn't make its job any easier, either. Or Americans any safer.


So the president hopped across the river to CIA headquarters at Langley to buck up our terrorist-hunters. And he did. He got cheers from the assembled CIA officers when he told them he was with them all the way. ("I know the last few days have been difficult. You need to know you've got my full support.") His pep talk would have done credit to Knute Rockne at halftime. "You don't get credit when things go good," the president observed, "but you sure get blame when things don't." Truer words were seldom spoken. He said he understands why CIA agents sometimes feel they have to protect the country with one hand tied behind their backs. Of course he does, having done more than his part to tie them.


The president assured all present that he was not going to prosecute those agents who'd waterboarded three top al-Qaida prisoners, and garnered life-saving information in the process. After all, they had every reason to believe they were acting legally and properly. The Justice Department had told them so.


The president, was clear: Those lawyers in the Justice Department who reached conclusions that it's now fashionable to denounce weren't going to be penalized for expressing their honest opinions. A fair and prudent decision on the president's part: Why criminalize legal advice?


If government lawyers are going to be prosecuted for their opinions, you can easily imagine the chilling effect that would have on any government lawyers asked for their counsel in the future. Why risk offering it if you're just going to be prosecuted for it later?


But the Monday of the president's pep talk to the CIA was followed by a Tuesday, as happens with some regularity, and President Obama No. 1 was immediately replaced by President Obama No. 2, who announced that his Justice Department might just prosecute officials in the previous administration after all, including those who had advised the CIA. And who'd concluded it would be legal to use harsh measures when interrogating prisoners who might have valuable information about the next pending terrorist attack on these shores. For prime example, one Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who had organized the 9/11 attacks and boasted of having personally beheaded American reporter Daniel Pearl.


When asked when and where the next series of attacks on this country would take place, a pre-waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, less formally known as KSM, would only say, ominously: "Soon, you will know."


But the post-waterboaded KSM was a different man. He could not have been more cooperative, revealing al-Qaida's plans for a "Second Wave" of assaults that would use "East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into a building in Los Angeles." A scheme that was duly thwarted, thank goodness. All this is according to one of those revealing Justice Department memos President Obama has just released. But none of that prevented him from accusing Americans of having lost "our moral bearings" during the war on terror.


Within a day, the reasonable President Obama No. 1 had vanished, along with his promise not to start a vendetta against his own intelligence agency. In his place was President Obama No. 2, who was now washing his hands of the whole touchy question of whether to prosecute officials of the previous administration. Passing the buck to his Justice Department, he now explained that such a decision was not his responsibility; he's only president. Knute Rockne had suddenly been replaced by Pontius Pilate.


Would the real Barack Obama stand up, if there is one? Is he the stalwart leader who appeared at Langley to give his "full support" to the country's hard-pressed and much-maligned intelligence agents? Or is he just a bystander who's going to leave the really tough questions to his attorney general, or maybe the more vendetta-minded members of his party in Congress?


The CIA agents he'd bucked up the day before must have been feeling let down 24 hours later — and awfully alone. They've been left to wonder how long before indictments, or at least congressional inquisitors, appear at their door.


Harry Truman used to have a sign on his desk that said The Buck Stops Here. This president is passing it like the salt and pepper. Or at least Barack Obama No. 2 is while No. 1 has disappeared.


What does Barack Obama really think, or does he just reflect the opinion of whatever audience he's addressing at the time, whether at Langley or in the leftier reaches of his own party?


There are times, like now, when our still new but not quite as young, and no longer quite as thrilling, president seems just a slighty confused, wavering young man out of his depth. Here's hoping he can decide just which Barack Obama he is, and soon. Before it gets any later. Our challenges in this dangerous world do not grow less, nor our enemies any kinder.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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