Case 323 - President Obama and the "Torture Memos"
Martin, Curtis H.
This two-part case study presents the student with one of President Barack Obama’s early, controversial decisions. His April 2009 decision to release four George W. Bush-era Justice Department memoranda approving the use of enhanced interrogation on terrorism suspects offers a window into many larger issues confronting his new administration. At its heart, the decision poses a classic values conflict in a democracy: the necessity of maintaining secrecy in order to protect national security vs. the requirements for transparency and the rule of law. An examination of Obama’s rationale for his decision can be used to provide insight into his decision-making style.