As candidate Barack Obama was pledged to release photographs of abuse of prisoners by the military and to end the mililtary commissions that George W Bush established to try the inmates of Guantanamo Bay.
In recent days President Obama has reversed both of those positions.
He has decided that the release of abuse photographs will only risk inflaming opinion towards America and towards US forces in particular. He has also reluctantly decided that military commissions - with reform - are the only effective way of trying prisoners who were captured in theatres of war.
Rich Lowry of National Review welcomes the White House's double shift: