Net Neutrality vs. Torture Policy

Something struck me today while catching up on my blog headlines.  Remember the WSJ article BTD blogged about that set off an online firestorm?  We were all supposed to sit tight and dismiss the article until Obama appointed someone like Brennan to the CIA.  Then we could complain.  Then we would find out if Obama had changed his policy.

It strikes me that today's WSJ article on net neutrality shared some of the characteristics of the WSJ article on the CIA:  advisors less keen on Obama's positions than Obama seems to be, and ominous suggestions that Obama won't follow through on campaign promises relating to issues that are pretty much cut and dry.

But h/t kos, we find that the Obama team has responded the very same day to the net neutrality WSJ article, to reaffirm their committment to net neutrality:

The Obama transition team is reaffirming his complete commitment to net neutrality and is disputing a much-discussed report today claiming that the President-elect is softening his support for it or shifting his position on it.

Obama transition spokesperson Nick Shapiro told us moments ago that Obama's position -- strong support for net neutrality -- hasn't changed.


We now know that according to Obama's transition team, his positions haven't changed.

- TPM/Greg Sargent

Perhaps the issue is that nobody asked the Obama transition team for comment following the publication of an article entitled "Intelligence Policy to Stay Largely Intact" (though I do not think that is actually the issue).  Sargent writes:

The Journal story (which was strongly disputed by Google and many others) also suggests, based on scant evidence, that Obama's position may have softened. But the paper didn't appear to contact the Obama team for any comment.

So we did. Asked if the Obama camp had shifted its stance in any way on net neutrality or softened its commitment to it, Shapiro answered: "No." Even limited public declarations (such as this one) from the Obama transition team about the incoming administration's priorities have been few and far between.

The Obama transition team nipped this one in the bud.  Good for them.  I hope we will receive the same level of clarity from Obama in the coming weeks when he appoints his intelligence agency heads.  Compared to today's net neutrality flap management, it is remarkable that they allowed the ambiguity re: their intelligence policy to stand.  We will certainly need Obama to take the lead, especially as our leaders in Congress have been willing to blur the lines when it comes to their former strong anti-torture stances.

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