Remember how the Bush administration was going to have to stop questioning terrorists unless Congress agreed to redefine the Geneva Conventions' restrictions on rough treatment of detainees? And remember how there was no way the government could possibly try accused terrorists without hearsay, coerced testimony, and secret evidence? Well, forget all that.
I get that politics is all about the art of compromise, but this looks more like a complete surrender. I hope it means that people will be a little more skeptical the next time the president claims that national security requires cutting legal corners.
Update: As several commenters have pointed out, the impression I got from the New York Times story of a "complete surrender" by President Bush was not accurate. In particular, as Glenn Greenwald notes at Salon (ad viewing required), it looks like the Bush administration will be able to proceed with torture (or at least "torture lite") under a different name and by a different legal route than the one on which it had seemed to be insisting. Likewise, evidence obtained by rough questioning would still be admissible in trials before military tribunals unless the methods used amounted to "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment." But judging from the specifics of the ACLU's complaints (or rather, judging from what the ACLU is not complaining about), the administration does seem to have made significant concessions on the issues of secret evidence and hearsay, although I suppose it may have planned to do so all along.