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Quick Takes

By Dan Froomkin
9:30 AM ET, 03/25/2009

Carrie Johnson writes in The Washington Post: "Civil liberties advocates are accusing the Obama administration of forsaking campaign rhetoric and adopting the same expansive arguments that his predecessor used to cloak some of the most sensitive intelligence-gathering programs of the Bush White House."

Josh Meyer writes in the Los Angeles Times: "The Obama administration said Tuesday it is speeding hundreds of federal agents and intelligence analysts to the Mexican border, along with specialized technology, as part of an ambitious new plan to attack the powerful drug cartels and prevent violence from spilling into the United States. The initiative represents the most determined U.S. effort in years to counter the powerful and dangerous cartels and assist Mexican President Felipe Calderon in a battle that has already claimed more than 7,000 lives in Mexico over the last 15 months."


Karen DeYoung writes in The Washington Post: "The removal of about 140,000 U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011 will be a 'massive and expensive effort' that is likely to increase rather than lower Iraq-related expenditures during the withdrawal and for several years after its completion, government investigators said in a report released yesterday."

USA Today reports that former secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told NBC's Jay Leno last night that she -- like former president George W. Bush, and very much unlike former vice president Dick Cheney -- won't take pot shots at the new team: "My view is we got to do it our way; we did our best. We did some things well, some things not so well. Now, they get their chance. And I agree with the president. We owe them our loyalty and our silence while they do it. Because I know what it's like to have people chirping at you when they perhaps don't know what's going on inside. These are quality people. I know them. They love the country. And they won't make the same decisions, perhaps, that we did. But I believe they'll do what they think is best for the country and I'll give my advice privately and keep it to myself."

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