President Obama made what a spokesman called a "weighty" decision last week. He released a Bush administration memo that lists and precisely describes the harsh interrogation techniques the CIA was allowed to use when questioning al-Qaida suspects. What could he possibly have been thinking?

Although the President signed an executive order halting the use of these methods soon after he took office, he and his CIA director both acknowledged that the administration reserved the right to use them in the future should they be needed. Now, they cannot be used even if this or any future administration finds them necessary.

... The President has rendered useless techniques that, although seldom used, could have come in extremely handy in the future. Sometimes simply threatening to use a particular method can get a prisoner to talk. The President has not only made these methods useless, he has made the threat to use them useless as well.

The President has handed our enemy extremely valuable information that will almost certainly make it harder to extract intelligence from reluctant prisoners in the future. He has, in short, made America less safe.