ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: You started out on Monday wondering why we were being so opposite of George Bush in all of these questions. And on Friday, I'm answering questions about, why are we so much like George Bush on all of these questions?
I'll let you guys discern what inflection point -- what period of days that all changed.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, we'll let the round table discern what period of day that all changed.
Let me bring them all in right now. I've got George Will as always, former State Department official Liz Cheney, Steve Schmidt, John McCain's former campaign manager, James Carville, Democratic strategist, also the author of "40 More Years, How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation". Making George Will laugh. And Katrina Vanden Heuvel of "The Nation" magazine.
George, let's begin with the decisions President Obama made this week. He decided not to allow the release of these photos of detainee abuse. He decided to reinstitute military commissions. You saw there a lot of human rights groups upset. Jim Webb apparently not all that upset as a Democrat. How significant are these shifts and are they the right moves?
GEORGE WILL, COLUMNIST: Well, they come after he essentially affirmed warrantless wiretapping and escalated in Afghanistan. So you can see why a certain faction of the Democratic Party is unhappy.
On the other hand, he has changed his mind on the photographs, but he's changed his mind by keeping a promise. The promise he made during the campaign was I will always consult with my commanders. He consulted with the commanders who said among other things, the 10 days after the Abu Ghraib photos were released, there was a spike of violence in Iraq. They strongly urged him not to release these and he won't.
Now there is a court involved in this and the court has so far said that under the Freedom of Information Act, they have to be released. He can appeal that, he can lose, and he can then say I did my best and the photos come out.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That good enough?
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, "THE NATION": Obama was elected in part to correct the illegal shameful policies of these last eight years. I'm interested in the military commission's decision. Because he sided ...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you support him on the photos?
VANDEN HEUVEL: I don't. And I think they will come out and I think Obama could've set a clean break by saying we will never allow these policies to happen again. They should be released to a commission. That's what I think he should have said if he wanted to elide the full disclosure. But on the military commissions, he sided with the military over his Justice Department, which weighed in and said that the federal courts have a long and good tradition of safeguarding the government's national legitimate interests as well as safeguarding intelligence information and the due process of suspects.
I think that it was a mistake. And I think what he's done, President Obama, is made it harder for some of his supporters to support him. And he will need them. He will need them in the fights ahead. And he can't -- my final point, he cannot evade any longer the need for full true transparency and accountability. The momentum for a commission, a nonpartisan independent commission is so powerful at this stage.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm not sure that's true. If you heard those senators today ...