Today Obama has a very different tune on whether or not judges should be allowed and can be trusted to oversee these decisions This can only mean one of two things.

One is that less than a year and a half ago, Obama hadn’t fully considered his opinion on a vital matter of the intersection of press freedom, the courts, and national security. The other is that before a gathering of journalists he made a promise he never intended to keep.

Neither scenario is particularly flattering.

Clint Hendler is the managing editor of Mother Jones, and a former deputy editor of CJR.