“Obama has defined this as a war, just like George Bush did. He gets great marks for the macro statement, but some of the other rhetoric confuses that fact as well,” Michael Hayden, Mr. Bush’s last CIA director, said in an interview Thursday…

Overall, Mr. Hayden said, there is more continuity than divergence between the Bush and Obama administrations’ approaches to the war on terror.

“You’ve got state secrets, targeted killings, indefinite detention, renditions, the opposition to extending the right of habeas corpus to prisoners at Bagram [in Afghanistan],” Mr. Hayden said, listing the continuities. “And although it is slightly different, Obama has been as aggressive as President Bush in defending prerogatives about who he has to inform in Congress for executive covert action.”…

“From a homeland security point of view, the points of continuity are striking and the points of departure are minor,” said Stewart Baker, a former policy chief for the Department of Homeland Security and author of “Skating on Stilts,” a legal defense of much of the new policies in the global war on terror.