Barack Obama is assembling a very high quality team of lawyers at the Justice Department, and in particular, at the Office of Legal Counsel. After appointing Dawn Johnson to head OLC, he has now appointed Georgetown law professor Marty Lederman to serve as OLC's Deputy AG. Lederman has been a prolific opponent of the Bush administration's lawless policies; he's been particularly critical of the administration's interrogation and warrantless surveillance programs. (A list of 244 such articles can be found here, and a recent law review article he co-authored with the Department's new Principal Deputy, David Barron, can be found here.)
Lederman, another former Clinton Office of Legal Counsel lawyer, is perhaps the most prominent of several high-profile opponents of the Bush Administration's executive power claims joining Obama, a mark that he intends not just to change but to aggressively reverse Bush's moves on subjects like torture. With hires like Barron, [Johnson], and Lederman, Obama is not just going back to Democratic lawyers: These are anti-Bush lawyers.
Lederman has been, in particular, an early and vocal critic of torture, and has suggested Bush Administration officials have committed specific crimes in that regard.
Several days ago AP reported that Obama is preparing to issue an executive order prohibiting further use of the Bush administration's so-called "enhanced interrogation methods", but that some unnamed Obama advisors were considering the possibility of a "classified annex" that would allow some techniques that weren't specifically authorized in the Army Field Manual. The Field Manual doesn't purport to include an exhaustive list of all permissible interrogation techniques, so it's possible for a technique to be excluded from the list yet still be permissible under international law. Current law forbids the military from using any methods not specifically authorized in the manual, but George Bush vetoed a bill that would have extended that same prohibition to the CIA.