WASHINGTON " The Obama administration is quietly signaling continued support for some major elements of its predecessor's approach to fighting Al Qaeda, according to analysts. In little-noticed confirmation testimony recently, Obama nominees endorsed continuing the C.I.A.'s programme of transferring prisoners to other countries without legal rights, and indefinitely detaining terrorism suspects without trials even if they were arrested far from a war zone, The New York Times pointed out. The administration has also embraced the Bush legal team's arguments that a lawsuit by former C.I.A. detainees should be shut down based on the "state secrets" doctrine. It has also left the door open to resuming military commission trials. And earlier this month, after a British court cited pressure by the United States in declining to release information about the alleged torture of a detainee in American custody, the Obama administration issued a statement thanking the British government "for its continued commitment to protect sensitive national security information," the newspaper pointed out. These and other signs suggest that the administration's changes may turn out to be less sweeping than many had hoped or feared " prompting growing worry among civil liberties groups and a sense of vindication among supporters of Bush-era policies, it said. In an interview with The Times, the White House counsel, Gregory Craig, asserted that the administration was not embracing Mr. Bush's approach to the world. But Craig also said President Obama intended to avoid any "shoot from the hip" and "bumper sticker slogans" approaches to deciding what to do with the counterterrorism policies he inherited. "We are charting a new way forward, taking into account both the security of the American people and the need to obey the rule of law," Craig said. "That is a message we would give to the civil liberties people as well as to the Bush people." Within days of his inauguration, Mr. Obama thrilled civil liberties groups when he issued executive orders promising less secrecy, restricting C.I.A. interrogators to Army Field Manual techniques, shuttering the agency's secret prisons, ordering the prison at Guantnamo Bay, Cuba, closed within a year and halting military commission trials. But in more recent weeks, things have become murkier. During her confirmation hearing last week, Elena Kagan, the nominee for solicitor general, said that someone suspected of helping finance Al Qaeda should be subject to battlefield law " indefinite detention without a trial " even if he were captured in a place like the Philippines rather than in a physical battle zone. Ms. Kagan's support for an elastic interpretation of the "battlefield" amplified remarks that Attorney General Eric Holder, made at his own confirmation hearing. And it dovetailed with a core Bush position, The Times pointed out. Civil liberties groups argue that people captured away from combat zones should go to prison only after trials. Moreover, the nominee for C.I.A. director, Leon Panetta, opened a loophole in Obama's interrogation restrictions. At his hearing, Panetta said that if the approved techniques were "not sufficient" to get a detainee to divulge details he was suspected of knowing about an imminent attack, he would ask for "additional authority." To be sure, it said, Panetta emphasized that the president could not bypass antitorture statutes, as Bush lawyers claimed. And he said that waterboarding " a technique that induces the sensation of drowning, and that the Bush administration said was lawful " is torture. But Panetta also said the C.I.A. might continue its "extraordinary rendition" program, under which agents seize terrorism suspects and take them to other countries without extradition proceedings, in a more sweeping form than anticipated.