NH Writer, Blogger, Gadfly
Obama Says 'Yes' to Torture and RenditionTo quote Glenn Greenwald:[begin quote]Two weeks ago, I interviewed the ACLU's Ben Wizner, counsel to 5 individuals suing the subsidiary of Boeing (Jeppesen) which had arranged the Bush administration's rendition program, under which those 5 plaintiffs had been abducted, sent to other countries and brutally tortured. Today the Obama administration was required to file with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals its position in this case -- i.e., whether it would continue the Bush administration's abusive reliance on the "state secrets" privilege to prevent courts from ruling on such matters, or whether they would adhere to Obama's previous claims about his beliefs on "state secrets" by withdrawing that position and allowing these victims their day in court.Yesterday, enthusiastic Obama supporter Andrew Sullivan wrote about this case: "Tomorrow in a federal court hearing in San Francisco, we'll find out if the Obama administration intends to keep the evidence as secret as the Bush administration did." As I wrote after interviewing Wizner two weeks ago: "This is the first real test of the authenticity of Obama's commitment to reverse the abuses of executive power over the last eight years." Today, the Obama administration failed that test -- resoundingly and disgracefully... [end quote]No surprise here: once in power, Obama shifts into reverse gear, and suddenly embraces the "state secrets" he previously condemned. Plus he protects those who aided and committed torture and "extraordinary rendition."[begin quote] It isn't merely that the Obama DOJ is invoking the privilege for this particular case, which contains allegations of torture that are as brutal and severe as any. That's bad enough. But worse is that they're invoking the most abusive parts of the Bush theory: namely, that the privilege can be used to block the adjudication of entire cases (rather than, say, justify the concealment of specific classified documents or other pieces of evidence), and, worse still, can be used to prevent judicial scrutiny even when the alleged government conduct is blatantly illegal and, as here, a war crime of the greatest seriousness.They're embracing a theory that literally places government officials beyond the rule of law.[end quote]Thought you were getting "change"? Think again. You're getting Bush the Sequel.
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