10 February, 2009

President Obama - My Woodshed. Now.

Explain this:

This is just wrong:

"In a closely watched case involving rendition and torture, a lawyer for the Obama administration seemed to surprise a panel of federal appeals judges on Monday by pressing ahead with an argument for preserving state secrets originally developed by the Bush administration.

In the case, Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian native, and four other detainees filed suit against a subsidiary of Boeing for arranging flights for the Bush administration's "extraordinary rendition" program, in which terrorism suspects were secretly taken to other countries, where they say they were tortured. The Bush administration argued that the case should be dismissed because even discussing it in court could threaten national security and relations with other nations.

During the campaign, Mr. Obama harshly criticized the Bush administration's treatment of detainees, and he has broken with that administration on questions like whether to keep open the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But a government lawyer, Douglas N. Letter, made the same state-secrets argument on Monday, startling several judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

"Is there anything material that has happened" that might have caused the Justice Department to shift its views, asked Judge Mary M. Schroeder, an appointee of President Jimmy Carter, coyly referring to the recent election.

"No, your honor," Mr. Letter replied.

Judge Schroeder asked, "The change in administration has no bearing?"

Once more, he said, "No, Your Honor." The position he was taking in court on behalf of the government had been "thoroughly vetted with the appropriate officials within the new administration," and "these are the authorized positions," he said."

You know this is wrong. I know you're busy trying to rescue your stimulus package from the Cons and the centrists who are busily destroying it. I appreciate that you have a gargantuan amount of things on your plate. But your Administration, after such a lovely start, is headed down the slippery slope to Bush-style buffoonery. And it needs to stop now.

This is a man whose genitals were sliced up by people we handed him to for torture because he looked at a joke website. And you want to play the State Secrets game with this? This is utter bullshit.

You are smarter than this, and you are better than this. Fix it.


Mike at The Big Stick said...

"As I have mentioned in comments on various blogs, when Obama received his first national intelligence briefing in November, he entered the most exclusive club in the world. He began to learn things that no doubt completely changed the way he would think about the world from that moment forward. The blunt realities of leading the most powerful nation in the world are no doubt eye opening. This is why foreign policy remains the least changed aspect of the federal government with each new President. There is more continuity there than in any other area and for good reason. Foreign policy is a very complicated thing and it can’t be subject to the whims of each new President.

When Obama began to receive executive-level intelligence he also began to see a very different picture than those of us who get our security briefings from CNN and MSNBC. He was probably informed about successes we have had using intelligence gained under duress. He probably learned about the use of torture in every administration since FDR. He probably learned about a lot of rule-breaking under previous administrations that resulted in a safer America. And that is why I don’t think he will pursue investigations of Bush’s administration. Because now he knows why they did what they did."


Cujo359 said...

As I have mentioned in comments on various blogs, when Obama received his first national intelligence briefing in November, he entered the most exclusive club in the world.

Then you've been writing nonsense on a lot of blogs lately. Obama's had John Brennan, an apologist for extraordinary rendition during the Bush years, on his foreign policy team at least since May of last year. Brennan was the guy Obama wanted to appoint Brennan as DNI until the heat got too bad. He later appointed him as a deputy NSA in charge of, wait for it, terrorism.

Obama's been lapping up this phony-tough BS for a long time. He didn't just buy into it in November.

For an interesting discussion on all this, check this thread at Folo. Mary is a commenter who knows her stuff on this issue.