Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Obama fails civil liberties test miserably

Obama is backing the Bush administration's invoking of the state secrets rule to prevent evidence of torture from coming to light. This is disgusting and disappointing. Greenwald:
What makes this particularly appalling and inexcusable is that Senate Democrats had long vehemently opposed the use of the "state secrets" privilege in exactly the way that the Bush administration used it in this case, even sponsoring legislation to limits its use and scope. Yet here is Obama, the very first chance he gets, invoking exactly this doctrine in its most expansive and abusive form to prevent torture victims even from having their day in court, on the ground that national security will be jeopardized if courts examine the Bush administration's rendition and torture programs -- even though (a) the rendition and torture programs have been written about extensively in the public record; (b) numerous other countries have investigated exactly these allegations; and (c) other countries have provided judicial forums in which these same victims could obtain relief.
Sullivan:

The Obama administration will continue the cover-up of the alleged torture of the British resident. The argument is that revealing the extent of the man's torture and abuse would reveal state secrets. No shit. This is a depressing sign that the Obama administration will protect the Bush-Cheney torture regime from the light of day. And with each decision to cover for their predecessors, the Obamaites become retroactively complicit in them.

So what are they hiding from us? Wouldn't you like to know?

Shame on you Obama. This is isn't what you campaigned on. We need more transparency, not continued government cover-up of torture. Beware what happened to Lyndon Johnson: he achieved titanic social reforms, but was brought down because he couldn't bring himself to discontinue the evils he inherited (in his case, the Vietnam war). In your effort to "look forward", beware you don't become an enabler of torture by covering up past abuses. And don't let Afghanistan lure you into another quagmire.

1 Comments:

Anonymous bill in minneapolis said...

I agree. This is very disturbing.

Is it just too early to open this can of worms ? I have to believe that Obama wants transparency on past torture but maybe it is not politicaly expediant to proceed right now.

We need to hold his feet to the fire on this issue.

12:01 AM, February 11, 2009  

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