[eDebate] anti-bush obama withdraws "state-secrets" privilege from Mohamed et al v Jeppesen!!!
Tue Feb 10 11:43:30 CST 2009
hey, don't worry, he won't be learning from his mistakes all 4 years. rohttp://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/02/09/state_secrets/index.htmlYesterday, 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:Obama Administration Maintains Bush Position on 'Extraordinary Rendition' LawsuitThe Obama Administration today announced that it would keep the same position as the Bush Administration in the lawsuit Mohamed et al v Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc.A source inside of the Ninth U.S. District Court tells ABC News that a representative of the Justice Department stood up to say that its position hasn't changed, that new administration stands behind arguments that previous administration made, with no ambiguity at all. The DOJ lawyer said the entire subject matter remains a state secret.This is not going to please civil libertarians and human rights activists who had hoped the Obama administration would allow the lawsuit to proceed.The ACLU's Wizner said this:We are shocked and deeply disappointed that the Justice Department has chosen to continue the Bush administration?s practice of dodging judicial scrutiny of extraordinary rendition and torture. This was an opportunity for the new administration to act on its condemnation of torture and rendition, but instead it has chosen to stay the course. Now we must hope that the court will assert its independence by rejecting the government?s false claims of state secrets and allowing the victims of torture and rendition their day in court.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.
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