Thursday, September 9, 2010

Obama successfully defends Bush's crimes

Posted By on Thu, Sep 9, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Yesterday, the Ninth District Court of Appeals, in a sharply divided decision, ruled against former prisoners of the CIA who say they were flown to foreign countries and tortured. The Court made its decision on the grounds that the former prisoners could not sue because their lawsuit might expose secret government information. This decision is a terrible disappointment to all who have hoped that the policy of “rendition” — in which people are, as these men attest, flown to overseas prisons and tortured — would finally be ruled against, as a violation of international law. It’s an even bigger disappointment, if that’s possible, that the Obama administration is not only defending, but continuing, this outrageous policy, begun by the Bush administration.

Under Bush, the former prisoners’ cases were never given a real hearing, as Bush &  Co. argued that even talking about the cases in court would “violate the state secrets privilege.” During his campaign for the presidency, Obama said over and over that he opposed Bush’s rendition policy and what he called a “government cult of secrecy.” After he was inaugurated, though, Obama’s conviction on that issue lasted all of a week, and he was soon defending Cheney/Bush’s radical “interpretation” of executive powers.

Unlike many of my fellow lefties, I didn't think Obama was a full-fledged progressive (much less the “socialist” many Republicans see when they look at him), so I wasn’t expecting miracles ... but DAMN. Continuing rendition? Letting the CIA loose to do whatever it wants in Afghanistan? Damn. I think Obama is a better president than do many of his liberal supporters, and he’s done some very good things that have flown under the media radar. But yesterday’s court “victory” for his administration isn’t just a disappointment for progressives – it’s bad news for that “nation of laws” we keep hearing about.


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