08 September 2010

Another Crystal Clear Indication that Obama is (at best) a Right Leaning Centrist

The Obama Administration won a court decision today (hopefully not a final one, but given the reactionary make-up of SCOTUS, there is at best a fleeting hope that this decision will be reversed) by invoking "state secrets" as a defense against detainees who have been tortured by the CIA in black sites around the world. You can read the report in The New York Times here. The delicious part appears in these paragraphs:
“The administration’s aggressive national security policies have in some ways departed from the expectations of change fostered by President Obama’s campaign rhetoric, which was often sharply critical of former President George W. Bush’s approach.

Among other policies, the Obama national security team has also authorized the C.I.A. to try to kill a United States citizen suspected of terrorism ties, blocked efforts by detainees in Afghanistan to bring habeas corpus lawsuits challenging the basis for their imprisonment without trial, and continued the C.I.A.’s so-called extraordinary rendition program of prisoner transfers — though the administration has forbidden torture and says it seeks assurances from other countries that detainees will not be mistreated.”

The understatement is obvious. For those who are 'disappointed' that the putatively progressive Obama is constrained somehow from putting his true political aspirations into effect this case should be a clanging whack upside the head. If Obama were a progressive this case would not exist. His administration is resisting the efforts of individuals seeking justice and he cannot blame this on the Republicans. His administration is saying 'you don't even get your day in court ... we want the torturers to be immune from any recourse ...'. This is shameful.
P.S.: (Added early the next day) ~ As I re-read this this morning there is something else. Does it need saying that the appeals court panel (11 judges!) in San Francisco who made this decision on a 6-5 vote are shameful as well. They sold the constitution down the river.

P.S. 2: Even The New York Times sees this more clearly than our political leaders ~ "Torture is a Crime, Not a Secret." Just So.

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