Monday, April 13, 2009

Obama's Secrecy Abuses

I’ve said before that, even though I am very happy with President Obama, I would not hesitate to criticize decisions or policies I don’t agree with.

The decision to continue the Bush administration’s policy of warrant less wiretapping is definitely something I don’t agree with.

(I wanted to talk about this last week, but I just didn’t get to it.)

The truth is, this is a complex situation that requires a much better understanding of the Justice Department and constitutional law then I can claim.

This video does a pretty good job summing it up though:

I also found this article by Glenn Greenward to be exceptionally good at explaining the situation:
That the Obama DOJ has repeatedly embraced the very legal theories responsible for much of the intense progressive rage towards the Bush/Cheney regime is now beyond dispute. The question of motive -- of why Obama is doing this -- is far less clear. Motives in general are notoriously difficult to discern. It's often hard to know one's own motives, let alone those of others, and one can only speculate about the reasons for Obama's actions.

There is, as Pelosi said this week, clearly a strong aversion -- one might say "desperation" -- on the part of the Obama White House to avoid anything that could increase the pressure to commence investigations and prosecutions of Bush crimes. As Slate's Dahlia Lithwick succinctly put it: "by keeping the worst of the Bush administration's secrets hidden, the Obama Justice Department can defer awkward questions about prosecuting the wrongdoers."

Ultimately, though, motives don't matter. Simply put, there is no excuse, justification or mitigation for advocating blatantly unconstitutional and tyrannical powers or claiming that secrecy shields the President from the rule of law. Nor is the faith-based belief that Obama is a Good Person who therefore deserves trust even remotely rational or relevant. As Professor Turley put it on Countdown: "It doesn‘t matter if you are a good person doing bad things. You are doing bad things." These secrecy and detention powers are among the most dangerous and tyrannical powers a President can seize, and Obama's attempt to cling to them is deplorable no matter his "motives."

President Obama's decision to take this stance is more then disappointing.

It's frightening.

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