I always liked the music of the Talking Heads. Right now, I've got that voice going in my head saying
"Same as it ever was.
Same as it ever was.
Same as it ever was ..."
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.
Same as it ever was. Did you think you voted for Change?
If the Obama administration refuses to prosecute criminal acts that occurred in the previous administration, and if they assertively act in the courts to try to protect and shield those who committed crimes in the previous administration, then that makes the Obama administration an accomplice to those crimes.
No grey area here. You either prosecute torturers, or you protect and shield them. The Obama administration has come down quite clearly on the side of the torturers and is acting to protect and shield them.
Not only is this highly immoral, but its also doing terrible things to the nation. First, it means that any slow down (not a halt, just backing off a bit) of the Obama administration with regard to torture is temporary at best. That's because the Obama administration is sending a clear message to people who serve under future administrations. That is that the law will not be enforced in this area. If a future President feels that torturing other human beings (such as the recent revelations that people's genitals were being sliced), then they can look back on the Obama Administration and feel safe in ignoring the real laws of the land and the world that forbid such torture.
And secondly, the Obama administration is sending a general message to everyone on all fronts, whether it be theft or fraud or kidnapping or murder or torture, that crimes will not be prosecuted. The message is clear that there is no opposition party in this country, and no dedication to a rule of law, therefore, anything goes. If you are a criminal in the guise of a public servant or defender, then you don't need to worry that a change of the party in power might expose you to prosecution. Such criminals are obviously considered to be part of the team, and the protection of such criminals ranks as more important than protecting the nation, the Constitution, or the impartial rule of law in America.
From Glenn Greenwald ...
That's what Barack Obama is now shielding from judicial scrutiny. Those are the torture victims he is preventing from obtaining judicial relief in our courts. And he's using one of the most radical and destructive tools in the Bush arsenal -- its wildly expanded version of the "state secrets" privilege -- to accomplish all of that dirty work. I've been as vigorous a proponent as anyone for waiting to see what Obama does before reaching conclusions about his presidency, but this is a very real and substantial act
At the end of 2006, Slate's Dahlia Lithwick listed the Bush administration's "10 most outrageous civil liberties violations" and it included this:
6. The State-Secrets Doctrine