So on Friday, in a move that Al-Haramain’s lawyer called “mind-boggling”, the Obama administration told the federal court, once again, that it did not have the authority to order the government to make the critical document in the case available to the organization’s lawyers. The decision to reveal the document, wrote the government, “is committed to the discretion of the Executive Branch, and is not subject to judicial review.”
We've already had him break his campaign promises to withdraw from Iraq. And we've already had what's been a combination of a refusal to investigate and indict criminals from the last administration combined with an active defense to shield them. As a part of that work to shield the Bush criminals, the Obama administration has taken up exactly the same sort of fascist arguments about the power of the executive that the Bush administration used.
Now, in front of at least one federal judge, those don't seem to have worked. A judge is ordering that defense lawyers be able to see a document that the Bush/Obama administration considers to be a 'state secret.' The defense lawyers would have to obtain security clearances to even see the document, and would not be allowed to make it public. The document is important because it is purported to state that their client was indeed under NSA surveillance. The government has made other lawsuits about their illegal spying go away by contending that the plaintiffs had no 'standing' to sue as they couldn't prove they were the targets of the secret and illegal spying. So, I'm guessing that's the reason this document is important in this case.
So, a federal judge has ordered the Obama administration to make this document available. And the Obama administration is now in OPEN DEFIANCE of a federal court by REFUSING to do so.
The original design of this country's government was to have three separate but co-equal branches of government. The idea was that each would provide checks and balances against the others grabbing too much power and destroying our sacred liberties. One would suspect that a case like this, where the government has been engaging in illegal and unconstitutional spying on its own citizens is precisely the sort of case that the framers of our constitution had in mind when they create this system.
And note very, very carefully, this puts the Obama administration as taking exactly the same positions as the Bush administration in claiming unconstitutional powers for itself. And by claiming that its 'national security' powers somehow trump and over-ride the other branches of government.
During the last two years, as the Democratic controlled Congress refused to investigate or control the unconstitutional executive powers claimed by the Bush administration, one could get the sense that perhaps they didn't do so because they wanted those powers for themselves on the day they grabbed power.
The Democrats are fully in power today, and they are vigorously defending the executive's right to exactly those same powers that the Bush/Cheney group of criminals so obnoxiously claimed for themselves.
Anyone wishing they'd voted for McKinney or Nader last time? Or willing to start right now to be putting together the long grassroots campaigns we need for 2010 and 2012?