Nudging Obama

Formerly "Obama Watch" Keeping the promise of change

Obama needs to stop protecting Bush

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Will Obama Block Release of Key Bush-Era Torture Memos?

The “Bradbury” memos outline CIA ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques and provided legal cover for US torture. Obama needs to stop protecting the Bush administration and release the memos—uncensored and unredacted.

by Jeremy Scahill

As has been pointed out by several diligent journalists, human rights lawyers and critics, President Obama has continued—and continued defending—some of the Bush administration’s most repressive “War on Terror” policies, although Obama prefers to not use that term anymore. On several occasions, Obama has invoked the “state secrets” doctrine, including to argue that a lawsuit filed against the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping should be thrown out. As former constitutional lawyer turned columnist Glen Greenwald wrote, the move “demonstrates that the Obama DOJ plans to invoke the exact radical doctrines of executive secrecy which Bush used.”

Meanwhile, the White House is continuing to defend its use of the US prison at Bagram in Afghanistan. On Tuesday, White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs was confronted about this by the great Helen Thomas:

Q Why is the President blocking habeas corpus from prisoners at Bagram? I thought he taught constitutional law. And these prisoners have been there —

MR. GIBBS: You’re incorrect that he taught on constitutional law.

Q — for many years with no due process.

MR. GIBBS: Well, there are several issues relating to that that have to do differently than in some places than others, particularly because you have detainees in an active theater of war. There’s a review that’s pending of court cases and decisions, and we want to ensure — we want to ensure protection and security of the American people as well as rights that might be afforded.

Q Are you saying these people in prison are a threat to us?

MR. GIBBS: Well, I think that part of that is the determination based on our detainee policy that the President announced on the 21st of January, that that’s part of that review, yes.


Chuck then changed the subject. (David Swanson has a humorous take on this back and forth at AfterDowningStreet, while Liliana Segura takes it on at AlterNet.)

The ACLU notes:

As important as these memos are, they will likely not tell the full story of the treatment of detainees in secret CIA prisons and elsewhere. That is why it’s crucial that Congress appoint a select committee with subpoena power and the necessary resources to fully investigate Bush administration abuses. And that is why the Justice Department should appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate the abuses and, if the facts warrant, initiate prosecutions. In order for us to begin fixing the damage done to this country by the last administration, Congress must fully investigate what took place and show the American public that nobody is above the law by holding those responsible accountable for their actions.


Written by bearmarketnews

April 15, 2009 at 9:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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