Secrecy and Obama

This topic isn't getting anough attention, at least in my mind. By far, Glenn Greenwald details all that is wrong on this subject. I've included links below to some of his writings, including a before and after look at public statements made by Obama on the very topic of secrecy. It's more than just disturbing. Nothing is changing. 

How do you get this cart back on to the correct track?

From Digby

Pragmatic Princples by digby, Hullabaloo, April 12, 2009

By now it's clear that the Holder DOJ is going to keep at least some of the legal pillars of the Bush GWOT regime in place, but that's not entirely surprising. All new presidents of either party tend to support the powerful entrenched bureaucracies and rarely give up power once obtained. (Many of us made that point when people reduced the argument to the necessity of electing a Democratic president.) However, it's profoundly disappointing that the administration is actually seizing more executive power in the case of the states' secrets argument and perpetuating a lawless prison regime outside our borders.

Perhaps there is some sophisticated legal strategy involved in Obama DOJ reasserting the Bush administration's policies but it's hard to see where the principled constitutional lines are drawn. And without the constitutional principles it's all just more of the same.

They've got a Secret
by digby, Hullabaloo, April 10, 2009

From Glenn Greenwald

An emerging progressive consensus on Obama's executive power and secrecy abuses
By Glenn Greenwald,, April 13, 2009

In the last week alone, the Obama DOJ (a) attempted to shield Bush's illegal spying programs from judicial review by (yet again) invoking the very "state secrets" argument that Democrats spent years condemning and by inventing a brand new "sovereign immunity" claim that not even the Bush administration espoused, and (b) argued that individuals abducted outside of Afghanistan by the U.S. and then "rendered" to and imprisoned in Bagram have no rights of any kind -- not even to have a hearing to contest the accusations against them -- even if they are not Afghans and were captured far away from any "battlefield."  These were merely the latest -- and among the most disturbing -- in a string of episodes in which the Obama administration has explicitly claimed to possess the very presidential powers that Bush critics spent years condemning as radical, lawless and authoritarian.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for honest Obama supporters to dismiss away or even minimize these criticisms and, especially, to malign the motives of critics.  After all, the Obama DOJ's embrace of many (though by no means all) of the most radical and extremist Bush/Cheney positions -- and the contradictions between Obama's campaign claims and his actions as President -- are now so glaring and severe that the harshest denunciations of Obama's actions are coming from those who, during the Bush years, were held up by liberals and by Obama supporters as the most trustworthy and praiseworthy authorities on these matters.  

The 180-degree reversal of Obama's State Secrets position
By Glenn Greenwald,, February 10, 2009

Obama and habeas corpus -- then and now
By Glenn Greenwald,, April 11, 2009

TPM: "Obama Mimics Bush on State Secrets"
By Glenn Greenwald,, April 9, 2009


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Here's something else, hidden right out there in the open, a bill from Rockefeller and Snowe empowering Obama to shut down the internet.


 Thank you for pointing out that story. I wish there was more information on the bill as it currently stands. I greatly respect EFF, so their comments carry weight for me. 

Adds Jennifer Granick, civil liberties director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, "Essentially, the Act would federalize critical infrastructure security. Since many systems (banks, telecommunications, energy)are in the hands of the private sector, the bill would create a major shift of power away from users and companies to the federal government."

I think that we are supposed to be discussing the new puppy, not these distractions.

And that's why I brought it up. Secrecy strikes at the very core of the rights in the Constitution. It surprises me how many people just shrug it off.

I'm sorry the commentary wasn't more substantive. 

The thing was, you know, neither the name of the breeder/supplier, nor the breed choice, nor the arrival date leaked.

Yet the possibility of the Portuguese Water Dog choice was well known ahead of time. There was this lady in the park a couple of weeks ago with one, I said, oh the new first breed, she said the favorite was the labradoodle.

Any follow up on the breed would have led quickly to the breeder, and the arrival date (they have to be old enough to leave home).

Should this be ascribed to yet another monumental failure by the press? Imagine what Murdoch and the New York Post could have done with this, or even Fox News. Personaly I don't really follow them, but I do try to keep up with the cover stories in the National Enquirer, and they missed the boat on this one totally.

The question I have is this: are we witnessing the adoption of a British style D-notice system of press control, or was the First Puppy given a break before it got its official feet wet? Then you'd have to wonder, if the result is the same, whether there's much difference between official and self-censorship on important matters of state, like this. One of the things we found out during the Bush years, I think, is that once started on this road of secrecy, it gets to be very difficult to turn back. No one likes to admit mistakes, even less does government.

The scoop is he actually arrived April 11th and they kept that secret till the 14th.I guess the press don't really get to wander around muchover there!