Or, as Glenn Greenwald headlines it:
Obama fails his first test on civil liberties and accountability -- resoundingly and disgracefully
Two weeks ago, I interviewed the ACLU's Ben Wizner, counsel to 5 individuals suing the subsidiary of Boeing (Jeppesen) which had arranged the Bush administration's rendition program, under which those 5 plaintiffs had been abducted, sent to other countries and brutally tortured. Today the Obama administration was required to file with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals its position in this case -- i.e., whether it would continue the Bush administration's abusive reliance on the "state secrets" privilege to prevent courts from ruling on such matters, or whether they would adhere to Obama's previous claims about his beliefs on "state secrets" by withdrawing that position and allowing these victims their day in court.
Yesterday, enthusiastic Obama supporter Andrew Sullivan wrote about this case: "Tomorrow in a federal court hearing in San Francisco, we'll find out if the Obama administration intends to keep the evidence as secret as the Bush administration did." As I wrote after interviewing Wizner two weeks ago: "This is the first real test of the authenticity of Obama's commitment to reverse the abuses of executive power over the last eight years." Today, the Obama administration failed that test -- resoundingly and disgracefully:Obama Administration Maintains Bush Position on 'Extraordinary Rendition' Lawsuit
The Obama Administration today announced that it would keep the same position as the Bush Administration in the lawsuit Mohamed et al v Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc.
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.
So while we are busily renaming the so-called war on terror, we're apparently keeping most of the essentials.
I guess we can take that tape we've been saving to put the Constitution back together and use it for wrapping care packages to the troops, who are going to be in Iraq and Afghanistan for a long time....