9 Feb 2009
... Obama visited this northern Indiana town on Monday to pitch his jobs-and-infrastructure plan that also would cut taxes and inject billions into the nation's struggling economy. After a 17-minute speech, he turned the event over to unscreened guests.
Well - Good! - He's made a clean break with W's "only folks who adore me can attend my public appearances!".
Sadly, we then read this:
Obama Stands Behind 'State Secrets' DefenseRecall, the "state secrets" exclusion derives from a 1953 Supreme Court case:
Critics Outraged: "This Is Not Change"
By STEPHEN GREY, ABC News
February 9, 2009
... In a federal court hearing in San Francisco this morning, a representative of the Justice Department said it would continue the Bush policy of invoking the 'state secrets' defense, which has been used in cases of rendition and torture.
A stroll down memory laneI'm disappointed that Obama's DoJ continues to hide behind this discredited doctrine.
Just for fun: I note that the "state secrets privilege" was first formally articulated by the Supreme Court in 1953 decision, United States v Reynolds. The U.S. asserted that relevant evidence contained state secrets and that revealing this evidence would compromise national security. As a consequence of this evidentiary ruling, the widows of three men killed in the crash of a B-29 Superfortress were precluded from seeking damages from the government.
Documents released in 2000 revealed that the assertion of the "state secrets privilege" was bogus - or at least, paper thin. No threat to national security was involved - or none that couldn't have been surgically redacted. The documents DID reveal that the plane was in poor condition - probably not really flight-worthy.
Yes - our Government lies to us. For petty reasons. Instinctively.
Again: moving away from W's "only those who love me are invited" is a good thing.
BUT: I'd rather see a clear break from the substance of W's policies, not just his style.