Monday, February 9, 2009

Style is good. Substance would be better.

Obama faces tough question over Cabinet picks
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.

[emphasis added.]

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' Defense
Critics Outraged: "This Is Not Change"

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.
Recall, the "state secrets" exclusion derives from a 1953 Supreme Court case:
A stroll down memory lane
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.
I'm disappointed that Obama's DoJ continues to hide behind this discredited doctrine.

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.

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