Friday, May 22, 2009

Obama Administration Opposes Phony Lawsuit Over Phony Scandal

With much fanfare, the Bush administration was accused of outing a so-called "covert" CIA operative (the same operative whose face was plastered all over pages of Vanity Fair magazine). Notwithstanding this media-promoted circus, the Obama administration has adopted the Bush legal team's opposition to the self-promoting operative's civil lawsuit:
The Obama administration Wednesday took the side of top Bush administration officials - including most-vocal recent critic, former Vice President Dick Cheney - in the ongoing fight over the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame.
The Justice Department asked the Supreme Court not to hear an appeal of a lawsuit brought by Mrs. Plame and her husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, against several top Bush administration officials. The department's move continued the Bush administration's policy to fight the suit, which has already been dismissed by two lower courts.
And remember when the Bush administration was regularly assailed for shredding the Constitution and assaulting civil liberties? This story from the Obama-friendly New York Times is particularly provocative against the backdrop of the current Cheney-Obama rhetorical tussle:
President Obama told human rights advocates at the White House on Wednesday that he was mulling the need for a "preventive detention" system that would establish a legal basis for the United States to incarcerate terrorism suspects who are deemed a threat to national security but cannot be tried, two participants in the private session said.
Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer notices that something fishy is going on:
If hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue, then the flip-flops on previously denounced anti-terror measures are the homage that Barack Obama pays to George Bush. Within 125 days, Obama has adopted with only minor modifications huge swaths of the entire, allegedly lawless Bush program.
And doesn't this practice sound like rendition?
The United States is now relying heavily on foreign intelligence services to capture, interrogate and detain all but the highest-level terrorist suspects seized outside the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, according to current and former American government officials.
The change represents a significant loosening of the reins for the United States, which has worked closely with allies to combat violent extremism since the 9/11 attacks but is now pushing that cooperation to new limits.

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