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Obama Abandons Transparency

TalkLeft

June 6, 2009

Glenn Greenwald writes:

Earlier this week, I noted that the Senate had passed -- with Obama's support -- a pernicious amendment to the spending supplemental bill, jointly sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman, that empowers Obama and the Pentagon, at their sole discretion, to suppress any "photograph taken between September 11, 2001 and January 22, 2009 relating to the treatment of individuals engaged, captured, or detained after September 11, 2001, by the Armed Forces of the United States in operations outside of the United States."

That is bad enough. This is so much worse:

The amendment has no purpose other than to expressly allow the President to conceal evidence of war crimes (torture) and to block the Supreme Court from ruling (as two federal courts have already held) that the Freedom of Information Act compels disclosure of those photographs.

Blocking Judicial Branch review of Executive Branch actions is simply the tactic of scoundrels. The Obama Administration is acting like scoundrels on this matter. It is despicable and inexcusable.

It is good to see that Barney Frank will not stand for it. Jane Hamsher has the details:

I contacted Frank's office to ask why he switched his vote [on the Iraq Supplemental]. He called me back himself, and immediately started talking before I had a chance to say "hello." I asked him if he was basically saying that the IMF was a worthwhile trade-off for the supplemental. He shifted gears quickly, read me like a dirty book and said that it was also the only chance to get the Lieberman FOIA amendment out of there.

Huh? "You can have the war and the IMF, or the war and the pictures," he said. I admit I didn't realize that when the Senate passed Joe Lieberman's Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act of 2009 that it was attached to the supplemental. . . . "I told them [the administration] that they have no chance of passing this if the pictures are in it," said Frank. "There are many Democrats who are very upset about that. . . . I let them know that if it doesn't come out, it won't pass. If they insist on the photos, they won't get the IMF."

Frank is right. This secrecy bill is simply despicable and unacceptable.

Speaking for me only



:: Article nr. 54908 sent on 07-jun-2009 05:44 ECT

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Link: www.talkleft.com/story/2009/6/5/94918/72112



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