Obama Has Become Radical in His Commitment to Secrecy
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It is more than coincidence that an HBO film on free speech, Shouting Fire, dealing with the Bush attempt to stop free speech is on tonight.
Obama's campaign promise was for a transparent government, yet this past Friday, after 3pm, hoping to avoid the weekend news cycle, his administration announced major events he hoped the public would not see.
Denying the public information, rejecting the public's free speech "right to know" has become a pattern of this administration. Obama has become radical in his commitment to secrecy, not totally unlike the Bush administration.
Late Friday, June 26, 2009:
- Obama announced a plan to draft laws to detain terror suspects indefinitely.
- Obama announced it would be done by exec order so as to bypass Congress. The Washington Post article which caught the events was entitled "Executive order of detainees would sidestep Congress."
- Obama's Attorney General told a federal judge that the suit by the families of the four detainees who committed suicide at the Guantanamo Bay prison should be dismissed because the issue is "fraught with political and military concerns" and Cheney, the government lawyers and the others have immunity from prosecution.
- Obama's Attorney General again delayed release of a 2004 CIA report which paved the way for detainee waterboarding, sleep deprivation and physical abuse. An extraordinary article by Luke Mitchell in this month's Harper's Magazine shows we are continuing that torture.
- Obama's Attorney General delayed, again, turning over 35 Bush Era defense documents to Judge William K. Hellerstein, a New York federal judge on a suit filed by the ACLU.
Martin Garbus is a trial lawyer and author of six books on the Supreme Court and constitutional law.