Monday, June 15, 2009

State Secrets: Smell the Obama Difference

President Obama has been repeatedly invoking the state secrets defense to prevent our government and corporations from being held accountable for their roles in cases of torture and spying, the very same practice candidate Hope & Change criticized Bush for overusing.

The state secrets privilege was Obama's justification for opposing multiple lawsuits brought against the government and phone companies for Bush's warrantless spy program.

Hell, he even outdid Bush on the illegal wiretapping lawsuit brought against the government by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In April, Obama aped the Bush camp's claim that the state secrets privilege protected the Bush administration from any lawsuits for illegal spying. Then Obama took it a step further than even Bush with a claim of "sovereign immunity" barring ANY lawsuits for government spying unless there is "willful disclosure" of the information obtained. Simply put, Obama is claiming that the government has the right to spy on our phone calls or emails without a pesky warrant as long as what's found out isn't publicized on purpose.

Most recently, Obama is attempting to have a lawsuit brought against Jeppesen Dataplan, a Boeing subsidiary, dismissed in order to protect state secrets. Five men, claiming to be victims of extraordinary rendition, are suing the flight-planning company for aiding the CIA in the abduction and flying of them to secret prisons in other countries where they were tortured. Keep in mind, Obama isn't invoking state secrets regarding specific evidence here. He wants the whole suit tossed out.

It should also be noted that the extraordinary rendition program of outsourcing torture hasn't slowed down one bit under Obama.

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