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What Else Is Out There? (hiding some things that are so bad they fear the repurcussions?}

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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:44 PM
Original message
What Else Is Out There? (hiding some things that are so bad they fear the repurcussions?}
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 08:45 PM by KoKo
What Else Is Out There?

by digby

Dahlia Lithwick is not a crazy DFH blogger or an Obama antagonist. She's a legal analyst and she's as confused as the rest of us as to just what the administration is up to with these positions on the torture regime:

Having inherited an undifferentiated mass of legal "war on terror" doctrine from the Bush administration's constitutional chop shop, President Obama finds himself in the position of being Bush's Secret-Keeper. Picking its way warily through a minefield of secrecy and privacy claims, the Obama administration this week released nine formerly classified legal opinions produced in the Office of Legal Counsel (while holding back others that are being sought) and brokered a deal whereby Karl Rove and Harriet Miers will finally testify about the U.S. attorney firings (but not publicly). Meanwhile, the administration clings to its bizarre decision to hold fast to the Bush administration's all-encompassing view of the "state secrets" privilege, and the Nixonian view of executive power deployed to justify it. The Obama administration has also been quick to embrace the Bush view of secrecy in cases involving the disclosure of Bush era e-mails and has dragged its feet in various other cases seeking Bush-era records. If there is a coherent disclosure principle at work here, I have yet to discern it.

Trying to tease out a unifying theme here is probably not possible; there are not, as yet, enough data points. I have argued before that one of the reasons Obama will want to keep Bush's secrets is that he wants to protect his own. What's good for the goose and all. But it seems to me that along with good (or at least plausible) reasons for shielding Bush-era misconduct from public scrutiny, President Obama may also have some wrongheaded ideas about protecting Americans from knowing the truth.

I had always assumed they would punt on investigations but still hoped they would at least argue in good faith in court and allow the judiciary to do the dirty work. They could chalk it all up to the rule 'o law and not have to take any personal responsibility for "criminalizing politics." But they have actively supported these Bush era positions. the fact that there seems to be no obvious rhyme or reason to these decisions implies that they are either doing what Lithwick implies and saving the power for their own use or are hiding some things that are so bad they fear the repurcussions if it's revealed. After all, we know an awful lot about what happened, already, and it's truly terrible stuff. What in God's name don't we know about?
If it's really that bad then they need to lance the boil and get it over with. It will come out eventually and they will be implicated in covering it up when it does. /

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. Give it a year or so, that's what I say.
This isn't a Bruce Willis movie, and Obama is not Bruce Willis. You want to get things right.
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StopTheNeoCons Donating Member (608 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
2. Obama is building public support for prosecution
everyone should write their congressman and demand prosecution
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. And Collecting the Evidence
and purging the Justice Department.

he may even have to do some Court appointments first before he can stand a chance of successful prosecutions.
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Dan Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
4. there may be another reason
Maybe some of the things that were done under the Bush administration - may seriously impact our relationship with allies and other nations of the world. We within the US may have the stomach (cause Bush was our pig) but the rest of the world may have a different attitude - and there may be legal, financial, and conflict potentials.
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CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Good point.
Obama has enough on his hands coping with a looming depression and two wars.

He doesn't need a diplomatic storm on his hands (because the buck will stop with him even if these things happened on Bush's watch).
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
6. With the systematic warrantless wiretaping it is probable that the
Bush/Cheney mafia have serious blackmailing material on all the Dems, including Obama. Nothing else makes any sense. DUers criticized Pelosi for taking impeachment off the table. Why are Obama'a current actions different?
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The Traveler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
7. We have to bring the country together
Edited on Sun Mar-08-09 01:33 PM by The Traveler
And the gods know there are multiple forces internal (e.g. Rush Limbaugh) and external who would be delighted if we remain divided.

Recent reading indicates it might be really difficult to keep Bush and his goons out of the Hague. I'm not sure Obama wants to invest a whole lot in their defense. But at the same time, if international pressures for such proceedings mount, Obama is suddenly confronted with a situation chock full of potential to explosively divide this country. I know many, many people ... independent voter types ... who despise Bush and are disgusted with the Republican Party ... but I am pretty sure they would balk at the notion of trying a former President in international court.

All this would be a lot easier to deal with if the landscape were not already riddled with mines of that sort. Change is here ... and for many people change is scary and uncomfortable. We want change, we need it, and 80% of us know that at a very deep level. But there is a lot of room for disagreement when people try together together to prescribe that change, to describes its features in detail. The Republicans are trying the drive their wedges while they can and sow hysteria and fear ... their normal instruments of division. They are doing this because the only change they are interested in is regaining power and redirecting this nation toward their intended destination. They want a nice nation of nice little workers servicing in every way conceivable the desires of "The Achievers" ... the upper class whose interests they guard so aggressively. Think Argentina of the 1980s or Guam of today. They like that model.

We, by and large, do not. And that is why we have come here, joined campaigns, and argued around the water coolers of a million work places.

It is my observation that the economy does best and the nation does best when the interests of capital and the interests of labor are balanced. We need a little socialism around here. Unions might not be the best way to achieve it, but the worker needs some muscle. And that is the last thing the Rethuglicans want to see happen ... effective representation of the entire spectrum of labor.

Me, I would not weep if Bush danced Danny Dever in Belgium. But those proceedings would be used to rouse the darker fears and false pride of Americans ... they would be used to divide us.

The problem is, I don't see much a way around it. I think it is impossible to keep the lid on this boiling pot of feces. But I do get why Obama's administration is in no hurry to throw gas on this particular fire.

Our house is burning. This is no time to play with lighter fluid. But my prediction is that this fire is going to break out and join the others. Obama is playing for time.

Just my take on it.


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