Several weeks ago, I noted that unlike the Right -- which turned itself into a virtual cult of uncritical reverence for George W. Bush especially during the first several years of his administration -- large numbers of Bush critics have been admirably willing to criticize Obama when he embraces the very policies that prompted so much anger and controversy during the Bush years. Last night, Keith Olbermann -- who has undoubtedly been one of the most swooning and often-uncritical admirers of Barack Obama of anyone in the country (behavior for which I rather harshly criticized him in the past) -- devoted the first two segments of his show to emphatically lambasting Obama and Eric Holder's DOJ for the story I wrote about on Monday: namely, the Obama administration's use of the radical Bush/Cheney state secrets doctrine and -- worse still -- a brand new claim of "sovereign immunity" to insist that courts lack the authority to decide whether the Bush administration broke the law in illegally spying on Americans.
The gullible Americans, who take things at face value, still believe their new president represents a real change, a challenge to the status quo, while the more sophisticated Europeans are quick to pick up on Obama’s inconsistencies – made all the more glaring by his habit of pairing two mutually contradictory stances on the same issue.
President Barack Obama invoked "state secrets" to prevent a court from reviewing the legality of the National Security Agency's warantless wiretapping program, moving late Friday to have a lawsuit that challenged the program dismissed.
And reinvent themselves they indeed have attempted to do, though their aims and rhetoric have the same old familiar warmongering ring about them as they had during the Bush years. The recently launched and far less grand-sounding Foreign Policy Initiative headed up by arch-neoconservatives William Kristol and Robert Kagan, has taken a different tack from the old PNAC. In there Mission Statement for the new FPI the neocons renew their old animosities toward those they considered past threats.
The former vice-president fears being held to account on torture and is lashing out.
Barack Obama’s most underrated talent is his ability to get his enemies to self-destruct. It takes a lot less energy than defeating them directly, and helps maintain Obama’s largely false patina of apolitical niceness.
Growling and sneering, Cheney accused the new president of actively endangering the lives of Americans by ending the detention and interrogation programmes of the last administration, and vowing to close Guantanamo Bay. It’s hard to overstate how unseemly and unusual this was.
Legal expert Michael Ratner calls the legal arguments made in the infamous Yoo memos, "Fuhrer's law."
The memos lay the legal groundwork for the president to send the military to wage war against U.S. citizens; take them from their homes to Navy brigs without trial and keep them forever; close down the First Amendment; and invade whatever country he chooses without regard to any treaty or objection by Congress.
I thought this was -- and is -- certainly one of the biggest stories of our lifetime, making the petty burglary of Watergate -- which scandalized the nation -- seem like playground antics. It is newsworthy too with the groundswell of support for prosecutions of Bush/Cheney crimes and recent actions such as Canadian attorneys mobilizing to arrest Bush if he visits their country.
A newly-formed and still obscure neoconservative foreign policy organization is giving some observers flashbacks to the 1990s, when its predecessor staked out the aggressively unilateralist foreign policy that came to fruition under the George W. Bush administration.
The blandly-named Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) – the brainchild of Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, neoconservative foreign policy guru Robert Kagan, and former Bush administration official Dan Senor – has thus far kept a low profile; its only activity to this point has been to sponsor a conference pushing for a U.S. "surge" in Afghanistan.
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