Obama Adopts Bush Position on Renditioning, State Secrets

Those who hoped the rise of Obama would signify a shift toward more respect for civil liberties must be disappointed about this: The new administration fully embraces the last administration’s stance on state secrets and foreign detainees in the war on terror. Rather than the “states secrets” privilege being introduced rarely and depending on the circumstances, cases involving the torture of renditioned detainees would be thrown out of court wholesale. These cases have been discussed in the press and investigated and exposed for years, but supposedly mentioning them in federal court would endanger national security.

The Democratic Congress appears that it may still attempt to rein Obama in on this, as the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee tried to with Bush. And at least some critics—the ACLU, some liberal bloggers like Glenn Greenwald, libertarians, constitutionalist conservatives—are voicing protest, but, unfortunately, much of the mainstream press and the pro-Obama left are defending the administration. Furthermore, there are reasons to worry that renditions would actually be expanded under Obama.

Anthony Gregory is a former Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and author of the Independent books American Surveillance and The Power of Habeas Corpus in America.
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