Oh, this is really gonna piss off all of the BDS wankers.
Despite President Obama’s vow to open government more than ever, the Justice Departmentis defending Bush administration decisions to keep secret many documents about domestic wiretapping, data collection on travelers and U.S. citizens, and interrogation of suspected terrorists.
In half a dozen lawsuits, Justice lawyers have opposed formal motions or spurned out-of-court offers to delay court action until the new administration rewrites Freedom of Information Act guidelines and decides whether the new rules might allow the public to see more. (READ: Let our enemies in on what we know)
The ACLU is boo-hooing:
……”The signs in the last few days are not entirely encouraging,” said Jameel Jaffer, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed several lawsuits seeking the Bush administration’s legal rationales for warrantless domestic wiretapping and for its treatment of terrorism detainees.
……Groups that advocate open government, civil liberties, and privacy, were overjoyed (so were the terrorists) that Obama on his first day in office reversed the FOIA policy imposed by Bush’s first attorney general, John Ashcroft. The Bush Justice Department said it would use any legitimate legal basis to defend withholding records from the public. Obama pledged “an unprecedented level of openness in government” and ordered new FOIA guidelines written with a “presumption in favor of disclosure.”
But Justice’s actions in courts since then have cast doubt on how far the new administration will go.
……Other lawsuits in which Justice’s civil division has expressed opposition to delays until the administration writes its FOIA guidelines and uses them to review Bush decisions:
• One seeking documents about the Automated Targeting System used by Customs officers to screen all travelers leaving or entering the country.
• A case seeking records of lobbying by telecommunications companies to get legal immunity for cooperating in warrantless domestic wiretapping.
• A case seeking Justice’s legal opinions justifying that wiretapping. One of the plaintiff attorneys, Meredith Fuchs, of the National Security Archive, a private group that publishes formerly classified government documents, said, “I’m somewhat surprised they did not take the opportunity to look at these again, but maybe it’s because the administration doesn’t have all its top Justice appointees in office yet.”
• Three cases seeking Justice legal opinions about detention and interrogation of terrorism detainees. Civil division attorney Caroline Wolverton wrote the ACLU’s Jaffer that Justice would proceed “consistent with the principles” in Obama’s FOIA order “and also with due regard for the legitimate confidentiality interests of the executive branch and the national security interests of the United States.”
……Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder announced a review of every court case in which the Bush administration used a different legal tool to preserve secrecy: the state secrets privilege it invoked a record number of times to have lawsuits thrown out. On the same day, however, civil division attorney Douglas Letter cited the state secrets privilege in asking a federal appeals court to uphold dismissal of a lawsuit accusing a Boeing Co. subsidiary of illegally helping the CIA fly suspected terrorists to allied foreign nations where they would be tortured.
Hell, the “rendition” program is the only other option for us, besides placing the turds in GITMO, where they’re held up as poster children for pro-jihad causes.
Three times Letter assured the judges his position had been approved by Obama administration officials.
“This is not change,” said ACLU executive director Anthony Romero. “President Obama’s Justice Department has disappointingly reneged” on his promise to end “abuse of state secrets.”
That’s funny as hell. “Abuse”, as defined by the ACLU, is withholding classified information on the terrorist clients they represent, who should have been executed on sight, not detained. They are some of the worst excrement on the planet. As long as they are breathing they not only pose a threat, but are quite uselful for anti-war propaganda.
Considering the data we’ve collected and on whom, the last people I want to have access to this kind of information is the ACLU. It’s bad enough that Obama has the authority to re-write the FOIA. The only obstacle to the prying fingers of domestic malfeasants like the ACLU, is the Bush-appointed Justice Department. Until it is stacked with Obama appointees, it will continue to work in the interest of America’s security. Don’t count on that to happen if Obama and the ACLU get their way.
This will give milksops in the ACLU an aneurism:
Reporting from Washington — Harvard Law Dean Elena Kagan, President Obama’s choice to represent his administration before the Supreme Court, told a key Republican senator Tuesday that she believed the government could hold suspected terrorists without trial as war prisoners.
She echoed comments by Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. during his confirmation hearing last month.
Both agreed that the United States was at war with Al Qaeda and suggested the law of war allows the government to capture and hold alleged terrorists without charges.
If confirmed as U.S. solicitor general, Kagan, 48, will defend the administration’s legal policy in the courts.
During the Bush administration, the solicitor general argued for the White House’s war-on-terrorism policies, including the president’s decision to imprison foreign fighters and alleged terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Last year, the Supreme Court dealt the Bush administration a setback when it ruled that these alleged “enemy combatants” had a right to be heard by a judge and to plead for their freedom. But the high court left unanswered the question of whether accused terrorists and others with suspected ties to Al Qaeda could be held for years without trial.
……Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) both raised the issue Tuesday. Feinstein called it “a fundamental question as we consider the end planning for detainees as Guantanamo is closed.”
Graham, a former Air Force lawyer, stressed the stark difference between criminal law and the law of war. He and Kagan agreed that under criminal law, no person can be held indefinitely without a trial.
“Do you believe we are at war?” Graham asked.
“I do, Senator,” Kagan replied.
Graham cited the example of someone who is not carrying a gun or fighting on a battlefield. “If our intelligence agencies should capture someone in the Philippines that is suspected of financing Al Qaeda worldwide, would you consider that person part of the battlefield?” he asked. He added that he had asked the same question of Holder, who replied that he agreed that person was on the battlefield.
“Do you agree with that?” the senator said.
“I do,” Kagan replied.
Graham said that under the law of war, the government can say, “If you’re part of the enemy force, there is no requirement to let them go back to the war and kill our troops. Do you agree that makes sense?”
Kagan replied, “I think it makes sense, and I think you’re correct that that is the law.”
“So America needs to get ready for this proposition that some people are going to be detained as enemy combatants, not criminals,” Graham concluded.
This puts Obama in a quandry. Both Holder and Kagan agree that wartime rules should apply, which is a direct contradiction to Obama’s policy. He intends to placate his leftwing constituents (Europe included) by shutting down GITMO. This means he has to find a new place to put the jihadist bastards or set them free to pick up where they left off.
As Jim Geraghty from National Review Online said:
“All statements by Barack Obama come with an expiration date. All of them.”
This should be fun.