Posted by: Puma1 | April 14, 2009

Holy Crap: Obama Actually Manages to Make the Patriot Act WORSE than Under Bush

Obama is in trouble with the left (again) because his Justice Department is proving to be just as secretive, tyrannical, and oppressive as Bush’s — and in some cases even worse:

The new wave of criticism was triggered by two actions in recent weeks by the Justice Department.
First, earlier this month, the department presented an expansive series of arguments urging a federal court in San Francisco to throw out a lawsuit over warrantless surveillance first filed against Bush. The department’s brief not only asserted the state secrets privilege, which has long infuriated civil libertarians, but also made a sweeping assertion that Americans have no rights to challenge surveillance that violates the law unless the information is improperly released.

Then, on Friday, the department issued similarly broad arguments against a court ruling giving legal rights to some detainees held by the U.S. military at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. The government motion said the decision could aid “enemies of the United States” by allowing them to use “the U.S. court system as a tactical weapon.” The filing led to a New York Times editorial Monday sharply criticizing Obama for positioning Bagram as “the next Guantanamo.”


…critics such as [Glenn] Greenwald insist that the recent Obama administration acts on secrets and Bagram need to be publicly denounced.

“It would require a virtually pathological level of tribal loyalty and monumental intellectual dishonesty not to object just as vehemently as we watch the Obama DOJ repeatedly invoke these very same theories and, in this instance, actually invent a new one that not even the Bush administration espoused,” he wrote.

“When Bush asserted the power to abduct people and put them in prison for life with no charges, he was a Constitution-hating tyrant. When Obama does it, he’s being really careful and cautious and doing it to protect us for really good reasons even if we can’t know what they are and he won’t tell us,” Greenwald wrote, mockingly summarizing the arguments of Obama defenders.

via Legal left cools toward Obama – Josh Gerstein –

Frankly, I don’t understand the shock — given Obama’s stunning flip-flop on FISA last summer, what did Greenwald expect? That was when they should have turned away from Obama — but instead they swept him into the White House, signaling then that he could do whatever he wanted with no political repercussion. Even now, instead of taking Obama to task, Politico is still publishing crap articles about how trustworthy he is.

A least a few former fans aren’t buying it:

First, they argued, exactly as the Bush Administration did on countless occasions, that the state secrets privilege requires the court to dismiss the issue out of hand…As in the past, this is a blatant ploy to dismiss the litigation without allowing the courts to consider the evidence.

It’s an especially disappointing argument to hear from the Obama Administration. As a candidate, Senator Obama lamented that the Bush Administration “invoked a legal tool known as the ‘state secrets’ privilege more than any other previous administration to get cases thrown out of civil court.” He was right then, and we’re dismayed that he and his team seem to have forgotten.

Sad as that is, it’s the Department Of Justice’s second argument that is the most pernicious. The DOJ claims that the U.S. Government is completely immune from litigation for illegal spying — that the Government can never be sued for surveillance that violates federal privacy statutes.

This is a radical assertion that is utterly unprecedented. No one — not the White House, not the Justice Department, not any member of Congress, and not the Bush Administration — has ever interpreted the law this way. [italics mine]


The Obama Administration goes two steps further than Bush did, and claims that the US PATRIOT Act also renders the U.S. immune from suit under the two remaining key federal surveillance laws: the Wiretap Act and the Stored Communications Act. Essentially, the Obama Administration has claimed that the government cannot be held accountable for illegal surveillance under any federal statutes.

Again, the gulf between Candidate Obama and President Obama is striking. As a candidate, Obama ran promising a new era of government transparency and accountability, an end to the Bush DOJ’s radical theories of executive power, and reform of the PATRIOT Act. But, this week, Obama’s own Department Of Justice has argued that, under the PATRIOT Act, the government shall be entirely unaccountable for surveilling Americans in violation of its own laws.

This isn’t change we can believe in. This is change for the worse.

via It’s Actually Possible… The Patriot Act Gets Worse – Auburn Journal.

Since Obama has been lying, cheating, and flip-flopping from long ago, why is the disconnect between his words and his actions just now dawning on his fans? What did PUMA know that y’all didn’t?

The question is will the left hold him accountable for his tyranny, or excuse him as they’ve always done.

Just sayin’.



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