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Obama, in presser, flat out lies on state secrets privilege


[OBAMA] It can't be emphasized enough that this "state secrets" tactic was not ancillary to the Bush abuses; it was central to them.  Secrecy is the linchpin, the key enabling weapon, of all government abuses.  That's why Obama's embrace of the radical Bush position has been so deeply troubling.  And the excuse Obama gave last night for why he has been doing this is simply inaccurate and misleading:

But keep in mind what happens, is we come in to office. We're in for a week, and suddenly we've got a court filing that's coming up. And so we don't have the time to effectively think through, what exactly should an overarching reform of that doctrine take? We've got to respond to the immediate case in front of us.

This just is not true.  In each of the cases where the Obama DOJ embraced the Bush state secrets theory, the plaintiffs' lawyers were not only willing, but eager, to grant as much time as the Obama DOJ wanted in order for them to figure out what they should do.  In response, Obama DOJ lawyers continuously indicated they needed no time, because they were convinced that they were right about the state secrets argument and had approval for their positions at the highest levels.  When asked, Robert Gibbs explicitly said that Obama was consulted on the DOJ's positions in these cases and agreed entirely with them:  "absolutely, absolutely he does."

Now, to be fair, Greenwald goes on to point out positive aspects of Obama's presser -- in particular, if torture is a crime, surely prosecution is called for?

However, on state secrets privilege, telling the truth was not one of those positive aspect.

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Submitted by jawbone on

least personnel in his government and military did. More info and clarifications in comments.

However, since Obama specified a time period of when Germany was bombing England, perhaps he is narrowly on solid ground. The records seem to indicate that proven cases of torture did take place after the Blitz, some took place under Churchill's successor after the war. But Churchill was in office when some specific individuals were shown to have used torture.