Hope and Change

The American Prospect's Adam Serwer issues President Obama a report card on civil liberties—and the results are, shall we say, not great.

Interrogation: Change we can believe in.

Rendition: Change for the better, but questions remain.

Enemy Combatants/Detention Authority: More of the same.

Military Commissions: Inconclusive.

State Secrets: More of the same.

Surveillance: Cheney on Red Bull.

General Disclosure: Inconclusive.

He's documented the rationale for each grade, and, quite frankly, I don't take issue with any of them—though, by the end of the day, General Disclosure might have a more definitive answer, and I fear it will not be one I'll like. If the Obama administration redacts portions of the CIA torture memos, it will deliver a serious blow to Obama's oft-repeated promises of transparency and accountability.

Meanwhile, in a story that should shock no one who's been paying the slightest bit of attention for the last decade, the New York Times' Eric Lichtblau and James Risen report that "the National Security Agency intercepted private e-mail messages and phone calls of Americans in recent months on a scale that went beyond the broad legal limits established by Congress last year." (Visit Digby for the appropriately resigned and irritated commentary on that one. Also see: BTD.)

That heads haven't rolled, and that we're getting more of the same, "It's been handled internally" bullshit which, along with the ubiquitous "honest mistake," became a hallmark of the Bush administration, makes me fucking sick.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the intelligence community, did not address specific aspects of the surveillance problems but said in a statement that "when inadvertent mistakes are made, we take it very seriously and work immediately to correct them."
I was writing this same shit two years ago.

The password is: Accountability. And, so far, I give it a failing grade.


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