Friday, May 1, 2009

Obama on State Secrets, again

As I expected yesterday, there was a lot of buzz about the State Secrets question in Obama's presser today - some of it more favourable than others.

Michael Scherer from Time, who asked the question, wrote about it here. Glenn Greenwald has a predictable response here. CJR had a good response here - they quote the ACLU's Ben Wizner saying:
“I’m just delighted that Time magazine thought it was worth asking the question,”
“If he wants to put that gloss on it, that it was a mistake, that it was hasty, all the better.... We welcome it.”
(I presume that was original reporting, because I can't find a press release from Wizner.)

I agree with both of Wizner's points.. And I also agree with the criticism Obama's response received because he, you know, lied - but the important thing, I think, is that he apparently felt that he needed to walk back from an embarrassing and unsustainable position. That is good news.

Of course, the proof will be in the pudding - but in many ways, it is actually good news that he lied about the situation (and the subsequent media coverage) - because that will mean that any future decisions that Obama, Craig and Holder make about the State Secrets Privilege will be under intense scrutiny.

And of course, given my particular interest in all of this, the Obama DoJ needs to retroactively review cases of SSP abuse, and Obama will be judged on the DoJ's response to the Ben-Ami Kadish case, the Rosen/Weissman/AIPAC case, as well as the Harman/AIPAC case.

It should be an interesting couple of months. Things seem to be escalating from all angles.

(BTW - Nobody seemed to notice my analysis of Sibel's latest interview. Take a look)

1 comment:

Kvatch said...

And I also agree with the criticism Obama's response received because he, you know, lied...Meet the new boss...