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More Outrage Over Obama Defiance of Federal Court

Since posting my story yesterday on how the Obama Justice Department is heading for a showdown with the federal judiciary in the Al-Haramain warrantless wiretapping case, I came across Glenn Greenwald’s excellent post on the case, duly expressing the outrage that I think it deserves.

While everyone’s expressing surprise and disgust at the various John Yoo and other Office of Legal Counsel memos that finally surfaced yesterday (with much-deserved disgust, I might add), it’s important, even for Obama supporters, to keep a close eye on what the new administration is still doing to cover up the illegal activities of the past.

Although the Obama administration insists it’s not engaging in warrantless wiretapping, as the Al-Haramain case demonstrates, it is still very much covering it up. And given that we all know warrantless wiretapping occurred, and that Al-Haramain already knows it was one of the program’s targets, it’s really not at all clear why.

As Greenwald points out, the arguments in the government’s brief are like Bush-Cheney-Yoo all over again: the new administration is insisting on absolute, un-reviewable executive power in matters of national security.

The only logical reason for making those arguments now is because President Obama wants to preserve that broad view of executive power, just in case he decides he one day needs it. Even those who trust Obama to exercise it better than his predecessor did ought to realize that leaving that power in place is a serious risk.

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