The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

NYT Wakes Up To Obama’s Surprising Flexibility on the Rule of Law

Reading The New York Times’ lead editorial today feels a bit like reading a summary of much of what I’ve been writing for the past two months: that President

Anderson Patterson
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Mar 22, 2009

Reading The New York Times’ lead editorial today feels a bit like reading a summary of much of what I’ve been writing for the past two months: that President Obama, despite his impressive pronouncements on closing the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay and ending torture and unnecessary government secrecy, hasn’t changed the federal government’s positions in the major legal cases challenging Bush-era lawlessness.

I’m not trying to take any credit for The Times’ awakening on this issue, but I’m glad to see it is finally joining the party. As I’ve noted before (as did The Wall Street Journal), much of the mainstream media has been gingerly tip-toeing around these issues, making excuses for a new president who needs time to get his appointees in place and his policies on paper. But in the meantime, his Justice Department has been quietly pressing forward with some of the more controversial policies of the previous administration.

We’re talking about lawsuits over torture, warrantless wiretapping, state secrets and policies of extraordinary executive powers that allow the president to indefinitely detain suspected terror supporters abroad — and even here on U.S. soil.

Sure, the Obama administration announced it was withdrawing the use of the word “enemy combatant”, but as I’ve pointed out before, that’s more about semantics than substance. At the same time, the administration is asking the federal courts to stall their habeas corpus cases on the theory that the courts don’t have the authority to free these prisoners anyway.

I have to wonder if Obama — who, to be fair, has his hands full these days with the depressing economic legacy left him by the last administration — is being fully briefed on some of the more outrageous positions being taken in his name. If he’s not, he should be; after all, he’s the one who’s been saying that as president, he has to be able to take on more than one thing at a time.

Anderson Patterson | Anderson is a video editor and developer who believes in the power of visual organization. He recently graduated from the University of Washington, where he concentrated on post-production during his studies. He was first exposed to the mystical world of visual art creation while watching his father edit advertisements when he was a child, and he has been working towards his dream of becoming a video editor ever since.


Pentagon Shooter Exploited Gun-Show Loophole

John Patrick Bedell, who shot and wounded two police officers near the Pentagon earlier this month, bought at least one of his 9 mm guns at a Nevada gun show,

MA-Sen: 150 Conservative Bloggers Fan Out, Looking for Scandals

BOSTON -- The mysterious Election Journal blog, which first released the infamous 2008 video of two bumbling New Black Panther Party members waving nightsticks

MA-Sen: Brown Wins

BOSTON -- At 9:20, the first rumors of Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts Senate race started to work around the room. A moment later, Doug Flutie

MA-Sen: 66 to 19

BOSTON -- That, via Alex Isenstadt and Josh Kraushaar, is the number that defined the Massachusetts Senate race more than anything else. From the primary

MA-Sen: A Text Message From Scott Brown

BOSTON -- Having signed up for Scott Brown’s text message service for election day, I just got this text: Are you about to have lunch? It’s a great time to

MA-Sen: Out-of-Staters for Brown

BOSTON -- A surprising discovery at yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester was just how many people had traveled into the state to assist, in whatever way,

MA-Sen Photos: ‘Paint the Town Red! Croakley’s Dead!’

Below are some photos of yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester, the rally that Brown held to counter-program the Obama rally in Boston. The crush of

Menendez, Lautenberg to Continue BP-Lockerbie Investigation

Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, both New Jersey Democrats, will continue to seek details about BP’s alleged involvement in the release last year of

Net Investors Bullish on Palin’s Prospects for Staying on Ticket

Just for fun, the Internet prediction Website Intrade has opened a contract on whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be withdrawn as McCain’s running mate.

No Experience Necessary

Gov. Sarah Palin’s a middle-class hockey mom, but does that really qualify her to be vice president?

© Copyright 2021 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy |