Writing about the role Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan played in the Bush counterterror surveillance program, Marcy Wheeler, blogging for Glenn
Writing about the role Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan played in the Bush counterterror surveillance program, Marcy Wheeler, blogging for Glenn Greenwald at Salon today, argues that as NSA adviser, rather than CIA director (a position Brennan was nominated for, but Glenn helped torpedo the nomination by highlighting his previous role in the Bush administration), Brennan is pushing Obama toward an ineffective and abusive surveillance strategy that ignores civil liberties.
That may be true, but there’s an aspect of one of Brennan’s recent speeches that, if actually implemented, would have the opposite effect.
As Spencer Ackerman reported here earlier, Brennan, in his speech to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, declared an end to the “war on terror.”
“This is not a ‘war on terror,’” Brennan said. “We cannot let the terror prism guide how we’re going to interact and be involved in different parts of the world.”
Well, if that’s the case, then how is the Obama administration going to justify “preventive detention” of terror suspects under the laws of war?
That power to detain supposedly “dangerous” people who can’t be proven guilty in any sort of court is a power the Bush administration relied on heavily and the Obama administration continues to claim. It’s at the core of President Obama’s claim that there’s a class of people who cannot be tried in criminal court or even by military commission, yet still must be held in prison because they’re “dangerous.” That’s all been justified legally by saying that we’re at “war,” and terror suspects are warriors in the “war on terror.”
Now that the Brennan has declared an end to that war, is the Obama administration willing to relinquish its right to detain terror suspects picked up anywhere in the world?
So far, Obama has not made clear how he intends to use this “preventive detention” authority he claims that he has, though it’s as broad a detention authority as Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey claimed over a year ago. But if Brennan really has the sway over the administration that Wheeler suggests he does, then maybe Obama will soon have to concede that the “war on terror” is over — and so is his corresponding power to seize and imprison its supposed “warriors” anywhere in the world.
EPA Administrator Addresses Concerns About Oil Spill Waste Management
At a hearing of the national oil spill commission today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson addressed concerns about waste disposal from
EPA administrator defends allowing Florida to write its own water pollution rules
The EPA seal (Pic via sentryjournal.com) The Environmental Protection Agency has come under fire for its decision to allow the state of Florida to write its own water pollution rules (known as “numeric nutrient criteria”). EPA Regional Administrator Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming is now firing back, writing that the Agency commends the state Department of Environmental Protection for its draft of a proposed standard. A host of environmental groups filed suit in 2008, seeking to compel the EPA to implement a strict set of water pollution standards in Florida, arguing that the state was in violation of the Clean Water Act.
EPA administrator says federal nutrient criteria is a ‘myth’
In testimony given late last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that false accusations about her agency’s numeric nutrient criteria to govern Florida waterways are proving to be a detriment to their implementation. # Testifying before the House Agriculture Committee, Jackson said her agency’s work was often “mischaracterized” and addressed several myths surrounding its work
E-Verify Mandate Begins Today
The Obama administration today begins implementation of a new mandate to require all federal contractors to check the legal status of their employees to confirm
EPA administrator fires back at critics in op-ed
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (Pic by USACEpublicaffairs, via Flickr) EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson penned a new op-ed for the Los Angeles Times , criticizing House Republicans desperately seeking to undermine the authority of the agency they have dubbed a “job killer.” Arguing that the environment affects red states and blue states alike, Jackson writes that “it is time for House Republicans to stop politicizing our air and water.” As head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Jackson has faced harsh criticism from House Republicans and GOP presidential candidates who say the agency’s regulations are an undue burden on businesses that have to cut jobs simply to comply with clean water and air rules. Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann has pledged to end the EPA if she takes office. “Since the beginning of this year, Republicans in the House have averaged roughly a vote every day the chamber has been in session to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and our nation’s environmental laws,” writes Jackson.
EPA and California Near Deal on Fuel Efficiency Standards
Two weeks ago, the Obama administration raised fuel efficiency standards by an average of two miles per gallon -- a modest change that disappointed some
EPA announces hold on nutrient standards if Florida can come up with own criteria
The EPA announced today that it is now prepared to withdraw a portion of its proposed numeric nutrient criteria (a set of standards governing water pollution in inland waters) and delay the portion related to estuarine waters, to allow the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop its own criteria. # From a statement released by the EPA earlier today: # EPA recognizes that states have the primary role in establishing and implementing water quality standards for their waters. Therefore, EPA is prepared to withdraw the federal inland standards and delay the estuarine standards if FDEP adopts, and EPA approves, their own protective and scientifically sound numeric standards
EPA biologist says fracking may be partly to blame for West Virginia fish kill
New documents obtained by an environmental news service show that an EPA analyst believes that wastewater from fracking may be partly responsible for a fish kill in a West Virginia river. Scientific American reports : U.S
EPA Chief Overruled Calif. Waiver, Too
The Washington Post reported in March that EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson was overruled by the White House in setting an ozone standard. Now, documents