Monday, January 12, 2009

Obama: will "change" happen re Bush antiterror policies?

President-elect Barack Obama signaled in an interview broadcast Sunday that he was unlikely to authorize a broad inquiry into Bush administration programs like domestic eavesdropping or the treatment of terrorism suspects.

But Mr. Obama also said prosecutions would proceed if the Justice Department found evidence that laws had been broken.

From Glenn Greenwald in SALON:
As TALK LEFT's Jeralyn Merritt documents, Obama today [yesterday's interview on ABC's THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS] rather clearly stated that he will not close Guantanamo in the first 100 days of his presidency. He recited the standard Jack Goldsmith/Brookings Institution condescending excuse that closing Guantanamo is "more difficult than people realize." Specifically, Obama argued, we cannot release detainees whom we're unable to convict in a court of law because the evidence against them is "tainted" as a result of our having tortured them, and therefore need some new system -- most likely a so-called new "national security court" -- that "relaxes" due process safeguards so that we can continue to imprison people indefinitely even though we're unable to obtain an actual conviction in an actual court of law. [This was later amended: Obama will now "close" Gitmo, but it will take up to a year.]
Here's an update from Greenwald since Obama's change-of-mind on Gitmo:

From Harry Shearer, as interviewed by Paul Krassner in THE LOS ANGELES TIMES on December 24th:
"I think there's going to be something sadly funny about the collision/intersection between the sky-high hopes and expectations of his supporters with the sky-high mountain of crap left on his desk by his predecessors."

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