I haven’t done much political blogging in the last two years. That has been, in part, a deliberate effort to “recover” from the previous 8 (well, 4 in blog years; I began this blog a few months before Bush was elected to a second term). It was also because I wanted to resist “piling on” with other frustrated progressive bloggers when the administration has struggled against an opposition whose legislative agenda is solely and entirely obstructionist. There have been some stunning and sweeping achievements and reforms despite the obstructionism – which I celebrate – but those reforms also fell far short of their transformative potential because the administration repeatedly and mystifyingly caved to Republican demands.
But this is beyond disappointing and frustrating. It is deeply disturbing.
[The Obama administration’s] counterterrorism programs have in some ways departed from the expectations of change fostered by President Obama’s campaign rhetoric, which was often sharply critical of former President George W. Bush’s approach.
Among other policies, the Obama national security team has also authorized the C.I.A. to try to kill a United States citizen suspected of terrorism ties, blocked efforts by detainees in Afghanistan to bring habeas corpus lawsuits challenging the basis for their imprisonment without trial, and continued the C.I.A.’s so-called extraordinary rendition program of prisoner transfers — though the administration has forbidden torture and says it seeks assurances from other countries that detainees will not be mistreated.
Glenn Greenwald has more. So does Peter Daou. The Obama administration has had repeated opportunities to reverse the executive power grabs and “state secret” abuses instituted by the Bush administration. Instead, it has enshrined most of them. This is change we can believe in?
(Update: Well, well… maybe the president is finally getting over his pipe dream of bipartisanship.)