Those who want former President George W. Bush imprisoned, drawn and quartered or just gutted on national TV have expressed outrage at President Barack Obama’s reluctance to unleash the hounds on his predecessor.
They can’t understand why Obama won’t join them in prosecuting members of the Bush administration for condoning torture or other abuses of human rights in the so-called “war on terror.”
We may have an answer. Obama doesn’t want to send Bush to the slammer because he plans to use some of the same abuses in his own war on terror.
Don’t look now but the candidate of change may have turned into the President of more of the same. Reports the New York Times:
“In little-noticed confirmation testimony recently, Obama nominees endorsed continuing the C.I.A.’s program of transferring prisoners to other countries without legal rights, and indefinitely detaining terrorism suspects without trials even if they were arrested far from a war zone.”
If the sweeping surveillance law signed by President Bush on Thursday — giving the U.S. government nearly unchecked authority to eavesdrop on the phone calls and e-mails of innocent Americans — is allowed to stand, we will have eroded one of the most important bulwarks to a free press and an open society.
The new FISA Amendments Act nearly eviscerates oversight of government surveillance. It allows the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to review only general procedures for spying rather than individual warrants. The court will not be told specifics about who will be wiretapped, which means the law provides woefully inadequate safeguards to protect innocent people whose communications are caught up in the government’s dragnet surveillance program.