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July 21, 2009

Under The Guise Of This New Administration

By: John Caruso

The Center for Constitutional Rights would like you to write to the Senate (which in practice means filling out a few fields and clicking "send my message").  And really, isn't it the least you can do for them after all they've done for you?

The details:

The U.S. Senate is in the process of debating the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2010. The NDAA currently includes a provision that bans the use of private military contractors from conducting interrogations of detainees. Also, an amendment to the bill could require the video recording of all interrogations. The White House is opposed to the provision that bans the use of private contractors from conducting interrogations and is also opposed to any amendment requiring video recording. There is a possibility that these elements could be stripped from the bill.

Also, while the elements pertaining to interrogations are positive developments, the NDAA could undermine our efforts to end the use of military commissions. CCR has long maintained that the use of military commissions is absolutely unacceptable in a democracy. The NDAA currently includes provisions that would change the laws regarding the use of military commissions, changes that the Obama administration appears to welcome, stating the changes will "make the commissions an effective and fair system of justice." Congress should not refine a broken and unjust system – they should repeal the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

Regarding the Obama administration's opposition to any amendment requiring video recording of interrogations, here was their reaction back in March to the CIA's destruction of 92 interrogation videotapes:

MR. GIBBS: Obviously -- obviously this is a -- the development is not good; it's sad. And I think the leadership in Mr. Panetta and certainly under the guise of this new administration, we want to give the people that work in the CIA the tools they need to keep us safe, but do so in a way that also protects our values.

In light of the administration's current position, Gibbs apparently meant it was sad that the CIA made the mistake of recording interrogations in the past, and Obama wants to correct that error and protect America's actual values from being captured on any further politically-inconvenient recordings.  I do at least appreciate the refreshing candor of the phrase "under the guise of this new administration," though.

— John Caruso

Posted at July 21, 2009 06:12 PM

Oh, ouch! I'd email this to certain people but, I want them to continue being my friends : (

Posted by: Cloud at July 21, 2009 07:22 PM

Cloud, of what use are such friends that can not abide the criticisms in Mr Caruso's post? I'd understand if these people could fire you or otherwise impact your ability to make a living, or if they are the only people you know with access to pot.

Posted by: Phillip Allen at July 22, 2009 12:17 AM

I googled the phrase "under the guise" just to be sure it meant what I thought it did (it does) and came across this wonderful 1934 Chicago Tribune cartoon posted on the LA Times blog by a guy who was once Laura Bush's press secretary.

Zoom in, and you'll see the sign "Young pinkies from Columbia and Harvard" affixed to a horse-drawn wagon being driven by some fellows wearing gowns and mortarboards. And is that Joe Stalin in the background? Why, yes it is!

Posted by: SteveB at July 22, 2009 10:20 AM

SteveB, ever the Donklebot. Nice work Stever. Keep remembering that all we need is more Democrats in power. That's all.

Holy fuck.

Posted by: Juan Seis-Olla at July 22, 2009 11:18 AM

Holy fuck.

I couldn't agree more.

Posted by: SteveB at July 22, 2009 11:30 AM

By the way, you can get extra irony points by recalling that, as a member of the Illinois State Senate, Barack Obama was the lead proponent of a bill that would require the police to videotape interrogations.

But that's the Chicago Police Dept. we're talking about. You'd be crazy not to want to keep an eye on those fuckers.

Posted by: SteveB at July 22, 2009 12:04 PM

SteveB, ever the Donklebot.

Honestly, I'm starting to think J S-O and AlanSmithee (is that redundant?) are Democrat agents provocateur, tasked with discrediting the left critique of the Democratic Party by tossing it around in the most absurdly exaggerated way at the most inappropriate targets. And if they're not, they should consider applying for the job.

Posted by: John Caruso at July 22, 2009 12:09 PM

Ah the nostaligia. I miss the days when editorial cartoons were so confused, ill-concieved and badly drawn that everything had to be labelled so you knew what the fuck was going on. I'm surprised the writer didnt feel the need to write "horse" on the horse and "wagon" on the wagon, just to make sure.

was juan seis-olla always such a tit? i seem to remember him being vaguely sensible back in the mists of time, but maybe im thinking of someone else.

Posted by: ichomobothogogus at July 23, 2009 05:45 AM