Monday, June 4, 2012

Bush’s Terror Overreach Becomes ’New Normal’ Under Obama

By Albert R. Hunt| | May 27, 2012 | [Original Article

"Critics of President George W. Bush’s anti-terrorism efforts, mainly Democrats and some Republicans, rejoiced when Barack Obama was elected. They were convinced that what they considered the post-Sept. 11 trampling of constitutional rights and civil liberties would end...

...Things look different today. In his new book, “Power and Constraint: The Accountable Presidency After 9/11,” Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law School professor who served in the Office of Legal Counsel under Bush and objected to some of that administration’s tactics, writes: “The Obama administration would continue almost all of its predecessor’s policies, transforming what had seemed extraordinary under the Bush regime into the ‘new normal’ of American counter-terrorism policy.” That seems only a slight exaggeration..."


"...In his first week in office, Obama pledged to close Guantanamo, issued an executive order banning torture and suspended military commissions. There was tremendous political blowback to his decision to close Guantanamo and move the accused terrorists to the U.S. or try suspects such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in U.S. courts. Congress ultimately cut off funding for any such actions..."

Rendition Reversal

"...He backed off on ending rendition -- the policy of sending alleged terrorists to other countries for interrogation -- insisting that the U.S. would ensure that torture is no longer practiced in the places they are sent and that their treatment is in accord with international laws. The administration also says it has curbed the excesses of indefinite detention without trial, which now requires judicial review..."

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