Surprise, surprise. Obama and Holder sold us out on the grand daddy of them all-- the political decision to keep the promise it made at no cost... no fear of filibuster, no need to bribe Bart Stupek or Ben Nelson, no nothin'... just a willingness to honor Obama's own God damned campaign promises. Too much to ask. Too much to ask.
As the great Charlie Savage tells us in this piece in the Grey Lady, a sharply divided panel of the (almost) full 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, by a 6-5 vote, issued a decision upholding the
Bush Administration's Obama Administration's assertion of a "state secrets" as a get out of jail free card for torturers, in this case, to short circuit a lawsuit brought by the ACLU against Boeing's Jeppesen subsidiary, a/k/a, the torture taxi company, which supplied specially outfitted aircraft used by the CIA in extraordinary rendition international f***ing Wild West kidnappings of people from anywhere on Earth for transport to torture.
Interestingly, what I haven't seen being reported are the implications of a pair of recusals. The first is an evident recusal on the 9th Circuit itself, that of former Justice Dept. Legal Counsel Jay Bybee, now a Judge on... the 9th Circuit. I did not see Bybee's name on the decision, and as he is clearly an active member of the Court, I'm guessing that as an architect of the "torture is legal if we do it" policy (or at least the guy who history will find as the guy who signed off on the memos that John Yoo wrote to David Addington's order)...recused himself. One assumes Bybee's participation would have made the decision 7-5 to reverse, but it is somewhat interesting to me that it hasn't been commented on.
The other, of course, is the fact that the Solicitor General who signed the briefs in this case (or in any event, under whose auspices the briefs were signed off on) was none other than our newest Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, who will almost certainly have to recuse herself from even hearing this and other cases like it when they are presented for review to the High Court, and quite frankly, since 4-4 in an affirmance, even if Justice Anthony Kennedy were inclined to side with the law and the Constitution and against torturers, a by no means sure thing, without retired Justice John Paul Stevens, we are looking at an almost certain vote for fascism from Justices Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia, with only the tender mercies of Antonin Scalia, who at least, has on occasion held against the Imperium, even conceivably in play. In short... not odds any rational person bets on.
So, unsurprisingly, the
Bush Obama Administration, and its corporate backers, particularly in the all important military industrial complex, get what they want. Which, of course, is the ability to torture, murder, spy, steal and whatever else they want to do in the name of "national security"... not merely without accountability, but without anyone even having the right to know they're doing it.
And three days short of 9-11+9, I'll just remind you that it's them... you know, those people... who "hate us for our freedom." Hah! The joke's on them! Our freedom clearly isn't at all what it's cracked up to be. Anyway... this has been... "Transparency you can believe in."