Friday, March 6, 2009

How Is This Change?

I've been out of touch with the wide world as I've had to deal with the dramas in my own life. And I've wanted to give the new prez some room. But I'm not happy with some of the things he's been doing. Actually, to say I'm "unhappy" is an understatement. I am appalled that the Obama Administration is keeping alive Bush's practice of rendition.

Here's an excerpt from Ruben Navarrette Jr. column today:

"We've had a glimpse at some of Obama's policies, which look an awful lot like those of his predecessor.

"For one thing, the Obama administration recently carried out its first work-site immigration raid in Bellingham, Washington, despite the fact that immigrant activists despise such raids for dividing families and turning lives upside down.

"Then there are Obama's anti-terror policies. While Obama ordered closed the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, he also kept alive the CIA's authority to carry out 'rendition,' the secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to other countries where they can be tortured. That outraged civil libertarians.

"So did the position of the Obama Justice Department that 600 prisoners at the U.S. air base at Bagram, Afghanistan, cannot use U.S. courts to challenge their detention. That was also the Bush's administration's view.

"The third strike for many on the left was the attempt by the Obama Justice Department to quash—in another echo of Bush policy—a lawsuit challenging the government's rendition and warrantless wiretapping programs.

"Last week, a federal Appeals Court in San Francisco rejected the Obama administration's request for an emergency stay in the case. Government lawyers signaled that they would continue fighting to keep the information secret on national security grounds.

"That sparked an angry response from Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the plaintiffs in the case.

"'This is not change,' Romero said in a statement. 'This is definitely more of the same. ... If this is a harbinger of things to come, it will be a long and arduous road to give us back an America we can be proud of again.'"

I can only concur with Romero.

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