2/10/09

Keep an Eye On It

What, you ask? Jeppesen:
The Obama administration urged a federal appeals court Monday to toss out a lawsuit about CIA clandestine operations in the alleged kidnapping and torture of terrorism suspects.
The Justice department is invoking state secrets. Carter-appointed judges say there may be merit to the administration's claim. Some civil-libertarians are worried.

Marc Ambinder isn't:

It wouldn't be wise for a new administration to come in, take over a case from a prosecutor, and completely change a legal strategy in mid-course without a more thorough review of the national security implications. And, of course, the invocation itself isn't necessarily an issue; civil libertarians and others who voted for Obama did so with the belief that his judgment and his attorney general would be better stewards of that privilege than President Bush and his attorney generals (and vice president.) Obama certainly never promised Americans that he'd declassify everything, or that the government had to renounce its right to assert a state secrets privilege forever.

But since parsing Presidential symbolism has become our new national past-time, it's worth thinking about this case on more than its merits alone. And Justice's response isn't exactly a signal that an independent investigator seriously looking at the case for war crimes is close at hand.

Slippery slope.

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