› Report: Holder Personally Approved Search Warrant On Fox Reporter | Jonathan Turley
Attorney General Eric Holder recently appeared before the House Judiciary Committee and denied any involvement in the abuse searches targeting the Associated Press by the Obama Administration. Holder seemed to morph with his predecessor Alberto Gonzales with a mantra of “I have no knowledge” and “I had no involvement” in the scandal. It was a disturbing defense in one of the greatest attacks on the free press in modern times. Now, however, Holder’s fingerprints have been found on an equally disturbing targeting of a Fox reporter, James Rosen. As with the Associated Press, Rosen was targeted for simply speaking with a source in a story involving classified information. Even his parents telephone information was seized in the abusive operation where Rosen was declared a “possible co-conspirator” in violations of the Espionage Act.
Holder’s order led to Justice Department investigators secretly seizing his private emails because he was found to have “asked, solicited and encouraged … (a source) to disclose sensitive United States internal documents and intelligence information.” That is called being a reporter.
It is astonishing to see apologists continuing their effort to excuse the record of the Obama Administration in attacking reporters and whistleblowers. While various public interest and media groups have denounced these acts, many still cannot get themselves to criticize President Obama for this disgraceful legacy. Obama has been aware of the criticism for targeting reporters and whistleblowers for years and has done nothing — just as he is aware of the complaints of civil libertarians over kill lists, torture, and other abusive policies. He has not simply destroyed the civil liberties movement in the United States, as previously discussed, but the very soul of the Democratic Party which once [briefly] stood for principles of privacy and the free press.
These issues were placed squarely before Holder in the Rosen search and he did what he has done in so many other constitutional conflict: he kicked principle into the gutter. He has shown again that his view of constitutional protections borders on open contempt. He is the very image of what Louis Brandeis once described in his dissenting opinion in Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928):
Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.
Whether or not this has been formulated in written policy, it seems clear that the way the Obama administration attempts to control the release of classified information is by trying to exert as much control over those who receive such information as those who disseminate it. The leaker and the recipient are treated as sharing equal responsibility — even though in reality both the power and the responsibility lies in the hands of those government officials who possess security clearances. The administration draws no distinction between the publication of leaked information and the leak itself — as though classified information is being leaked by the press, when in fact it is being leaked to the press.
Penny Pritzker, whose family founded the Hyatt hotel chain, has long opposed labor, worked to close Chicago public schools and destabilize neighborhoods, and— worst of all— pioneered sub-prime mortgage operations out of Superior Bank in Chicago, targeting poor and working class people of color and ultimately crashing the bank at a billion dollar cost to taxpayers.
Said Obama, “She knows from experience that no government program alone can take the place of a great entrepreneur.”
Sources: Common Dreams, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal
Some essential background on Penny and her teflon family: The Privelege of the Pritzkers
Here’s one key takeaway:
The Pritzkers convinced the rating agencies that if any mortgage goes bad they would take it out of the bond portfolio and put a fresh mortgage in. So the raters said, “if that’s collateral substitution, the bond can’t default.” They forgot to ask the one question: what if you can’t make mortgages anymore? They couldn’t when they were taken over. That was the start of the collapse of subprime mortgages. They never should have been investment grade. But once it became investment grade, Merrill Lynch was doing it with the Pritzkers, then Countrywide, Wells Fargo and Washington Mutual had to do it because every major pension fund wanted these investment grade subprime mortgages. They paid a very high yield and knew they were quality because the rating agency said investment grade triple A. They never were triple A. We all have hindsight. The Pritzkers created the investment grade for the entire subprime mortgage industry. Once that collapsed, the worldwide economy collapsed. And this is the person they want to put as Secretary of Commerce.
Penny is also a key figure in the push to close Chicago public schools, crush the teacher’s union (CTU) and shove charters down our throats:
Rahm Emanuel and the Board of Education — which includes billionaire hotel heiress and Democratic Party power player Penny Pritzker — have continued this push, particularly around school closures. Currently on the table is a proposal to close 100 unionized neighborhood public schools around the city and replace them with 60 nonunion charters — a move that would simultaneously decimate the union’s membership, redirect public money to privately-run charters that lack basic mechanisms for public accountability, slash teachers’ salaries and benefits, and cause massive disruption in the poor black and brown neighborhoods where the majority of closures would take place.
But she raised a billion for Obama, and that debt, unlike her own, must be repaid.
“Seriously, if we believe a 14 year old is too immature to know how to take a pill, do we really think she’s adult enough to handle an unwanted pregnancy?
“The truth is that the age restriction is completely arbitrary, tied only to our puritanical comfort levels. And listen, I get it; I think it’s fair to say that most people are uncomfortable with the idea of a 14 year old having sex. But here’s the thing - access to Plan B isn’t about keeping a 14 year old from having sex - by the time she gets to the pharmacy, that ship has sailed - it’s about keeping a 14 year old who has already had sex from getting pregnant. And despite what urban legend (or past embarrassing FDA memos) may tell you, making emergency contraception more available is not more likely to make young teens have sex - it will just make them less likely to end up pregnant.
“We can’t let our discomfort with teen sex trump young people’s right to sexual and reproductive health and we can’t continue to let politics trump science. If we care about young women’s health and bodily autonomy and integrity, we’ll drop all age restrictions from emergency contraception. Anything less isn’t just illogical - it’s immoral.”
— “Hey, FDA: Drop the Plan B Age Restriction,” my latest at The Nation (via jessicavalenti)
The last time the State Department has had a permanent in-house watchdog to investigate fraud, waste and abuse, Muammar Gaddafi and Hosni Mubarak were entrenched as ‘dictators for life,’ Condoleezza Rice was Secretary of State and the junior senator from Illinois was still a long shot for the Democratic nomination. In other words, it has been a long time since the State Department Office of Inspector General has had a permanent leader — 1,920 days and counting.
After 5 Years, Is Obama Ready to Fill State Department Vacancy? (via govtoversight)
When Barack Obama entered office in 2009 he claimed the right to ‘look forward, not back’ that wasn’t his to claim. The law requires war crimes be investigated and prosecuted if evidence of guilt is found. Behind a veil of political pragmatism, not wanting to be caught up in ‘partisan’ politics, Mr. Obama moved America’s programs of political torture and murder into the 21st century. Had he enthusiastically prosecuted Bush administration crimes Mr. Obama could have revived international sanction against aggressive war and torture and ended, even if only temporarily, the use of ancient imperial techniques in a world with the technological capacity to murder, maim and torture beyond the ancient imagination. Instead of doing this Mr. Obama claimed the illegitimate and illegal rights of aggressive war, permanent incarceration of known innocents, torture and technocratic slaughter, all under the cover of opaque public relations techniques, quasi-sophisticated language and his casual demeanor. By choosing continuity and enhancement over clear, straightforward and unambiguous break with Mr. Bush’s catastrophic policies, Mr. Obama codified them into the set of ‘acceptable’ practices of American empire.
Rob Urie, The High Crime of Torture
› The High Crime of Torture | Rob Urie
Confirmation by the Constitution Project nearly a decade late that the George W. Bush administration and the U.S. military and ‘intelligence’ services committed acts of torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere appears a Rorschach test for the ‘sentiments’ of the American people. However, sentiments aside, formal indictments of culpable officials on war crimes charges and the start of impeachment proceedings against current President Barack Obama are the only relevant responses to the report. Torture is a crime under laws to which the U.S. is signatory. And with his war on Iraq George W. Bush and his administration murdered, or caused the premature deaths of, more than a million people and substantially destroyed a modern nation state.
By 2004, when pictures of Iraqi civilians being tortured and humiliated at Abu Ghraib prison were leaked, it was widely evident the Bush administration had established a global system of kidnapping, torture, rape and murder. The grotesque euphemisms ‘take the gloves off’ and ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ provided cover for criminal behavior only to the extent Americans were willing to suspend judgment of what was before their eyes. The ‘fog of war’ was the fog of contrived fear and the malicious acts of America’s idiot prince and his bosses and acolytes were fueled by ignorance and fed on arrogance and stupidity. The language of nationalist psychosis was revived to insist the saving of ‘American’ lives was worth any price and as the Constitution Project report demonstrates, America’s victims paid that price in real time. And today under the new boss, Barack Obama, they are still paying.
… [T]his piece is written in the context of events surrounding the recent bombings in Boston. I lived in Cambridge, a few miles from the bombings, for five years and only recently moved back to New York. I have for decades had family and friends who have run the Boston Marathon, have been an avid runner myself for some twenty-five years, and have been a spectator at the Marathon on several occasions. There is no argument that could be made that any of the victims of the bombings were legitimate political targets. Where I now grieve for those maimed and murdered in Boston, so have I grieved for the innocents, now numbering over one million in Iraq and Afghanistan, who died in illegal wars of aggression, and the many who were also illegally tortured. If what happened in Boston was a crime, and it was, so too is illegitimate war and torture. Mr. Bush and his administration, and now with Mr. Obama joining him, deserve fair trials for their crimes and fitting punishment if found guilty, just as the murderers in Boston do. [READ]
Mr. Obama is who he is. But those who voted for him have some explaining to do. I oppose Mr. Obama’s policies and would have likewise vocally, and otherwise, opposed those of Mitt Romney had he ‘won.’ Were this simply a matter of resentment the situation would take care of itself—you are the schmucks who cut your own Social Security and Medicare programs. But if you think this is it, that the worst is over, I humbly suggest that was your view when Mr. Obama won his second term. To those paying attention, the Dodd-Frank legislation being sold as a way to ‘reign-in’ bailed out banks contains ‘Cyprus’ clauses that leave banks (or their creditors, beginning with derivatives counter-parties) no alternative than to seize insured deposits when they need their next inevitable bailout. On the plus side, this will eliminate the time-consuming theater of austerity ‘debates.’ On the minus side, Mr. Obama is exponentially increasing the misery of society’s most vulnerable. But I’m confident he appreciates your support for his policies.
Rob Urie, Obama Does Social Security and Medicare
That the Obama administrations’ claims about its drone program have proven to be false should be viewed as anything but surprising. Aside from the potent impulse for governments to lie to their citizenry about what they do, secrecy in particular renders inevitable - not possible, not probable, but inevitable - both abuses of power and systematic lying. And secrecy has been the hallmark of the Obama administration generally and its drone killings in particular. … People who exercise power inevitably abuse it when they can wield it in secret. They inevitably lie about what they do when they can act in the dark. This is just basic human nature, and applies even to the most kind-hearted leaders, even ones who are charming and wonderful family men. This is what makes pervasive secrecy and a lack of oversight and accountability so dangerous. It’s what makes it particularly dangerous when the powers in question are ones highly susceptible to abuse, such as the power to target people for execution. … For that reason, it’s entirely unsurprising that the Obama administration got caught making plainly false statements about its killing program. But for the same reason, it’s very significant that it has been caught. In light of this evidence, any journalists that continue to rely on US government statements about its killing program are revealing themselves to be eager propagandists, willing to be lied to and help amplify those lies.
Glenn Greenwald | Three key lessons from the Obama administration’s drone lies
Back when Brennan’s boosters were promising he’d be a controlling figure at CIA, they suggested he’d make these decisions based on a priest-like moral compass. Yet, just weeks into the job, he has instead asked those who benefitted from this woman’s cover-up to bless her promotion, thereby dodging the responsibility himself. I warned that this ‘moral rectitude’ thing was just a myth when Brennan was nominated. It sure didn’t take long to be proven right.
The Moral Rectitude Torture Cover-Up Promotion Czar | emptywheel
Obama-Brennan-CIA, a lovely troika qua hegemonic battering ram, reached a structural convergence, aka The National Security State, just in the nick of time, as America has begun an accelerated decline from numero uno in global power and now perhaps vainly seeks to reassert its unilateralism in world politics at the very moment alternative modes of organization—the rise of multipolar centers of power—some quite possibly even socialist, are on the historical boards. For our troika, anything goes! Assassination, torture, covert operations, the wider use of paramilitary forces, cyberwarfare, massive ‘defense’ spending (what a misnomer), modernization of nuclear weaponry, naval power, from itty-bitty littoral craft to supercarriers,…god, the list is inspiring, as thrilling to recite, as is the experience of watching Stealth flyovers at the halftime of big football games. I already have a lump in my throat. And we owe this resurgence of American power to Barack Obama, his man at CIA, and, not to be forgotten, the CIA’s partner in spreading democracy, JSOC, itself running the military wing (remember, the CIA is, yes, civilian) of the drone assassination program, or in today’s terms, the more neutral-sounding ‘project.’
Where Democracy Ends, Fascism Begins
This morning, Daniel Klaidman put out a piece at The Daily Beast entitled, “Exclusive: No More Drones For CIA”. In it, he writes the following:
At a time when controversy over the Obama administration’s drone program seems to be cresting, the CIA is close to taking a major step toward getting out of the targeted killing business. Three senior U.S. officials tell The Daily Beast that the White House is poised to sign off on a plan to shift the CIA’s lethal targeting program to the Defense Department.
The move could potentially toughen the criteria for drone strikes, strengthen the program’s accountability, and increase transparency. Currently, the government maintains parallel drone programs, one housed in the CIA and the other run by the Department of Defense. The proposed plan would unify the command and control structure of targeted killings and create a uniform set of rules and procedures. The CIA would maintain a role, but the military would have operational control over targeting. Lethal missions would take place under Title 10 of the U.S. Code, which governs military operations, rather than Title 50, which sets out the legal authorities for intelligence activities and covert operations.
I would posit that moving the murder program from the CIA to DOD has more to do with legal cover than it has to do with “strengthen[ing] the program’s accountability, and increas[ing] transparency”. As I noted last week, the legal basis for CIA drone strikes and other lethal covert actions is dubious at best. As legal scholar Kevin Jon Heller notes:
The CIA is obviously not an “organized armed force, group, or unit” that is under the command of the US military; the CIA is, in its own words, “an independent US Government agency responsible for providing national security intelligence to senior US policymakers.” Nor are the CIA’s drone strikes controlled by the military (which would not satisfy Art. 43 anyway). The interesting provision is paragraph 3. The CIA may be an “armed law enforcement agency,” but it still does not satisfy Art. 43(3): first, it has not been “incorporated” into the US’s armed forces, because incorporation requires national legislation subjecting the agency to military control (see the ICRC Commentary to AP I, para. 1682); and second, the US has not informed al-Qaeda and its associated forces that it has been so incorporated — indeed, as widely noted, the US has never even formally acknowledged that the CIA drone program exists.
In an IAC [international armed conflict], then, CIA drone operators would not have the right under IHL [international humanitarian law] to kill anyone. And it is difficult to see how the situation could be any different in a NIAC [non-international armed conflict (Yemen, for instance)]. Arguing that the rules of IAC apply analogically in NIAC, as the US often does – it borrows the concept of an al-Qaeda “associated force,” for example, from the IAC concept of co-belligerency — is no help, for all the reasons just mentioned. So the US would have to argue that the category of privileged combatants in NIAC is somehow actually wider in NIAC than in IAC, an idea for which there is no precedent in state practice and little if any support in conventional international law.
Marcy Wheeler explores this further in her post “Breaking! Brennan Extends No Rule Drones for 2 Years”:
… Klaidman reports (and this I believe) that the Administration plans to eventually move drone operations under Title 10, where they won’t suffer from the clear legal problems they do under Title 50. … To some degree I wonder whether this is just another shell game, though, moving Title 50 under Title 10 after having considered all the legal problems with moving Title 10 under Title 50.
With regards to what it means in practice, I had many of the same thoughts Jack Goldsmith did: given that CIA reportedly doesn’t press the button now, given that they will continue to be involved in the intelligence side, what does this really change? Will the Saudis and Pakistanis be as willing to share their intelligence on drone strikes with DOD as they are with CIA? Has Ben Emmerson, in spite of all the claims he’s a chump, already managed to get the chief drone killer in the world to give up the plausible deniability that prevents imposing some international legal framework on them? Since DOD is actually better at keeping secrets than the CIA is, will this in fact lead to less oversight of drones?
We’ll see. Here’s a hint.
Now, the real kicker in the Klaidman story (Wheeler again):
[H]ere’s the detail I find most interesting:
Officials anticipate a phased-in transition in which the CIA’s drone operations would be gradually shifted over to the military, a process that could take as little as a year. Others say it might take longer but would occur during President Obama’s second term. “You can’t just flip a switch, but it’s on a reasonably fast track,” says one U.S. official.
Two months ago, we learned that John Brennan’s drone rule book would include a one-, maybe two-year, exemption for the drones he would soon operate at CIA.
U.S. officials said the effort to draft the playbook was nearly derailed late last year by disagreements among the State Department, the CIA and the Pentagon on the criteria for lethal strikes and other issues. Granting the CIA a temporary exemption for its Pakistan operations was described as a compromise that allowed officials to move forward with other parts of the playbook.
The decision to allow the CIA strikes to continue was driven in part by concern that the window for weakening al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan is beginning to close, with plans to pull most U.S. troops out of neighboring Afghanistan over the next two years. CIA drones are flown out of bases in Afghanistan.
“There’s a sense that you put the pedal to the metal now, especially given the impending” withdrawal, said a former U.S. official involved in discussions of the playbook. The CIA exception is expected to be in effect for “less than two years but more than one,” the former official said, although he noted that any decision to close the carve-out “will undoubtedly be predicated on facts on the ground.” [mw emphasis]
Here we’re learning — BREAKING EXCLUSIVE SHINY SHINY — that the Administration plans to eventually move drone operations under DOD but it might take about as long as three years–that is, probably as long as Brennan will be in charge at CIA. The only new news from what we learned in January seems to be that it might take longer than a year, and the possible exemption will extend to all of CIA’s drones, not just those in Pakistan.
So here’s what I take from all this: operating drones covertly rather than secretly has diminishing value domestically, as courts grow increasingly impatient with participating such a charade. Given that fact, there are tremendous legal advantages to giving them at least the patina of legality by operating them under DOD. Now, if and when the OLC memos that authorized Anwar al-Awlaki’s killing become public, if and when it becomes clear how weak the argument made in them is with regards to CIA, the Administration will be able to claim — Daniel Klaidman reported it so it must be true! — that that weak legal argument no longer matters because CIA is out of the drone business.
But if you read what John Brennan actually says rather than what reporters report credulously, he’s a firm believer in keeping certain capabilities available at CIA, just in case the President ever wants to use those capabilities in a covert operation. And what better cover for a covert operation, after all, than a very public campaign saying you’ll no longer conduct such activities as covert operations?
It would appear that, once again, the folks in the Obama administration are giving the public the illusion of transparency while simultaneously tying themselves in knots to get both ex post facto and, as Klaidman says, “institutionalized” legal cover for the murder program going forward.
› Obama’s Zones of Ambiguity | Willem de Lint and Adam Pocrnic
[…] Obamaesque is presidential vigour that capitalizes expressly on the ambiguity between law and presidential action. It is supported by constituency disempowerment. It is the sometimes secret, often duplicitous and even capricious work that is done to build up a zone of executive freedom and decision-making. Finesse in this domain is marked by the ability to talk eloquently about all those connective values that inspire liberals.
It is to wag the finger above the rule of law, civil rights, the Constitution, and liberal democratic principles. Most importantly, it is to seize the constituency opportunity to expand the zone even more aggressively than conservatives. The Obama administration has carved out more space and used the zone of ambiguity most purposively because in addition to the support of law and order jingoists and xenophobes on the right they can count on the immobilization of all of the centrists that prefer the Obama brand to the alternative.
Under GW Bush war was popularized in Orwellian newspeak as perpetual, asymmetrical and targeted against a tactic (terrorism) rather than an ideology, territory or people. With a motley coalition in tow, Bush soapboxed on WMD, ignored UN Charter illegalities and invaded Iraq.
Perpetual war, restarted time and again, has never been off the table. Theodore Roosevelt understood this, “I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one.” During each relaunch the zone of ambiguity is extended. The zone does not so much swallow up (legal) liberal democratic values as capitalize on them. A state of exception is its legal instrument. Accordingly, national security should provide sufficient cover until executive decision-making is made legal retroactively, as in the case of NSA surveillance and extrajudicial assassination.
Obamaesque comes to Washington most Tuesday mornings in a festive meeting between the Potus and his advisors in deliberations over the unofficial “kill list”. To do one better than the perpetual, asymmetrical war against a chameleon target is to do it from the arcane vantage of constitutional law and institutionalized cowardice. It is said that the Potus will be limited in the tactical deployment (action) of drone warfare on American soil. However, in a state of exception options are not removed from a table that spreads out long and deep with game and fare both lawfully and unlawfully obtained.
Within the zone of ambiguity is the brain trust of the Potus. Barristers and solicitors finesse and contrive law following Obamaesque concerns. Jurisprudence is made compliant with executive discretion. If the Constitution obliges a legal process of assessment before government is able to “kill an American,” Anwar al-Awlaki and his teenage son were made amendable without judicial review. The broad strokes of Barron and Lederman’s pen equipped the strike force with a law that is ever present even in abeyance – that constantly awaits the rewriting of law. Ironic, but Obamaesque, since both Justice Department lawyers wrote against the Bush Administration’s ubiquitous power to supersede liberty in the name of security.
When considering our own options and to avoid being erased in a signature strike, we are asked to shrink from the nostalgia of human rights and to revise our tags. Gone are heady the days of resistance, gone is Jam Echelon. The onus has been reversed. It is you who are invited to adjust your behaviour. Do it with a view to helping those who disappear others by disappearing yourself as an algorithm presented as a blip on a screen or reviewed on the kill floor. Don’t be provocative. Think twice before you search for like-minded people or pen that extols your favourite political hero. Let that be your act of preventative asymmetry – or good citizenship. Imagine yourself a Muslim before you leave cookie trails of connective threads. Attorney General Eric Holder imagines. In the glint in his sanguineous eye, the Potus imagines.
To be Obamaesque is to love the Espionage Act more than all previous presidents combined. When former CIA agent John Kiriakou blew the whistle on the practices of the U.S. torture program he was sentenced to more than a year in jail. When former NSA employee Thomas Drake challenged standards of procedure in relation to the Trailblazer project he faced investigation and the charge of espionage. When Bradley Manning tried to show Americans the “true cost of war” he was imprisoned without charge and is only now beginning to see the light of an enthusiastic public prosecution. In zones of ambiguity liberal democratic ideals are the pointy end of the nail that drives the state deep into the data files you used to know as your home and sanctuary. [READ]
The fact that there is more information known now than five years ago is not a legitimate defense for keeping official legal interpretations secret. It is not even a legitimate defense for not releasing information on the killings of US citizens Anwar al-Awlaki, Samir Khan and Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki. They are dead, the operations should have little bearing on the success of current operations and there’s a public interest in seeing documentation on what led government to decide it had the authority to kill these specific individuals or what the official reaction was after Khan and Abdulrahman were killed when they were not reportedly supposed to be targeted. Speeches by high-ranking officials are not an acceptable substitute for transparency. In each case, the speeches have only raised more questions that may have never been asked if the public was able to see the legal basis as officially drafted for use by the president to give him the authority to kill. Also, nobody is asking for suspected terrorists’ emails. The Obama Justice Department is not fighting the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in court over the release of documented communications between leaders of Al Qaeda. They want the legal basis and some details around the criteria for putting individuals on to the secret kill list.
Targeted Killings & the Right to Know When Your Government Can Kill You
› Obama's secrecy fixation causing Sunshine Week implosion | Glenn Greenwald
… [H]ere we have not Republicans but the most loyal establishment Democrats denouncing Obama’s secrecy obsession in the harshest of terms. “President Obama is ignoring the system of checks and balances that has governed our country from its earliest days.” He is “acting in opposition to the democratic principles we hold most important”. “The administration clammed up again and went directly back to the way they were from 2001-2 to 2007.” “What could be more destructive to an informed citizenry than the threat of the death penalty or life imprisonment without parole for whistle-blowers?”
This hardly means that Democrats are now ready to pose meaningful challenges to Obama’s radical policies: to release the OLC memos would be simply to disclose the White House’s claimed justification for the powers it has seized, and would not mean there would be meaningful opposing to those powers. Still, secrecy is the linchpin of abuse of power and transparency is a necessary (though not sufficient) antidote; as Thomas Jefferson wrote in an 1804 letter to John Tyler: “Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues of truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is freedom of the press. It is therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions.”
It is telling indeed that even Democratic loyalists are losing their patience with Obama’s secrecy obsession, as it reveals just how extreme it is. And all of this from a president who not only centrally vowed in his campaign to usher in a new era of transparency, but who still praises himself for having done so. [++]