I often avoid reading Glenn Greenwald because: 1) I read slowly and 2) he writes as if each word will give him an extra hour of life.
However, this is a must read. For example:
I never expected great things from Obama. Great things rarely happen in Washington D.C., but I did hold out hope he would undo the things Shrub did to fuck up the principals upon which the US was based.
As has been voluminously documented here, one of the most notable aspects of the first year of the Obama presidency has been how many previously controversial Bush/Cheney policies in the terrorism and civil liberties realms have been embraced. Even Obama's most loyal defenders often acknowledge that, as Michael Tomasky recently put it, "the civil liberties area has been [Obama's] worst. This is the one area in which the president's actions don't remotely match the candidate's promises." From indefinite detention and renditions to denial of habeas rights, from military commissions and secrecy obsessions to state secrets abuses, many of the defining Bush/Cheney policies continue unabated under its successor administration.
Despite all that, there is substantial political pressure from all directions for Obama to reverse the very few decisions where he actually deviated from Bush/Cheney radicalism in these areas. In the wake of extreme political pressure, mostly from Democrats, the White House just forced Eric Holder to retreat on his decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City, and numerous Democrats now appear prepared to join with the GOP to cut-off funding for civilian trials altogether, forcing the administration to try all Terrorists in military commissions or just hold them indefinitely. The administration has created a warped multi-tiered justice system where only a select few even get civilian trials -- those whom they know in advance they can convict -- yet there are growing signs that the President will abandon even that symbolic, piecemeal nod to due process.
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