The fact that Keith Olbermann, an intense Obama supporter, spent the first ten minutes of his show attacking Obama for replicating (and, in this instance, actually surpassing) some of the worst Bush/Cheney abuses of executive power and secrecy claims reflects just how extreme is the conduct of the Obama DOJ here. Just as revealingly, the top recommended Kos diary today (voted by the compulsively pro-Obama Kos readership) is one devoted to attacking Obama for his embrace of Bush/Cheney secrecy and immunity doctrines. Also, a front page Daily Kos post yesterday by McJoan vehemently criticizing Obama (and quoting my criticisms at length) sparked near universal condemnation of Obama in the hundreds of comments that followed. Additionally, my post on Monday spawned vehement objections to what Obama is doing in this area from the largest tech/privacy sites, such as Boing Boing and Slashdot.
This is quite encouraging but should not be surprising. As much as anything else, what fueled the extreme hostility towards the Bush/Cheney administration were their imperious and radical efforts to place themselves behind an impenetrable wall of secrecy and above and beyond the rule of law. It would require a virtually pathological level of tribal loyalty and monumental intellectual dishonesty not to object just as vehemently as we watch the Obama DOJ repeatedly invoke these very same theories and, in this instance, actually invent a new one that not even the Bush administration espoused.
To be clear: there are important areas in which Obama has been quite commendable, and I've personally praised him fairly lavishly for those actions. But it is simply unacceptable - no matter what else is true about him - for Obama to claim for himself the very legal immunity and secrecy powers which characterized and enabled the worst excesses of Bush lawlessness. Yet in a short period of time, he has taken one step after the next to do exactly that.
Obama has pretty much sold out in every way that makes a damn bit of difference. He may have darker skin, but Obama is pretty much turning out to be Dubya-lite.
And no, it's not too early to be saying these things. Consider: What was to stop Obama from, on the day he was inaugurated, bringing the troops home? Either he is commander in chief or he isn't, folks. And lest you forget, Obama was inaugurated almost three months ago. What could possibly have kept him from doing what we all know is the right thing? Oh, I know - maybe he was too busy handing out billions in executive bonuses to AIG!
If you're worried about someone maintaining order in Iraq, that's what the UN is for. There is - as before - no reason for us to be there. But every day, Obama makes a conscious decision to keep the troops there. Why? Seems to me we have the same choices to answer that question as we had with Dubya: A) he's stupid, B) he's evil.
Nothing has changed. Nothing has gotten better. It's the same bullshit in a different colored skin. And what exactly did you expect, you stupid sheeple? Obama is a politician, just like Dubya. And the same morons (Pelosi, Reid) who for the last two years have capitulated to the NeoCons at every possible opportunity, still control the House and Senate. Meet the new boss; same as the old boss.
All Obama needed in this picture was a flight-suit, and he would have been completely indistinguishable from Dubya.