more on obama and wiretapping

The other day I mentioned that Obama was blocking challenges to Bush's wiretapping program, even though these are things he campaigned against. I came across some more discussion on the subject. Keith Olbermann did a great segment covering the issue with law professor Jonathan Turley. More great commentary from Olbermann, who is one of the very few people in the 24-hour news media who addresses these issues. I'm glad he doesn't fold over for Obama like most people do. 'It was horrendous when Bush did it, but Obama's a good person, so it's ok.' An interesting argument is presented at Sensen No Sen, a great blog I've found and have started following, saying that Obama might be trying to push illegal wiretapping so far that Congress and the Supreme Court will be forced to shut it down. Obama needs the backing of the intelligence community and this way he can play them to gain there support and at the same time stop expansion on illegal wiretapping. The blog continues that we shouldn't count on this being the case. The bottom line is that Obama is continuing the unconstitutional tactics that the Bush administration used. From the Electronics Frontier Foundation:

Sad as that is, it's the Department Of Justice's second argument that is the most pernicious. The DOJ claims that the U.S. Government is completely immune from litigation for illegal spying — that the Government can never be sued for surveillance that violates federal privacy statutes."

This is a radical assertion that is utterly unprecedented. No one — not the White House, not the Justice Department, not any member of Congress, and not the Bush Administration — has ever interpreted the law this way.

Obama may have announced closure of Guantanamo Bay but that doesn't mean his policies differ radically with the Bush administration on overseas detainees. The Bush administration used a prison camp in Bagram, Afganistan where the Supreme Court has no rule. The Obama administration has embraced Bush policies on this topic as well. From the Salon article:

Remember: these are not prisoners captured in Afghanistan on a battlefield. Many of them have nothing to do with Afghanistan and were captured far, far away from that country -- abducted from their homes and workplaces -- and then flown to Bagram to be imprisoned.

I think these issues really need to be brought to light. Too many people still have Obama fever, and even given these facts will say he has his reasoning, or he's a better person than Bush, so he'll use this power for good. The truth is he should be held to the same standard as any president.

On another note, my old roommate posted an article discussing how soy isn't as good for you as you probably think it is on his facebook. Unfermented soy which is used in soy milk, tofu, and veggie burgers is actually bad for you in quantity. Worst, this includes soy baby foods, which effect children at a crucial age in development.

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