Let me say upfront: I am a cynic. Accordingly, I never took the "change" mantra too seriously. But I certainly thought that after eight years of frenetic liberal criticism of the Bush administration, Obama would indeed offer some important differences. But even that tiny hope has been dashed. After the recent announcements that Obama would continue the practice of rendition and that the CIA would seek approval for "harsher" interrogations "if necessary," the small space I reserve in my heart for idealism and for surprisingly good decisions (or at least decisions that fulfill promises) by politicians has diminished substantially. But after today's news, the space has completely vanished.
What happened today? Elena Kagan, Dean of Harvard Law School and nominee for Solicitor General, announced that she believes that the government has the authority to detain indefinitely terrorism suspects because the country is "at war" with Al Qaeda. Because I am busy finishing edits on a law review article, can someone please explain to me how this differs from Bush's position, which liberals condemned, bashed and burned in effigy?
Related Readings on Dissenting Justice:
Rendition, Secrecy and Torture: Inseparable?
Just As I Predicted: Obama Administration Invokes State Secrets Privilege in Anti-Torture Lawsuit
Panetta: Rendition Will Continue, Would Ask Obama to Authorize Harsher Interrogation Methods "If Necessary"
Elevating Form Over Substance: Liberals Now Argue that They Oppose the Label of Bush's Program, Not the Substance
Still a Flip-Flop: My Fellow Liberals Push Back Against Allegations of Inconsistency Concerning Rendition
Major Flip-Flop by Human Rights Watch: Organization Waiting for Obama to Develop Kinder, Gentler Rendition Program
Hold Them Accountable Part II: If Conservatives Caused the Economic Crisis, They Had a Lot of Help from Democrats!
Hold Them Accountable Too: Many Democrats Supported Policies of the "Worst President" (Part I)