S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Big Tug of War --

News items about national security are emerging more rapidly in recent weeks. Despite the stated preference for "not looking back," the stories have emerged that lead to a buildup of momentum. According to The New York Times, former Vice President Cheney is linked to the concealment of a highly classified CIA program, until it was recently revealed to Congress by CIA Director Leon Panetta. To quote:

Intelligence and Congressional officials have said the unidentified program did not involve the C.I.A. interrogation program and did not involve domestic intelligence activities. They have said the program was started by the counterterrorism center at the C.I.A. shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but never became fully operational, involving planning and some training that took place off and on from 2001 until this year.

President Obama is increasingly under pressure to change his mind about investigating the Bush administration's security programs, despite the political risks. Sunday talk shows saw leading Democrats demanding to find out how a highly classified counter terrorism program was kept secret from the Congressional leadership on the orders of Vice President Dick Cheney. The New York Times published a subsequent news analysis that lays out where the investigative push is, and from whom. To quote:

. . . Mr. Obama said this weekend that he had asked his staff members to review the mass killing of prisoners in Afghanistan by local forces allied with the United States as it toppled the Taliban regime there.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is also close to assigning a prosecutor to look into whether prisoners in the campaign against terrorism were tortured, officials disclosed on Saturday.

And after a report from five inspectors general about the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping said on Friday that there had been a number of undisclosed surveillance programs during the Bush years, Democrats sought more information.

. . . That makes four fronts on which the intelligence apparatus is under siege. It is just the kind of distraction from Mr. Obama’s domestic priorities — repairing the economy, revamping the health care system, and addressing the long-term problems of energy and climate — that the White House wanted to avoid.

Revelations about the CIA and torture, deliberate deception of Congressional Intelligence committees, and emerging Inspectors General reports seem to heading towards formal investigations that the Obama administration, including the Attorney General, and Congress may not be able to resist. Glenn Greenwald's post yesterday provides one of the best overviews of the current climate, along with what others who stay on top of these issues are saying. It seems that this tug of war is far from over. The weight of the law will somehow have its way, if we remain vigilant and have a bit of luck along the way.

[Post date - July 13, 2009]

See also Behind the Links, for further info on this subject.

Blogs: My general purpose/southwest focus blog is at Southwest Progressive. My creative website is at Making Good Mondays. And Carol Gee - Online Universe is the all-in-one home page for all my websites.

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