Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday Obama Roundup (excerpts with video)

Despite Gitmo Closure and Torture Ban, Obama Admin Converges with Several Bush Policies in So-Called “War on Terror” (Democracy Now with video):
After a month in office, the Obama administration has surprised many of its supporters by embracing or appearing receptive to key parts of the Bush administration’s counterterrorism strategy, from indefinite detention, to kidnapping and rendition, to invoking “state secrets” privileges. blogger Glenn Greenwald joins The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer to discuss. [includes rush transcript]
Will Obama back 'truth commission' to probe Bush practices? (McClatchy):
President Barack Obama and Congress are locked in a stare-down over how much to expose or punish Bush administration employees for any abuses they committed in waging the war on terrorism.

Obama, after critical rhetoric on the campaign trail, has sent mixed signals about how far he's willing to go. His concerns are grounded in pragmatism and politics.

Politically, pursuing Bush administration abuses could bog Obama down in partisan warfare with Republicans over the past, endangering his agenda for the future. Pragmatically, intelligence agency veterans have warned the new administration that investigations into the Bush administration's practices of interrogation, rendition and surveillance could damage U.S. intelligence efforts, lower morale in the intelligence community and expose the nation to greater danger.

At the same time, some Democrats in Congress are calling for a "truth commission" to expose such practices, one that might offer immunity in exchange for testimony. Others want criminal prosecutions.
Eric Holder The Nation’s First Black Attorney-General, A Profile (NY Carib News):
As Eric Holder, the nation’s first Black Attorney-General, arrived at the U.S. Justice Department to be sworn in by Vice President Joseph Biden, the welcoming crowd inside the building and the smiling faces spelt relief from eight years of what many of the professionals and others saw was the tragic politicization of the world’s largest law firm, as the Department is often called. “It certainly gave us a warm feeling,” Miriam Holder, the mother of the Attorney-General, said afterwards. “Many of those present remembered what a pleasure it was to work with him when he was there in the 1990s and recalled the positive atmosphere that was ever-present back then.
Obama’s First Month In Office, By The Numbers (CBS News):
To many White House staffers it seems closer to a year, but it was just a month ago today that Barack Obama began his presidency.

He’s still new on the job and getting a feel for its perks and peculiarities. He now knows he’s not supposed to stop and shake the hand of the U.S. Marine corporal saluting him at the steps of Marine One. But Mr. Obama also knows that as Commander-in-Chief, no one can tell him not to do it.

There are many ways to assess his first month in office. And here are some numbers – in no particular order - from the CBS News database.
Michael Eric Dyson and Pat Buchanan discuss Eric Holders' comment that in racial matters "we are a nation of cowards" ("Hardball"-MSNBC, video-09:08).

No comments: