Posts tagged “Obama Administration”

Obama administration re-invokes “State Secrets” privilege

From page 23 of the EFF opposition brief in re Shubert, filed with the Hon. Vaughn R. Walker in the Northern District of California on July 20, 2007 (emphasis added by Glenn Greenwald; click to enlarge)

Full Document: Electronic Frontier Foundation (PDF)

From page 23 of the EFF opposition brief in re Shubert, filed with the Hon. Vaughn R. Walker in the Northern District of California on July 20, 2007
(emphasis added by Glenn Greenwald; click to enlarge)


When the Obama administration announced they were going to limit the use of the State Secrets privilege six weeks ago, I simply did not believe it (see reasons 1, 2). Then, the news broke last Friday in a White House “trash dump“, a maneuver used to hide important stories amid numerous bits of procedural dross, that

the Obama administration has, yet again, asserted the broadest and most radical version of the “state secrets” privilege — which previously caused so much controversy and turmoil among loyal Democrats (when used by Bush/Cheney) — to attempt to block courts from ruling on the legality of the government’s domestic surveillance activities.Glenn Greenwald

Rather than hem and haw again about how this is the fall of the Republic, which this very well could be, I will simply ask that you please take the time to go read Glenn Greenwald’s excellent piece on this matter of great consequence. It is as well-linked and well-written as anything I could have hoped for. Plus, he is an actual constitutional lawyer, instead of an armchair litigator like me. Go! Read it right now! Then come back here to discuss, tweet it, facebook it and tell all your friends this is happening.

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This is why you learn Robert’s rules of order (and read the Constitution)

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) conducts himself as all of our representatives should in a Science and Technology markup meeting on the anti-ACORN legislation that is before Congress.


Every Democrat in the country has a political hardon for Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL). As I’ve watched Grayson make the rounds since his now famous “don’t get sick/die quickly” speech, I’ve quickly grown tired of his pro-Democrat spiel. The Dems are excited to see someone with a bona fide human spine walking around Congress. Not good enough! They are just as much to blame for our situation today. Hell, Obama is the one trying to stop the public option now! Neither party has any right to exhibit any public pride in anything they accomplish for, oh let’s say, twenty years. But it is ok for me to admit that Grayson is kicking ass in the halls of Congress, as is the case with the Defund ACORN Act.

Florida Representative Alan Grayson is spearheading calls for fraudulent military contractors to be defunded under the anti-ACORN legislation. He points to Halliburton’s misconduct and its “extreme and gross negligence…putting in showers in Iraq that end up electrocuting soldiers, and feeding them poisoned water.”

The federal funding ACORN has received over the past twenty years, Grayson says, “is roughly equal to what the taxpayer paid to Halliburton each day during the war in Iraq.”Jeremy Scahill
The Nation

Yes, hoisted by their own petard. The bill’s (H.R. 3571) GOP language is so broad,

that it applies to “any organization” that has been charged with breaking federal or state election laws, lobbying disclosure laws, campaign finance laws or filing fraudulent paperwork with any federal or state agency. It also applies to any of the employees, contractors or other folks affiliated with a group charged with any of those things.

In other words, the bill could plausibly defund the entire military-industrial complex. Whoops.Ryan Grim
Huffington Post

Be sure to check out the entire list of Federal contractors that have been found guilty of misconduct. At least a few of the 345 members of the House of Representatives that voted for this as a “motion to recommit” (the vote was 345-70) must surely be tugging at the pockets of those companies, begging for forgiveness. Whatever will they do?

No need to worry just yet, military-industrial-congressional complex! This is all assuming the bill survives constitutional scrutiny, which is a doubtful prospect. As the video above suggests, this seems to be a “bill of attainder” or legislative adjudication; basically, Congress is acting like a court and that is very unconstitutional.

Via The Brad Blog

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