Friday, December 17, 2010

Hope and Change......or still Hoping for Change?

 In a series of debates on Lawfare, Jack Goldsmith engages The New Republic's David Cole. My recommended reading for the week.

In late January 2009, the conventional wisdom was that Barack Obama had, as Dana Priest put it, “effectively declared an end to the ‘war on terror’ as President George W. Bush had defined it.”  Very few at the time could have imagined that Obama would go on to commit himself to the war (as opposed to crime) framework; continue military detention without trial; continue military commissions; embrace the Bush administration conception of the state secrets doctrine, even in the very cases Bush asserted it; oppose the extension of habeas corpus beyond GTMO; dramatically expand targeted killing outside Iraq and Afghanistan, and include a U.S. citizen target; reaffirm the Bush administration legal standard on rendition; continue the same surveillance practices as Bush; oppose efforts to expand presidential notification duties to the intelligence committees; continue signing statements with Article II power carve-outs; and other Bush-mimicking practices.
Professor Goldsmith served as Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel from 2003-2004, and Special Counsel to the Department of Defense from 2002-2003.

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