Torture Today, Torture Tomorrow, Torture Forever


No reporter has been more on top of President Barack Obama's sorry record on War on Terror-related flip-flops than the Washington Times' Eli Lake. Snippet from his latest:

On issues ranging from the government's detention authority to a program to kill al Qaeda terrorist suspects, even if they are American citizens, Mr. Obama has consolidated much of the power President George W. Bush asserted after Sept. 11 in the waging of the U.S. war against terror.

The continuities between the two administrations were evident this week, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit dismissed a lawsuit that five former U.S. detainees brought against a subsidiary of Boeing Co. known as Jeppesen Dataplan.

The former detainees alleged that Jeppesen Dataplan facilitated their transport to U.S. and foreign prisons, where they were tortured. The Obama Justice Department, like the Bush Justice Department before it, urged the court to dismiss the case on grounds that state secrets would be disclosed in litigation.

In a 6-5 decision, the court ruled in favor of the federal government.

"It can fairly be said that the Bush administration made torture the law of the land and the Obama administration is making impunity for torture the law of the land," said Ben Wizner, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorney who represented the plaintiffs in the case.

Read the whole thing here.

Read Lake's important April 2010 Reason story, "The 9/14 Presidency: Barack Obama is operation with the war powers granted George W. Bush three days after the 9/11 attacks."

Watch Reason.tv's 2009 video, "Barack W. Bush?," which features Lake and discusses the essential continuities between the Bush and Obama admins when it comes to civil liberties.