Thursday, March 24, 2011

Obama created the Reavers

I couldn't resist the "Serenity" connection with Glenn Greenwald's post on Obama changing Miranda guidelines. The post is titled "Miranda is Obama's latest victim"

Today, the Obama DOJ unveiled the latest -- and one of the most significant -- examples of its eagerness to assault the very legal values Obama vowed to protect. The Wall Street Journal reports that "new rules allow investigators to hold domestic-terror suspects longer than others without giving them a Miranda warning, significantly expanding exceptions to the instructions that have governed the handling of criminal suspects for more than four decades." The only previous exception to the 45-year-old Miranda requirement that someone in custody be apprised of their rights occurred in 1984, when the Rehnquist-led right-wing faction of the Supreme Court allowed delay "only in cases of an imminent safety threat," but these new rules promulgated by the Obama DOJ "give interrogators more latitude and flexibility to define what counts as an appropriate circumstance to waive Miranda rights."

For that reason, the WSJ is surely correct when it calls these new guidelines "one of the Obama administration's most significant revisions to rules governing the investigation of terror suspects in the U.S." Note that, in 7 years of prosecuting the War on Terror after 9/11, the Bush administration never tried to dilute Miranda guidelines (though doing so for them was irrelevant because they simply imprisoned even American citizens (such as Jose Padilla) without any charges or due process of any kind).

Glenn is a little subtle in giving his opinion, which is unusual for him. I get the sense from the tone of his post and from his history of being a strong supporter for civil liberties that he doesn't like what Obama is doing here.

I don't know what else to say at this point. Obama is indistinguishable from Bush's second term. Combine this with the Libya situation and its pretty clear to me that we need a big overhaul of our foreign policy and defense bureaucracy. Or maybe we just need a president with some courage.

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