Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Not trying to avoid embarrassment or escape scrutiny


The 9th Circuit rules 6-5 that the Obama administration can keep victims of Bush’s extraordinary rendition and torture policies out of court by calling those policies “state secrets,” but the majority is pretty sure “that the government is not invoking the privilege to avoid embarrassment or to escape scrutiny of its recent controversial transfer and interrogation policies.” So that’s okay then.

Really, who would even have the nerve to impute that a government that kidnapped people and sent them to Morocco to be tortured was trying to avoid embarrassment or escape scrutiny?

The majority wept crocodile tears over the tough job it had: “This state requires us to address the difficult balance the state secrets doctrine strikes between fundamental principles of our liberty, including justice, transparency, accountability and national security.” And then they tossed out liberty, justice, transparency and accountability. Balance achieved.

By the way, to those smartypants who point out that there is no mention of a “state secrets doctrine” in the Constitution, that’s because it’s a state secret. Duh.

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