This weeks Ho of the Week is Barack Obama for doing his best George W. impression by working with Senator Joe “I maintain my life force by eating Palestinian babies” Lieberman and Senator Lindsey “I would still own slaves if they weren’t so damn expensive” Graham to pass The Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act of 2009.
The Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act of 2009 will allow Obama or the Secretary of Defense to suppress any pictures during the War on Terrah (September 11, 2001 – January 22, 2009), even if the Freedom of Information Act requires the photographs be released. The only condition is that they are judged to be detrimental to American interests (civilian or military), with no ability to review the judgment. As Greenwald summarizes:
Obama wants Congress to change FOIA by retroactively narrowing its disclosure requirements, prevent a legal ruling by the courts, and vest himself with brand new secrecy powers under the law which, just as a factual matter, not even George Bush sought for himself. The Senate passed the bill as an amendment last week.
… The act literally has no purpose other than to allow the government to suppress any “photograph taken between September 11, 2001 and January 22, 2009 relating to the treatment of individuals engaged, captured, or detained after September 11, 2001, by the Armed Forces of the United States in operations outside of the United States.” As long as the Defense Secretary certifies — with no review possible — that disclosure would “endanger” American citizens or our troops, then the photographs can be suppressed even if FOIA requires disclosure. The certification lasts 3 years and can be renewed indefinitely.
What kind of a country passes a law that has no purpose other than to empower its leader to suppress evidence of the torture it inflicted on people?
Changing the ‘hearts and minds’ of the Middle East, one electrocuted testicle at a time!
Update: The bill was unanimously passed in the Senate last Friday and will not be voted on by the house because it was added on by Committee (meaning it will become law without a vote). [Source]
See Also: The Illusion Of Transparency, Torture: Obama, you can do better than that, Obama’s support for the new Graham-Lieberman secrecy law, Obama’s support for the new Graham-Lieberman secrecy law, Looking so long for these pictures of you, Death of the Republic, Part CLXVIII, What to do with the detainee photos?, Washington vs. The Rule of Law, Transparency flip-flop on detainee photos, U.S. plans appeal on abuse photos, and The Torture Photos: Obama’s Six-Step Sidestep.
[tags]barack obama, ho of the week, joe lieberman, lindsay graham, Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act of 2009, freedom of information act, FOIA, senate bill, release of torture photos, photographs, department of defense, this change is pathetic and mediocre, did bill clinton morph into that amiable black guy who lives in the white house?[/tags]