23 July 2009

File under 'S' for 'Sub sole nihil novi est'

Jonathan Turley | Democrats Denounce Obama for Bush-Like Signing Statement That He Is Not Bound By Federal Legislation

Four House Democrats have finally stepped forward to denounce the Bush-like policies of President Obama, particularly his recent signing statement proclaiming that he is not bound by federal legislation. The letter was signed by Reps. David Obey of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee; Barney Frank of Massachusetts, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee; and subcommittee chairs Reps. Nita Lowey and Gregory Meeks of New York. The letter breaks from the lockstep loyalty shown Obama despite his adoption of many of Bush’s most controversial positions.
Good for them. I mean, Barney Frank is still an embarrassment to the Republic, but still, it's about time.
The four democrats expressed how they were “surprised” and “chagrined” by Obama’s declaration in June that he does not have to comply with provisions in a war spending bill restricting $106 million aid provided to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
"Surprised?" Chumps.

This signing statement followed a similar signing statement declaring that he was not bound by limitations in the $410 billion omnibus spending bill. The signing statement on that bill occurred two days after Obama promised to depart from the abuses of signing statements by Bush.

Two days? That's some whiplash-inducing turnaround right there. Or can you only call it a turnaround if someone actually meant what they said in the first place? At this point isn't it just lying?

Just to keep a rough score, here is the top ten list of Obama’s rollback on civil liberties and constitutional principles:

1. Issued signing statements asserting that he is not subject to the limitations set by Congress (despite his campaign promises opposing such statements);

2. Opposed any investigation into the torture program (here) and alleged war crimes of the Bush Administration;

3. Opposed any investigation into the unlawful surveillance program;

4. Preserved the surveillance programs of the Bush Administration;

5. Withheld photographs of the abuse of detainees to prevent “embarrassment” to the nation as well as White House logs;

6. Promised CIA employees that they will not be investigated or prosecuted for any crimes that they allegedly committed as part of the torture and surveillance programs;

7. Asserted that, even if acquitted in court, he would retain the right to hold detainees indefinitely and will preserve the Bush tribunal system;

8. Delayed his own deadline for a report on the future for Guantanamo Bay and detainees and opposed the right of detainees to challenge their confinement;

9. Asserted executive privilege arguments in court that go beyond prior Bush claims; and

10. Secure the dismissal of dozens of civil liberties lawsuits designed to uncover unlawful conduct and deprivation of privacy rights.


  1. 1. Great post
    2. That picture is freaking me out. I had to watch it for 3 minutes to see if it was a morphing animation.

  2. 1. Thanks
    2. I have to admit that picture is the real reason I had to post this. I feel like it should be hanging in a haunted mansion.