Rookie issues

Well, for the good news… the President seems to be confidently taking his model of organizing from outside Washington to take on politics inside the Beltway, both in his earlier town hall meeting in Elkhart, IN, and later at his prime time press conference; Al Giordano covers the field, in order to advance the economic stimulus package.
During that press conference, besides reinviting Helen Thomas into the fold of Presidential questioners, the President called on Sam Stein of the Huffington Post. Stein asked the President “the question”: whether he would investigate, and if appropriate, prosecute, his predecessor’s administration for war crimes, a question the President evaded.
It is understandable for the President to have evaded that direct question, as, well… the decision hasn’t been finalized. However…
Andy Worthington tells us that things are not good at GTMO. Dozens of prisoners went on hunger strike after the seventh anniversary of their detention (with no end in site), and the horrible regime of force-feeding is apparently… in force. (For background on the force-feeding, see my interview with Dr. David Nicholl.)
Evidently, despite SecDef Gates supposedly being part of President Obama’s cabinet, and answering to him, at GTMO… it appears to be business as usual (sadly). This is consistent with Candace’s observations at GTMO recently, where her own clients continue to decline amidst unchangedly horrible conditions.
Don’t know. I will say that the President would be well-advised to implement Candace’s suggestions in her recent open letter; on that front, perhaps some help will be coming as among the Pentagon officials that were confirmed by the Senate today is General Counsel Jeh Johnson, the President’s GTMO fact-finder during the transition, and to whom Candace’s open letter is addressed.
While progress on the economy will be “hard,” and as the President himself told the nation, we cannot be sure that expectations for the stimulus bill will be met, at GTMO, he is the commander in chief. We will see… on this as on everything, it appears that further organizing and effort will be needed to make the President do the right thing… the right symbolic things have been put in place… now we have to make sure they get done on the ground.
Update: Bad, bad, bad rookie mistake. Extremely bad. Glenn Greenwald joins all people of good will in being outraged about the Obama Administration’s decision to adopt the obscene and unconstitutional position of the Bush Administration on “state secrets privilege” as its own in a Ninth Circuit case against a Boeing subsidiary for its role in the extraordinary rendition/kidnap/torture program; I should add some of the judges hearing the case were shocked to hear that as far as the Obama Administration is concerned, on this core issue, the election had no consequences. No, this is not good.
And it is entirely unnecessary: the cat is out of the bag on these programs, and supposedly, Obama means to end them. The only possible purpose of this old new position on the part of the Obama Administration is to take complicity in covering up the crimes of the Bush Administration so that it is not compelled to take further action. By doing so… it buys those crimes as an accessory after the fact. No, not good. This does not bode well for anything.