Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Graham-Lieberman secrecy law

  1. #1
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Last Seen
    12-26-10 @ 06:57 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    8,083

    Graham-Lieberman secrecy law

    Obama's support for the new Graham-Lieberman secrecy law - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Article
    It was one thing when President Obama reversed himself last month by announcing that he would appeal the Second Circuit's ruling that the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) compelled disclosure of various photographs of detainee abuse sought by the ACLU. Agree or disagree with Obama's decision, at least the basic legal framework of transparency was being respected, since Obama's actions amounted to nothing more than a request that the Supreme Court review whether the mandates of FOIA actually required disclosure in this case. But now -- obviously anticipating that the Government is likely to lose in court again -- 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 White House is actively supporting a new bill jointly sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman -- called The Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act of 2009 -- that 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. The Senate passed the bill as an amendment last week.
    This is an editorial, but it contains all the facts of the situation. (Also, CNN is blocked here in China, so I couldn't search for the equivalent article.)

    Regardless if you do or don't support the disclosure of the abuse photos, to me it's a cause of great concern that a President can retroactively modify a law in order to circumvent a court decision. The FOIA obviously has little pull.

    Can someone with legal expertise explain to me why this is acceptable?

  2. #2
    Girthless
    RightinNYC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    New York, NY
    Last Seen
    01-23-11 @ 11:56 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Slightly Conservative
    Posts
    25,894

    Re: Graham-Lieberman secrecy law

    Here's another article on that topic:

    Blogtalk: Obama and Detainee Photos - The Caucus Blog - NYTimes.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    Regardless if you do or don't support the disclosure of the abuse photos, to me it's a cause of great concern that a President can retroactively modify a law in order to circumvent a court decision. The FOIA obviously has little pull.

    Can someone with legal expertise explain to me why this is acceptable?
    This is actually quite common. Congress regularly passes laws that overturn court decisions - the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, most Civil Rights legislation, Boumedine/Hamdan/Hamdi, etc. The court actually encourages it, as it makes Congress be clear about what it wants.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •