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Thursday, January 29, 2009

More good news!

Between Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island) and the ACLU, it looks as though we really are going to look into what our government was up to the last 8 years, after alll, God willing.

It seems Senator Whitehouse was quoted as saying the new President may not "look backwards" but that he intends to examine what's been going on in our supposedly open government.

Now, news today from the ACLU that they may be getting the documents from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel on the Bush Administration's anti-terrorism policies.

It would be nice to know whether our own government has been operating within the law, after all, don't you agree?

This good news follows the fact that Attorney General nominee (who is, apparently, sure to get the job this week) testified before the Senate in his confirmation hearings that, yes, he thought like most of the rest of the free world that waterboarding is, in fact, torture.

And then there's this:

"Since Obama's directive on disclosure, Melanie Ann Pustay , the director of Justice's Office of Information and Privacy , instructed federal officials that they should process requests for records with a 'clear presumption in favor of disclosure, to resolve doubts in favor of openness, and to not withhold information based on 'speculative or abstract fears.'"

"In another indication that the ACLU may get its way, the nominee to head the OLC, Dawn Johnsen , has previously indicated she thinks that such memos should generally be released."

"Before her nomination, Johnsen wrote in an article for Slate, the Internet magazine, that the central question in the debate was whether OLC could issue 'binding legal opinions that in essence tell the president and the executive branch that they need not comply with existing laws — and then not share those opinions and that legal reasoning with Congress or the American people? I would submit that clearly the answer to that question must be no.'"

It seems that, all along, what we've needed to do was shine light in the dark corners of our government.

But with old "Tricky Dick" Cheney, that just wasn't going to happen--not on his watch.

But his time is over, thank God.

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