Tapper: Get ready for change … back

posted at 1:37 pm on April 10, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The Bush administration got excoriated by the Left for its expansive use of the state-secrets doctrine.  Barack Obama and other Democratic presidential hopefuls pounded Bush for its use.  In fact, that was one of the principal components of Hope and Change — a shift away from secrecy and back to the “rule of law,” although no one has shown how Bush actually broke any laws in the first place.  Apparently, Obama agrees, and as Jake Tapper reports, has decided to expand the Bush practice on state secrets:

Attorney General Eric Holder recently said he was reviewing the way the Bush administration used the “state secrets” argument, but “on the basis of the two, three cases that we’ve had to review so far — I think that the invocation of the doctrine was correct.”

Huh.

That seems a little different from the Obama-Biden campaign website where “The Problem” is described in part as the Bush administration having “invoked a legal tool known as the ‘state secrets’ privilege more than any other previous administration to get cases thrown out of civil court.”

Because that’s just what the Obama administration tried to do.

This time the issue was the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program, and whether courts would be able to assess its constitutionality in a case called Jewel v. NSA, where the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is challenging the NSA surveillance by suing on behalf of AT&T customers whose records may or may not have been caught up in the NSA “dragnet.”

I’ve covered this, er, change over the 80 days of the Obama presidency.  First, Obama’s DoJ filed an emergency brief in February maintaining the Bush argument on the state-secrets doctrine.  In March, he argued for a privilege that expanded on what Bush claimed.  At the time, I predicted a vast silence from the Left, with only a couple of truly consistent voices opposing Obama on it, and figured Glenn Greenwald would be among the few.  Respect him or hate him, agree or disagree, Glenn’s consistent, and he has pilloried Obama for his reversal on this point.

I’m still waiting for the hypocritical hysterics to start offering apologies to George Bush.  After all, if they don’t want to complain about Obama’s view of the state-secrets privilege, then they couldn’t have had any realistic problem with Bush’s — and it shows that they used national security as nothing more than a political tool, and in so doing undermined our efforts to catch terrorists.


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Hillary is the SoS, and this is surprising how?

upinak on April 10, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Can’t wait for things t change back. To sanity.

UltimateBob on April 10, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Most transparent gubmint evah!!!

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on April 10, 2009 at 1:40 PM

I’m still waiting for the hypocritical hysterics to start offering apologies to George Bush. After all, if they don’t want to complain about Obama’s view of the state-secrets privilege, then they couldn’t have had any realistic problem with Bush’s — and it shows that they used national security as nothing more than a political tool, and in so doing undermined our efforts to catch terrorists.

The past doesn’t mean anything to liberals, unless digging it up – or making it up – benefits them in some way.

AubieJon on April 10, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Barack H(ypocrisy) Obama

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on April 10, 2009 at 1:40 PM

I saw this, and kudos to you and Tapper, too. He’s doing a great job as the WH newbie.

Someone still thinks broadcast journalism is a real job, anyway.

AnninCA on April 10, 2009 at 1:40 PM

You might be a pantywaist if… you endlessly criticize your predecessor to become popular – and then repeat what he did.

beatcanvas on April 10, 2009 at 1:40 PM

I’m still waiting for the hypocritical hysterics to start offering apologies to George Bush. After all, if they don’t want to complain about Obama’s view of the state-secrets privilege, then they couldn’t have had any realistic problem with Bush’s — and it shows that they used national security as nothing more than a political tool, and in so doing undermined our efforts to catch terrorists.

Wish in one hand. Crap in the other. See which one gets filled first.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on April 10, 2009 at 1:41 PM

No surprise here.

Everything will be a state secret.

faraway on April 10, 2009 at 1:46 PM

I have a man-crush for Tapper.

Dead Hand Control on April 10, 2009 at 1:47 PM

and in so doing undermined our efforts to catch terrorists.

That makes each one a giant PO steaming S. Drain the swamp! Drain the swamp! Drain the swamp! Drain the swamp! Drain the swamp! Drain the swamp! Drain the swamp! Drain the swamp!

Griz on April 10, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Presidents never give away power. That’s just a fact of life.

AnninCA on April 10, 2009 at 1:52 PM

There it is folks. A flat out admission that politics trumps patriotism and that winning the game is more important then how.

Throw the bums out.

Limerick on April 10, 2009 at 1:52 PM

How many times did Obama use the word “transparency” during the campaign, during the transition and after the inauguration? How many times did Obama and the Dems condemn President Bush for not revealing everything about everything to satisfy their prurient desires?

There is a huge difference between the “need to know” and “a desire to know.” We need better management and compartmentalization of real secrets…and strict punishments for those who like to trade in secrets to gain favor among the MSM. We also need to make it clear to the having a desire to know does not warrant access.

But…in the hands of this administration…I find it most troubling that after all that has been said since Obama hit the national scene, his Administration is becoming far far more secretive than any other administration in my lifetime.

I do not trust this Administration. They’ve done nothing to warrant my trust.

coldwarrior on April 10, 2009 at 1:53 PM

How long before Jake loses his job at ABC? I mean, not only does he cover stuff, but he references PAST EVENTS. Even worse, he compares Obama’s past and current positions.

Someone sic Meghan McCain on him!

hawksruleva on April 10, 2009 at 1:54 PM

I will never see eye to eye with Obama on anything.
If I never see another 9/11 style attack on the US in my lifetime,
I’ll give him a pass on this.

elderberry on April 10, 2009 at 1:55 PM

Tapper = one-eyed man in the land of the blind (MSM)

Robert_Paulson on April 10, 2009 at 1:56 PM

And we will hear from our left-wing trolls in 5, 4, 3, 2 . . .

rbj on April 10, 2009 at 1:59 PM

Transparency is just a buzzword. Real transparency requires alot of actual effort. You can’t just put a 600 page stimulus bill on-line and call it transparency.

That’s baloney talk.

Last night, a perfect example came up. LAUSD is building new schools. Now, a bond issue passed, so it’s funded. And it’s creating jobs.

Here’s the kicker. Enrollment in LAUSD is dropping dramatically. Within blocks of these new schools, which ousted long-time residents of course, there are schools that have empty classrooms.

Transparency is when you really don’t just skewer the governors for saying no to stimulus funding and discuss the underlying causes for some of the reasons. And that goes for the Republicans, too. If they would discuss the whys and wherefores, the entire discussion would make sense to people.

Transparency is NOT just a gimmick if done right. It COULD be a powerful communication tool.

However, we have a president who can’t even tell the truth about a bow.

AnninCA on April 10, 2009 at 1:59 PM

Object lesson here for conservatives:

Never give Presidents from your own party powers you wouldn’t want in the hands of the worst imaginable President from the opposition party.

JohnGalt23 on April 10, 2009 at 2:00 PM

Tapper isn’t going anywhere. He’s the brightest star out there and pulling in much-needed viewers who gave up on that network.

AnninCA on April 10, 2009 at 2:00 PM

Maybe he’ll copy President Bush’s great demeanor

orfannkyl on April 10, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Transparency is NOT just a gimmick if done right. It COULD be a powerful communication tool.

However, we have a president who can’t even tell the truth about a bow.

AnninCA on April 10, 2009 at 1:59 PM

Hey – don’t worry. Ol’ Joe will make sure that Obama stays honest! Right after he tells him that story about the time Ol’ Joe singlehandedly beat Genghis Khan in a knife fight.

hawksruleva on April 10, 2009 at 2:02 PM

:) On Biden, we definitely agree. He really is a blowhard. Rove nailed it.

AnninCA on April 10, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Meet the new boss…..

Yakko77 on April 10, 2009 at 2:09 PM

On Biden, we definitely agree. He really is a blowhard. Rove nailed it.

AnninCA on April 10, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Blowhard? You are too kind.

My collie says:

He’s a pathological liar.

CyberCipher on April 10, 2009 at 2:10 PM

Barack W. Obama?

Sure, but in this case the W. stands for Wussmeister.

Maybe he’ll copy President Bush’s great demeanor

orfannkyl on April 10, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Too funny in a sad way. Kindergarten is in the House.

Entelechy on April 10, 2009 at 2:10 PM

Extreme Left heads exploding.

Extreme Right heads exploding.

Moderates wonder if this will interrupt Dancing with the Stars.

Meh.

portlandon on April 10, 2009 at 2:12 PM

It’s so weird, because Obama is exactly like Bush, but at the same time he’s also a terrorist secret Muslim Socialist Elitist.

Proud Rino on April 10, 2009 at 2:14 PM

The libtards would rather make fun of Sarah Palin’s accent than anything to do with their Obamessiah.

Speedwagon82 on April 10, 2009 at 2:14 PM

Oh, well, blowhard politicians are liars, but the same rules really don’t apply to them as to the rest of us.

:)

They just are serial exaggerators, as Rove put it.

AnninCA on April 10, 2009 at 2:15 PM

OT: Can this ‘event’ be Tea Partied??? Come on people! Let’s point out rediculous policies that led to our economic crisis when we have the opportunity.

ACORN busses protestors to private residences for crying out loud…

H.O.P.E. (Home Ownership Participation for Everyone) awards

After years of slow gains, minority homeowners are once again losing ground as a result of recent problems in the mortgage markets. While many communities have been affected regardless of race or income, lending issues disproportionately affected minorities, who were more likely to assume risky, high-cost mortgages and as a result, have been in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. Tighter lending standards have also made it harder for many minority households to qualify for mortgages, hampering efforts to build equity and long-term wealth through homeownership.
….
HOPE Awards Winners receive a $10,000 honorarium, national media coverage, paid travel expenses to attend and speak at a minority housing symposium, recognition at the HOPE Awards Gala in May 2009 in Washington, D.C., and much more.

http://www.hopeawards.org/hope/about_hope_awards.htm?LID=RONav0021

gatorboy on April 10, 2009 at 2:15 PM

Yes, but that works to the favor of those who are moderate Republicans.

Watching the sliming of Sarah Palin has NOT turned me into a Palin for President gal, but it certainly has turned me against this current Democratic party attitude.

And here I am.

Except for the “stockpiling guns” posts, it’s not all that awful. :)

AnninCA on April 10, 2009 at 2:16 PM

To the donks winning and the associated power that comes with it is everything. It does not matter if you assist our enemies during wartime (that never has for the democrats) or doing everything in their power to make the economy tank devastating millions, power must be attained.

jukin on April 10, 2009 at 2:20 PM

AnninCA – welcome aboard! Conservatives are like rattlesnakes. Not nearly as dangerous as people think, as long as you don’t step on our rights ;-) I’ve never owned a gun in my life, but I fiercly protect the RIGHT to own them.

hawksruleva on April 10, 2009 at 2:25 PM

Barry O likes state secrets as much as George W.

But the New York Times will no longer publish them.

Steve Z on April 10, 2009 at 2:25 PM

Another “crime” they can’t prosecute President Bush for now. I think they’re running out of such “crimes.”

Christian Conservative on April 10, 2009 at 2:25 PM

Proud Rino on April 10, 2009 at 2:14 PM

No, he is a hypocrit. But you couldn’t see it if you looked in the mirror.

PappaMac on April 10, 2009 at 2:26 PM

Object lesson here for conservatives:

Never give Presidents from your own party powers you wouldn’t want in the hands of the worst imaginable President from the opposition party.

Never truer words spoken, and it applies to EVERY action of government or the courts that puts expedience or personal gain first.

Obama wants less transparency and Pelosi wants the minority party in the House to be unable to modify bills. They are on opposite sides of the issue when they are not the majority. No way to trust such people…

“Rule of law” means applying the law equally and without change over time. Evil is. Some things, whatever “modern opinion” says, may not be right or honorable or should be “udated”, such as the right to effective self-defense. The law must adapt for new circummstance, within those parameters which have not or will never change.

The alternative is chaos, distrust and corruption all the way through the governing apparatus. People are destroyed or exalted depending on the political winds rather than what they do.

The Declaration and Constitution were framed to minimize this. Throw them away and we will end up with a Zimbabwe, Cuba or Venezuela.

God help us all.

And Happy Easter to all, I hope it is so for believers or non. The wish for peace at this time does not require you to conform to my faith, only that you accept the wish.

Harry Schell on April 10, 2009 at 2:26 PM

Hawks….I have no problem with guns. I do get nervous thinking about people who stockpile them.

Me? I have a small yappy dog who alerts me when the wind is blowing, nevermind someone trying to sneak up to my house. *haha

Now, what I’m supposed to do after alerted? I try not to think about that one.

AnninCA on April 10, 2009 at 2:29 PM

It’s so weird, because Obama is exactly like Bush, but at the same time he’s also a terrorist secret Muslim Socialist Elitist in need of a conscience.

Proud Rino on April 10, 2009 at 2:14 PM

FIFY

bluelightbrigade on April 10, 2009 at 2:30 PM

I agree, Harry, and for once, I agree with Pelosi for speaking out against this. She’s framing it as against Bush, but the real message is against Obama.

AnninCA on April 10, 2009 at 2:30 PM

All hypocrisy aside, at least 0bama is recognizing that Bush kept some things secret for a reason.

Like the Mob in the days before RICO, terrorist groups can afford to pay people to look through public documents in order to help glean information on law enforcement and intel efforts against their employer. The government is keeping this information secret mostly to keep this information out of the hands of these people.

Sekhmet on April 10, 2009 at 2:30 PM

I can’t see that it does presidents much good in the long run, Sekhmet.

I completely agree with keeping intelligence out of public eye.

But it seems the trend is to call everything intelligence these days. And then it’s revealed, and then it’s a mess.

AnninCA on April 10, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Respect him or hate him, agree or disagree, Glenn’s consistent, and he has pilloried Obama for his reversal on this point.

It’s mid-afternoon on a Friday, so in keeping with a time-honored DC tradition I will quietly disclose that I underestimated Greenwald’s willingness to be consistent rather than partisan on this point.

I am not apologizing to each of his personae, however.

DrSteve on April 10, 2009 at 2:34 PM

I’ve said this before and I’m sorry if I sound like a truther but, I still beleive that there are tings that are going on that brought us to the war in Iraq and in the War on Terrorrism that we do not know about, and maybe shouldn’t. When Duhbama caught the caar and found out what is going on, he realized that Bush was doing the right things for our Nation. That’s why the libtards in Congress never have and never will bring any serious “investigation” forward to chrage the Bush administration for thier conduct of our wars and anti-terrorist activites.
BTW: Please don’t insult Bush by calling duhbama ‘W’, barry and uncle joe are an insult.

ChicagoBlues on April 10, 2009 at 2:38 PM

Presidents never give away power. That’s just a fact of life.

AnninCA on April 10, 2009 at 1:52 PM

George Washington did. He gave it all away when he very well could have kept it for his entire life but he was a better man than pretty much anyone in politics today.

God, we need him (or one just like him) back so bad…..

Yakko77 on April 10, 2009 at 2:38 PM

I’m really very smitten with Tapper. He just has hit the ground running, and he was so fair to Hillary for the most part in the primary.

AnninCA on April 10, 2009 at 2:39 PM

BTW, sorry for the typos, I should be wearing my glasses.

ChicagoBlues on April 10, 2009 at 2:39 PM

You love to read biographies, Yakko? Me, too. I’m reading the one now on Lincoln.

Fascinating!

AnninCA on April 10, 2009 at 2:40 PM

It’s so weird, because Obama is exactly like Bush, but at the same time he’s also a terrorist secret Muslim Socialist Elitist.

Proud Rino on April 10, 2009 at 2:14 PM

He is exactly like Bush except that he was against Iraq, he is spending far far more, he reversed the stem cell policy, he reversed the policy on funding of abortions. Should I go on?

Jamson64 on April 10, 2009 at 2:46 PM

The article by Jon Bachelor, btw, is his usual outstanding commentary.

That is one brilliant guy.

AnninCA on April 10, 2009 at 2:46 PM

Harry Schell on April 10, 2009 at 2:26 PM

Well said, Harry! I heard a clip of Jon Stewart on the radio the other day, going on about how you’re supposed to feel helpless and sick when the other side wins a political election – I believe the phrase he used was that it should “feel like eating a turd taco.” No single burst of concentrated stupidity from that ridiculously overrated “entertainer” more perfectly sums up the problem with weakening the Constitution. We do not have quadrennial elections to appoint a dictator. In a lawful, Constitutionally-grounded society, we would not need to fear the loss of an election would lead to a radical, destructive transformation of our society. We might disagree with the policies of the winner, but we would know he was constrained to act within carefully proscribed boundaries. We certainly wouldn’t need to wonder if he would start nationalizing industries or issuing bills of attainder.

Fidelity to the Constitution is even more important in the high-tech world, as information technology causes every aspect of society to trend toward centralization. Nothing good comes from indulging the tendency of citizens to expect angels to swoop in from Washington and “fix” everything, especially since they can only do so by extracting funds from everyone else – which is why you’ll be paying for ACORN activities in Chicago and condom distribution programs in Massachusetts as part of the “stimulus” bill. There will always be politicians ready to use government power to milk votes out of the populace, and the only way to stop them is to forbid them from doing it.

Once government exceeds its basic duty to protect the citizens and maintain a stable currency, everything it does is an adjustment to a zero-sum equation. Obama can print money, but he can’t create wealth; he can take resources from one person and give them to another, but he can’t create resources; he can use the force of law to distort labor markets, but he can’t magically create more productive hours. A failing industry can be propped up by government, but only at the expense of its competitors, and the taxpayers who fork over the money for the bailouts. Constitutional restraints acknowledge this reality, while the Big Government acolytes brimming with huge new federal spending plans behave as if the government is a perpetual-motion machine that can somehow create the same wealth it consumes as fuel.

Doctor Zero on April 10, 2009 at 2:46 PM

No surprise here.

Everything will be a state secret.

faraway on April 10, 2009 at 1:46 PM

As many things should be when it comes to national security.

Jamson64 on April 10, 2009 at 2:47 PM

Sounds like Holder is admitting that the adults were in charge over the past 8 years.

Shall we tell getalife?

Del Dolemonte on April 10, 2009 at 2:49 PM

Sounds like Holder is admitting that the adults were in charge over the past 8 years.

Shall we tell getalife?

Del Dolemonte on April 10, 2009 at 2:49 PM

The silence of that twit speaks to the truth…

ChicagoBlues on April 10, 2009 at 2:54 PM

You love to read biographies, Yakko? Me, too. I’m reading the one now on Lincoln.

Fascinating!

AnninCA on April 10, 2009 at 2:40 PM

I bought His Excellency the other day which is about Washington but I have yet to read it. I’m still working on Mark Levin’s book, Liberty and Tyranny. Before that I read 46 Pages which is a biography about Thomas Paine and includes his pamphlet Common Sense.

Yakko77 on April 10, 2009 at 3:07 PM

Translation:

We won. KMA.

fogw on April 10, 2009 at 3:26 PM

I’m still waiting for the hypocritical hysterics to start offering apologies to George Bush.

Throwing down the gauntlet …

How about it, hypocritical lefties? Are you able to do the honorable and classy thing, or will you continue to make republicans look good by comparison? Apologise now!

DannoJyd on April 10, 2009 at 3:40 PM

and it shows that they used national security as nothing more than a political tool

Gee, ya think?

mr.blacksheep on April 10, 2009 at 3:58 PM

Funny………..

……… the Democrats want to keep and expand expansive use of the state-secrets doctrine,

But at the same time, they want trials for terrorists in open civilian court where our intelligence gathering secrets will be open for everyone to see………….

……….. giving future enemies knowledge on how to defeat them.

I don’t suppose anyone else sees a problem in all of this……?

Seven Percent Solution on April 10, 2009 at 4:08 PM

The liberal excuse/justification will be If Bush hadn’t made such a mess of everything his Oneness wouldn’t be FORCED to do these terrible things. And as soon as he makes the world whole and full of puppies and butterflies he’ll stop

katiejane on April 10, 2009 at 4:32 PM

Hillary is the SoS, and this is surprising how?

upinak on April 10, 2009 at 1:38 PM

I cannot help but think “shit on a shingle” every time I read that abbreviation for Shillary’s job. I must be a RAAAAAACISSSSST….or something.

csdeven on April 10, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Joe Biden reminds me of: Looks like Lex Luther from the first Superman movie with Christopher Reeves and the mentality of the guy in the first Die Hard that thought he could be the enemy’s buddy – remember that useful idiot sitting across the desk and saying “capeesh?” That’s Biden. Embarrassing

suzyk on April 10, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Yakko77 on April 10, 2009 at 2:09 PM

Same as the old boss.

Johan Klaus on April 10, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Yakko77 on April 10, 2009 at 2:09 PM

Same as the old boss.

Johan Klaus on April 10, 2009 at 4:56 PM

As Glenn Greenwald wrote in Salon earlier this week, “beyond even the outrageously broad ‘state secrets’ privilege invented by the Bush administration and now embraced fully by the Obama administration, the Obama DOJ has now invented a brand new claim of government immunity, one which literally asserts that the U.S. Government is free to intercept all of your communications (calls, emails and the like) and — even if what they’re doing is blatantly illegal and they know it’s illegal — you are barred from suing them unless they ‘willfully disclose’ to the public what they have learned…

President TelePrompter, Rahm, Axlerod, & Carville will be pulling all-nighters reading emails from moderate Dems and GOP…

What could possibly go wrong?

TN Mom on April 10, 2009 at 8:07 PM

At the time, I predicted a vast silence from the Left, with only a couple of truly consistent voices opposing Obama on it, and figured Glenn Greenwald would be among the few. Respect him or hate him, agree or disagree, Glenn’s consistent, and he has pilloried Obama for his reversal on this point.

Good. Now if only Greenwald would pillory himself for his weird combination of cynicism and naivete I would have some hope that the loony left might change. And grow up.

Basilsbest on April 11, 2009 at 9:02 AM

“his Administration is becoming far far more secretive than any other administration in my lifetime.
I do not trust this Administration. They’ve done nothing to warrant my trust.
Coldwarrior”

Perhaps our cameleon President, along with Lincoln, FDR is also “The Fonz” and just can’t admit he was Wrongggggg nnnnzzz!

DSchoen on April 11, 2009 at 4:06 PM

Ed, as usual in such cases you miss the point.
In liberal nuance:
Bush = Evil
Obama = Good
Simple. Like the people who practice it.

GarandFan on April 12, 2009 at 3:06 PM