Much of President Obama's counterterrorism policies and his understanding of executive power closely hew to the last administration, which he criticized as a candidate for the White House.Good. Contrary to the editors of the New York Times, legislating national security shouldn't be left to lawyers and judges.
On issues ranging from the government's detention authority to a program to kill al Qaeda terrorist suspects, even if they are American citizens, Mr. Obama has consolidated much of the power President George W. Bush asserted after Sept. 11 in the waging of the U.S. war against terror.
The continuities between the two administrations were evident this week, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit dismissed a lawsuit that five former U.S. detainees brought against a subsidiary of Boeing Co. known as Jeppesen Dataplan.
The former detainees alleged that Jeppesen Dataplan facilitated their transport to U.S. and foreign prisons, where they were tortured. The Obama Justice Department, like the Bush Justice Department before it, urged the court to dismiss the case on grounds that state secrets would be disclosed in litigation.
In a 6-5 decision, the court ruled in favor of the federal government.
I blogged on the Jeppesen case when the suit first was filed. And I give the Obama Administration some credit for taking appropriate legal positions -- here, on the State Secrets doctrine -- to keep the country safe.
Though the Administration seems to pretend that it's reversed Bush's national security policies -- and lefties, as usual, are panicked -- I'm pleased that the President's cautious reaction to genuine overseas threats often departs from the former Senator's over-heated campaign rhetoric.
(via Lawfare blog, reader Warren, National Interest)