Will Obama Protect Bush’s Secrets?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Many advocates of open government have urged the Obama administration to release documents that the Bush administration refused to reveal. So far, President Obama has sent mixed messages about his intentions. On the one hand, he has signed executive orders calling for more openness in his own administration. On the other hand, he has indicated that he would rather move forward than dwell on the past. Josh Gerstein of Politico.com has summarized the major Bush secrets that could be revealed. They include:

Politicized Firings of U.S. Attorneys
Bush claimed executive privilege to keep Karl Rove and others from testifying.
Warrantless Wiretapping
Obama voted to protect telecom companies from legal challenges regarding illegal wiretapping requested by the Bush administration.
Outing of CIA Agent Valerie Plame
Bush’s Justice Department refused to release transcripts of interviews with Bush and Cheney conducted during the Lewis Libby investigation.
Torture Memos
About 40 legal opinions relating to interrogation techniques, extraordinary rendition and other anti-terror tactics remain secret.
Secret CIA Prisons Overseas
Obama has already halted Bush’s “black site” prison program, but the original Bush order authorizing the program remains secret.
Are Bush’s Secrets Safe with Obama? (by Josh Gerstein, Politico)


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