Liberal heads, that is.
The Obama administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court Friday to reject a request for a hearing from 17 Chinese Muslims currently being held at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, arguing they have no right to come to America despite a district judge’s orders last Fall that they immediately be brought to the U.S. and released.
“Petitioners are free to return to their home country, but they understandably do not wish to do so, because they fear inhumane treatment there,” reads the filing, signed by US Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Assistant Attorney General Tony West, and other Justice Department officials. “Petitioners are also free to go to any other country that is willing to accept them.”
But why should they wish to leave? They’ve never had it so good:
“In contrast to individuals currently detained as enemies under the laws of war, petitioners are being housed under relatively unrestrictive conditions, given the status of Guantanamo Bay as a United States military base,” Kagan writes, saying they are “in special communal housing with access to all areas of their camp, including an outdoor recreation space and picnic area.” They “sleep in an air-conditioned bunk house and have the use of an activity room equipped with various recreational items, including a television with VCR and DVD players, a stereo system, and sports equipment.”
Who has a VCR anymore? The barbarity!
So not only does B-HO adopt Bush’s policy on the Uighurs—but now Gitmo ain’t so bad after all. Go figure.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration says, like Bush, butt out:
The Obama administration insists it has no obligation to provide access to a top secret document in a [warrantless] wiretapping case, setting up a showdown next week with the judge who ordered it released. …
The judge has ordered department lawyers to appear before his court Wednesday to make the case why he should not award damages to the now-defunct Oregon chapter of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation. That group is challenging the wiretapping program.
In its response, the department said that in this case “disclosure of classified information–even under protective order–would create intolerable risks to national security.”
The filing said President Barack Obama has authorized access to classified information on a “need-to-know” basis and argued that the government “cannot be sanctioned for its determination that plaintiffs do not have a need to know classified information.”
Another judge told to go pound sand. Must be one of those white male judges.
And here’s another affirmation of Bush policy you might not have seen elsewhere:
With the election of President Obama, environmentalists had expected to see the end of the “Appalachian apocalypse,” their name for exposing coal deposits by blowing the tops off whole mountains.
But in recent weeks, the administration has quietly made a decision to open the way for at least two dozen more mountaintop removals.
In a letter this month to a coal ally, Rep. Nick J. Rahall II (D-W.Va.), the Environmental Protection Agency said it would not block dozens of “surface mining” projects. The list included some controversial mountaintop mines.
The industry says the practice of using explosives to blast away a peak is safer and more efficient than traditional shaft mining. But critics say the process scars the landscape and dumps tons of waste — some of it toxic — into streams and valleys.
The administration’s decision is not the final word on the projects or the future of mountaintop removal. But the letter, coupled with the light it sheds on relations between the mining industry and the Obama White House, has disappointed environmentalists. Some say they feel betrayed by a president they thought would end or sharply limit the practice.
I’m afraid even my head is about to explode: I thought coal was bad; I thought coal was dirty; but Obama is willing to blow up whole mountain ranges to get more of it.
Well, that’s what China’s doing (I’ll report on that later today or tomorrow). Maybe the president decided there was no point in being a green sap when China was going black.
Should we start a flip-flop pool? What’s the next policy to go under the bus?