Obama Could Expose Secrets of the Bush Years

On torture, wiretapping, and more, Bush legacy rests with successor
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Feb 10, 2009 9:19 AM CST
A demonstrator who did not want to be identified displays signs during a protest of the Bush administration's domestic wiretapping program February 22, 2006 in downtown Chicago, Illinois.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Good government groups spent years suing and lobbying to expose the Bush administration’s secrets. Will President Obama spill the beans on his predecessor? Politico outlines major secrets Obama can choose to air or keep:

  • US attorney firings: Claiming executive privilege, Karl Rove refused to testify. But Rove has been re-subpoenaed, and Obama may get to make the final choice.

  • Warrantless wiretapping: “The Bush administration claimed secrets that really don’t pass the giggle test,” says a privacy advocate. Obama backed liberals on this issue until a sudden mid-campaign compromise. He probably won’t flip back now.
  • Bush’s and Cheney’s CIA leak statements: A top watchdog in Congress tried to get Bush and Cheney’s statements to the Valerie Plame case prosecutor, but the Justice Department blocked him. Now Obama can disclose them, if he chooses.
  • The torture memos: More than 40 legal opinions, including one actually listing interrogation methods, are still largely secret.
  • Secret prisons: The orders for Bush’s “black site” program might be released, but Obama will probably try to avoid embarrassing the host countries.
  • Area 51: Just kidding.   

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