Obama Administration: Right Of Confrontation "Not An American Value"

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right . . . to be confronted with the witnesses against him . . . - Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Via TPM's David Kurtz, the Obama Administration says:

Mr. Obama’s statement on Friday said that “the use of hearsay will be limited.” . . . A memorandum describing the administration’s changes that was filed with the military judges said that such “hearsay admissibility remains much broader than in domestic courts” in the United States. One of the senior administration officials said that although federal courts bar many kinds of hearsay evidence, “the hearsay rule is not one of those things that is rooted in American values.”

On military commissions, a plethora of cliches screams out - lipstick on a pig -- meet the new boss, same as the old boss. What a disappointment Obama is on these issues.

Speaking for me only

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    Well, liberals aren't powerful enough (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Tue May 19, 2009 at 09:30:22 AM EST
    to hold him accountable IMO. That's partly because he coopted them during the election.

    Liberals have the power... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by kdog on Tue May 19, 2009 at 09:47:06 AM EST
    they just have no stones...too afraid of the big bad GOP to support options other than Dems.  

    Obama and the Dems are crooked, not stupid, they think we've got no where else to turn with our votes and support...and it looks like they are right, they can be GOP-lite or Tyranny-lite and still win power.  

    There was an option on the ballot who was serious about disinfecting our policies and reputation..."liberals" paid no attention.


    I know I'll never convince you of this (none / 0) (#4)
    by andgarden on Tue May 19, 2009 at 09:49:39 AM EST
    but the power has to be exercised in the primary. 3rd Party candidacies are dead ends at the Presidential level. Voting for anyone other than the Democrat or the Republican in November is equivalent to not voting at all.

    what has been true in the past (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 19, 2009 at 09:53:14 AM EST
    may not be entirely true in the future.  if the republicans continue to flame out an independent could surprise us in 2012.

    Well, that would not be (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Tue May 19, 2009 at 09:55:21 AM EST
    a 3rd party success so much as a new party supplanting one of the existing two.

    Given that the Republicans survived Teddy Roosevelt, and the Democrats survived Thurmond, I am not hopeful.


    We'll never convince each other.... (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by kdog on Tue May 19, 2009 at 09:56:45 AM EST
    Todo es posible...if they are on the ballot, they can win, for no other reason than they are on the ballot. All we gotta do is grow the stones to pull the lever in unison...there really is no other choice if we believe in what we say we believe in.

    Voting for a Democrat is voting for a slightly more palatable Republican.


    And if everyone just gave me one Dollar.. . (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Tue May 19, 2009 at 09:58:53 AM EST
    And if... (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by kdog on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:11:13 AM EST
    the candidate with the most money wasn't guaranteed to win the primary.

    Or IF your party doesn't (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by oldpro on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:40:29 AM EST
    actually hold a rollcall vote at your convention to test that theory...

    That's when I took a walk.

    Like Bill Clinton (and perhaps Obama), I am a pragmatist...but not an enabler.


    You had more hope than I did. (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Fabian on Tue May 19, 2009 at 11:07:36 AM EST
    I bailed at the DNC Rules Committee meeting.  That's when the DNC showed me who they were and how things are done.  Da roolz!  Da roolz!

    I really wasn't disappointed at the Convention.  It all went as planned.  


    I had no hope. I only watched (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by oldpro on Tue May 19, 2009 at 07:06:24 PM EST
    and waited.  The DNC reallocation of votes was the handwriting on the wall, alright.  Disgusting.  Reminded me of Florida and the Supremes.

    They didn't dare run the rollcall though...you never know what those voters might do when turned loose to vote their conscience...and the party couldn't risk it.

    A sham.  A total sham.


    Yeah it sure (2.00 / 0) (#55)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue May 19, 2009 at 06:55:01 PM EST
    was horrible when the Party officials listened to the states in question rather than bending to the whims of a particular canidate.

    I'll bet someone said just that (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:35:11 AM EST
    When our country decided to fight for independence from Britain.

    You don't get anything if you give up before you even start fighting for it.

    Of course any independent candidate would be a Trojan horse, most likely, the question being whose Trojan horse would HE be? (saying HE, given that a woman independent would never get elected).

    Of course, of course, our current Democratic politicians are also a bit Trojan Horse-ey.


    True (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by sj on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:52:01 AM EST
    Voting for anyone other than the Democrat or the Republican in November is equivalent to not voting at all.

    But it's actively not voting.  With a count and everything.  There's something to be said for that.


    You seem to assume that all primary votes count (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Spamlet on Tue May 19, 2009 at 11:31:50 AM EST
    and that they all count equally.

    the power has to be exercised in the primary

    But I agree with you, if the primary and the ultimate nomination are not rigged.


    Well, the Senate is partially rigged too, (none / 0) (#41)
    by andgarden on Tue May 19, 2009 at 11:50:39 AM EST
    and I have argued for its abolition. But that doesn't mean that we stop participating in Senate elections.

    I wonder why (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Spamlet on Tue May 19, 2009 at 12:33:59 PM EST
    that doesn't mean that we stop participating in Senate elections.

    It would take a general voters' strike to prove this, but I suspect that if everyone boycotted the elections, the parties would still install their chosen functionaries in the offices for which elections were boycotted. A general strike would force what Gore Vidal calls the country's owners to expose their game for what it is. (And I realize that a general strike on the part of the voters is not going to happen.)

    I voted downticket only in November, so even if Obama is extending Bush's policies in my name, he's not doing it with my consent, nor did I ratify the Democratic Party's corrupt nomination process with my vote. That means something to me.


    Tell me (none / 0) (#54)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue May 19, 2009 at 06:52:39 PM EST
    how did the most democratic and participatory primary in DNC history (1972 is the only one close) offend you- other than you know the frontrunner losing because the people chose someone else (usually this is seen as a triumph for the little guy).

    I don't think your question (none / 0) (#58)
    by Spamlet on Tue May 19, 2009 at 08:14:33 PM EST
    is really a question. Thank you for sharing.

    To start (none / 0) (#63)
    by jbindc on Wed May 20, 2009 at 09:55:27 AM EST
    Stealing 81,000 votes (the equivalent of 4 delegates) from one candidate and giving it to another who didn't bother to show up was pretty offensive.

    But that's just off the top of my head.....


    This has nothing to do with being a liberal (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by mjames on Tue May 19, 2009 at 09:59:43 AM EST
    Obviously, Obama is not familiar with the Bill of Rights (so much for being a Constitutional scholar) nor with the inside of a real courtroom.
    He simply does not care about the rule of law.
    In fact, as far as I can see, he doesn't really care about anything. What has he ever fought for? What issue has he ever led on?

    He has fought for (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:32:16 AM EST
    the issue of getting himself elected. He's definitely led on that.

    The other stuff?  Trivia in comparison. ;-)


    I edited the post (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 19, 2009 at 09:50:07 AM EST
    Hope everyne is doing good.

    I am back to my conference in a bot.

    in a bit (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 19, 2009 at 09:50:39 AM EST
    Consider an open thread? (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Tue May 19, 2009 at 09:52:27 AM EST
    There's some news to chat about.

    this morning on the Obama network (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 19, 2009 at 09:51:50 AM EST
    they (including Meachum) were swooning at his awsumness and proclaimed that he is "more pragmatic than liberals think.  more pragmatic than republicans think".
    god save us from pragmatism.
    this court nominee will tell us a lot.

    That's the Villagers' new victory chant: All Hail (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by jawbone on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:08:50 AM EST
    the Great Pragmatist. Long may he kick liberals under the bus! He does what we Villagers think he ought to do...and if he doesn't, we will rein him in.

    All Hail the Conquering Center Rightists!

    Torture Rulz
    Unique Constitutional interpretations Rule
    Corporatists Rule--Big Time (and that's where the post-office way to wealth is)
    Goldman Sachs and Banksters Rule...and reap the profits

    And, don't actually say so, but NeoCons and NeoLibs Rule!


    Same (5.00 / 0) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:16:37 AM EST
    swooning that got us the loser Bush and into Iraq. I'm beyond sick of these people.

    My question is this: (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by eric on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:04:25 AM EST
    Why?  Why do we need to relax the hearsay rule?  Nevermind the problem with confrontation, hearsay is simply bad evidence.  There are plenty of great exceptions in the rules, why do we need an exception for "Muslim men after September 11, 2001, who are accused of bad things?"  Are they going to call it the 9/11 exception?

    The Uniquely American Empire Exception--does that (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by jawbone on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:10:25 AM EST

    The Democratic Republic Reform Exception?

    The Executive Powers Exception?


    Right now it's Muslims, but it will be used for (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by jawbone on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:12:19 AM EST
    others, especially inconvenient persons who seek to lessen the power of the Corporatists and their political lackies and enablers.

    Because that's the only way to guarantee, (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by Anne on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:26:22 AM EST
     in the words of Robert Gibbs, who said this about 10 times when answering questions about Obama's decision on military commissions, "swift and certain" justice.  Swift, I get.  Certain?  Sounds to me more like "getting the result we want, regardless of whether we did it fairly."  Gave me a bit of a chill when he kept saying it over and over and over.

    One thing's for sure: I don't feel like my rights and privileges are in better hands now than they were before January 20th.  Makes me wonder how serious he is about Dawn Johnsen heading up OLC - it sure doesn't seem like he is fighting at all to get her nomination approved, so I am at the stage where I'm considering that she was a throwaway nominee.


    Why doenst (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:14:50 AM EST
    Obama just come out and concede that the GOP did the right thing? At least that way we won't have to disucss his continual caving to them.

    I do not think that Obama (none / 0) (#57)
    by MO Blue on Tue May 19, 2009 at 07:38:21 PM EST
    is caving into Republicans. I think Obama is doing what he wants to do. IOW, Obama and the Republicans have the same agenda on these issues.

    Well (none / 0) (#61)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 19, 2009 at 09:42:11 PM EST
    that's certainly not any better and maybe worse.

    I am suprised that you all are suprised (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by tokin librul on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:24:03 AM EST
    that Obama clings to the powers arrogated to his office by the busheviks.

    When, except for G. Washington, has any president voluntarily ceded back to the State/Lege any powers claimed for th purposes of meeting current emergencies?

    Oh, yeah,,, NEVER!

    Carter (none / 0) (#24)
    by eric on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:28:45 AM EST
    relinquished powers.  Especially with regard to secrecy.

    Not voluntarily... (none / 0) (#26)
    by tokin librul on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:30:47 AM EST
    Congress demanded, and Carter complied.

    Dissapointing? (4.00 / 4) (#8)
    by Dadler on Tue May 19, 2009 at 09:52:05 AM EST
    You are far too nice.  Obama here is a wretched, pathetic, cowardly excuse for a third of a man.  And is showing his inetellect to be far less than the sum of his acting/speaking skills.  Just a profoundly empty suit.

    :: whew :: (none / 0) (#33)
    by sj on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:52:04 AM EST
    That was catharitic.

    Well, (none / 0) (#2)
    by eric on Tue May 19, 2009 at 09:43:42 AM EST
    the hearsay rule is actually "rooted" in the values that predate the US, in our mother country and the British Common Law.  But I would certainly say that it is very firmly established here.

    Tell me there isn't some lawyer at the DOJ writing a memo about how the hearsay rule is actually a British invention and that it really isn't that important in the US law, so go ahead and railroad these defendants...  Maybe Yoo and Bybee can consult on the project.

    The Bosses , Having Spent A Hundred Years (none / 0) (#25)
    by tokin librul on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:29:40 AM EST
    and billions of dollars to claim utter and total control over the political process, the media, the apparati of selection, and ownership of the electoral PROCESS, are never gonna concede control over the system.


    There is only one party, with two wings. The bosses "own" both. There's never gonna be another "party" because the two we have now suit the purposes of the hegemons so well: it all LOOKS so "democratic," you see...and with contemporaneous control over the info-tainment industry, the appearances cannot be challenged.

    But as long as they keep letting us vote... (none / 0) (#30)
    by kdog on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:41:36 AM EST
    we have a chance, however slim, of getting a people's monkey wrench elected.  Not gonna happen, I agree, but it could.

    Not so long as believers believe (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by oldpro on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:49:15 AM EST
    and hopesters hope.

    Ya think? (none / 0) (#35)
    by kdog on Tue May 19, 2009 at 11:04:07 AM EST
    I was leaning towards the realist defeatists being the hold-up to good leadership...the "thats just the way it is" brigade, lacking in belief and a little hope.

    How? (none / 0) (#36)
    by tokin librul on Tue May 19, 2009 at 11:05:58 AM EST
    They completely control the selection of whom we vote for...

    That was/is the lesson of obama: it's rigged so that it doesn't REALLLY matter for whom we vote, because among the choices there is an extremely limited range of actuall differences. Obama was and is a corporate stiff who wouldn't be where he is if he weren't...


    You're forgetting everybodys... (none / 0) (#43)
    by kdog on Tue May 19, 2009 at 01:20:15 PM EST
    favorite whipping boy, Ralph Nader.

    He was on my ballot and got my vote, was he not on everybody elses who is complaining about a lack of choices?

    It is rigged...but even a rig-job can be beat as long as they let us pull a lever.  


    If voting actually mattered (5.00 / 0) (#47)
    by tokin librul on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:44:46 PM EST
    you'd never get with 50 feet of a voting machine, brudda...

    I hear ya... (none / 0) (#50)
    by kdog on Tue May 19, 2009 at 03:05:20 PM EST
    but miracles happen...it wouldn't be the first con that bit the con-artist in the arse.

    Beautiful (none / 0) (#34)
    by Iamme on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:58:34 AM EST
    As a repbulican to watch this evolve on this website has been a wonderful thing.

    Yay we kicked them out.
    Obaman is the man.
    Republicans are dead.
    Republicans are old news.
    Obama backpedals on torture gate.
    Now he is afraid of the GOP.
    Now he is really a centrist "republican" quality.

    We went from we smoked em to he is NOT the man.

    As I was saying "the democrats controlled the house and senate the last two year of George's time in office"  They didnt do a damn thing.  Now they control the house, senate, and presidency and they still arent doing a damn thing except spending money like water.  

    Beautiful to see it all fall apart on them.  Republicans dont need a "new strategy".  We just need to sit back and watch it all unravel then the pendulum will swing back our way.

    I think the point being made here today (none / 0) (#45)
    by of1000Kings on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:34:18 PM EST
    is that there is no pendulum...republican/democrat doesn't matter, we are all subservient to the ruling Aristocratic class...

    you, me and everyone else...

    it started with the advent of Christianity (when the gospel of St Thomas was conveniently left out) and it's lasted these many thousands of years...

    you can go on supporting all the criminals (bushco) you want...doesn't matter if you do or not, they'll still do what they want...


    Like Bukowski so wisely put it... (5.00 / 0) (#46)
    by kdog on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:43:52 PM EST
    "The only difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is in a dictatorship you don't waste your time voting."

    But I've got time to waste to pull a lever once a year for Nader or whoever else is on there without a D or an R after their name...can't hurt:)


    with you man... (none / 0) (#48)
    by of1000Kings on Tue May 19, 2009 at 03:00:24 PM EST
    I 'wasted' my vote too...

    although, with the way things are going I probably would have wasted it on Obama too...not to say there wouldn't be any difference between he and McCain (not bowing down to evangelicals for one) but there isn't as much as I HOPED...


    Said it once, I'll say it again... (none / 0) (#49)
    by kdog on Tue May 19, 2009 at 03:02:14 PM EST
    the differences are far too superficial...on the big stuff, they're all on the same crooked page.

    funny I dont feel that way (none / 0) (#52)
    by Iamme on Tue May 19, 2009 at 04:40:45 PM EST
    I get up and go to work happy each day.  I make a good living and go pretty much any where I want on vacation.  I have been to Germany, Canada, China, The Bahamas, and Mexico.  I live how I want when I get home.  I eat what I want when I get home.  I watch what I want.  That doesnt sound subservient.  If I dont like my job I can work somewhere else.  I can live anywhere in any state I choose.  

    Maybe I am one of the aristrocrats you are speaking of since I have so many freedoms.

    I dont need a private jet or billions in the bank to be happy.  I dont need a house in the Hamptons to get drunk at.

    So I must have been absent the day the gospel of St. Thomas was left out and so what if I choose sides.  All those things will go on.  They just seem to be a little more in my favor when the R's are running the show.


    Nevertheless, (none / 0) (#38)
    by Spamlet on Tue May 19, 2009 at 11:24:13 AM EST
    there's more than a dime's worth of difference between Barack Obama and George W. Bush. I'd say it's maybe about 25 cents.

    More than a littel unfair (none / 0) (#40)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue May 19, 2009 at 11:44:13 AM EST
    This is and the stimulus are basically the only issues that Obama hasn't represented a clear break from the Bush Admin. As sad as it is to say, this still makes him the most liberal president since Carter.  

    Sorry (5.00 / 0) (#44)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:28:11 PM EST
    but Bill CLinton was actually to the left of Obama. I dont remember him serving only the masters of the universe like Obama does.

    And then the mescaline (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by jondee on Tue May 19, 2009 at 03:59:45 PM EST
    wore off.

    Sorry but, tens of billions more for the Pentagon leviathan; dont ask, dont tell (and dont expect any change); "the end of welfare (for the poor) as we know it"; knuckling under to Sharon on expanded settlements; collective punishments for innocent Iraqis; no knowing enough to keep your fly up in Whitehouse when the thugs are laying for you..

    As someone else said, the best thing about the past is a faulty memory.


    Um, OK (none / 0) (#59)
    by Spamlet on Tue May 19, 2009 at 08:22:29 PM EST
    But not a single thing you've said (and certainly not the nonsequitur concerning President Clinton's sex life) disproves Ga6thDem's point--that Clinton was to the left of Obama.

    Lol! (none / 0) (#60)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 19, 2009 at 09:39:27 PM EST
    As spamlet said, you've said nothing on policy that disproves my point. And I cant understand the sudden love of welfare. That one subject has caused tons of election losses. Obama is spending more money on wars than Bill Clinton ever thought of spending.

    You've got what you wanted so why aren't you overjoyed? Oh, yeah, Obama lied to you. At least with Bill Clinton you knew what you were getting from the beginning. Obama has managed to play you for a fool. And yelling at me and calling me names isn't going to change that fact one iota.

    And I'm glad to know that you're as obsessed about zippers as the fundamentalists are.


    right to confrontation as american value? (none / 0) (#53)
    by diogenes on Tue May 19, 2009 at 06:31:17 PM EST
    I thought that applied to persons tried in the US for crimes committed on American soil, not to POW's, unlawful enemy combatants, or whatever these GITMO people are.

    Obama lied to you (none / 0) (#62)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed May 20, 2009 at 09:10:27 AM EST
    Obama lied to you

    No, they lied to themselves. They presented a junior Senator who gave one speech that nobody has actually reported hearing, or has a transcript of, or a photo or a video of, and who voted to continue funding the war, as The Antiwar Candidate. They believed the guy who crafted a health plan in Illinois that was "favorable to the insurance companies" was going to back single-payer. Yeah, Obama lied, but the deception went both ways.

    Me, I "wasted" my vote on McKinney.

    This Empathy... (none / 0) (#64)
    by cwolf on Wed May 20, 2009 at 06:08:37 PM EST
    ... with Prosecutors that Obama is showing ought to ward off any further Rethug negativism on that subject.
    He has also shown great Empathy with Bush/Cheney as defendants in their  Wilson/Plame civil matter. JEEEZ, Cheney should be on trial for espionage or treason over the Plame Outing. Cheney got people killed by revealing her secret status as a Covert Undercover American Spy working for the CIA.
    But ya gotta have that Empathy.