April 13, 2009 / by emptywheel


Greg Craig and State Secrets

Greg Sargent reports on Obama’s refusal to reveal whether he will support or oppose the State Secrets legislation in Congess. To which Mark Ambinder provides an even more telling response.

They no-commented me last week, and they’re stonewalling Greg Sargent this week: the White House refuses to say whether the President supports the State Secrets Protection Act in Congress.  As a candidate, Obama supported the principles espoused in a similar piece of legislation, but he did not sign on to the bill as a cosponsor.  My reporting leads me to believe that senior administration officials, including the White House counsel, Gregory Craig, oppose the current version of the legislation because they believe it would overturn an important, established precedent and weaken the ability of the president to protect national security. [my emphasis]

Yeah … Greg Craig … you think maybe he’s opposed to rolling back state secrets?

Mind you, Obama is 100% responsible for the policies his crappy advisors implement, so ultimately, Ambinder might as well have said, "Obama and his White House counsel" are opposed to the new bill. But Greg Craig was the guy reiterating the state secrets Bush had declared at a time before Eric Holder had been read into some of those questions. Greg Craig is the guy who refuses to go on the record to explain to what degree he’s got Obama following Bush on signing statements, too. 

Now, frankly, I don’t think it much matters what Clinton throwback Greg Craig (or for that matter, Obama) thinks about state secrets. As I suggested here and here, the courts are heading in precisely the same direction as Congress on this issue, and that’s before Vaughn Walker gets done with Obama’s Cheneyesque argumentation. So regardless of whether this is done via legislation or the courts, I suspect it will be done.

That said, Greg Craig has been a bumbling disaster since well before Obama won this election, putting a face of dishonesty on Obama’s stated better intentions. Along with this backwards embrace of state secrets, Obama’d do well to get rid of his reactionary White House counsel, too. 

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Originally Posted @ https://www.emptywheel.net/2009/04/13/greg-craig-and-state-secrets/