Meet the New Boss, Same As the Old Boss (A Continuing Series)

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on February 12, 2011

The credibility behind “Change We Can Believe In” as a slogan has taken yet another body blow:

The Obama administration’s Justice Department has asserted that the FBI can obtain telephone records of international calls made from the U.S. without any formal legal process or court oversight, according to a document obtained by McClatchy.

That assertion was revealed — perhaps inadvertently — by the department in its response to a McClatchy request for a copy of a secret Justice Department memo.

Critics say the legal position is flawed and creates a potential loophole that could lead to a repeat of FBI abuses that were supposed to have been stopped in 2006.

The controversy over the telephone records is a legacy of the Bush administration’s war on terror. Critics say the Obama administration appears to be continuing many of the most controversial tactics of that strategy, including the assertion of sweeping executive powers.

Perhaps I can suggest a new slogan for Obamaphiles: “The Fierce Urgency of Mimicry.”

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