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NYT: Bush’s Cover-Up of Abuse Turning into Obama’s Cover-Up

Ron Brynaert

President Obama and former President George W. Bush in the Oval Office in 2008. (File)

It's been said with regards to the Watergate scandal and the
Nixonian presidency that the cover-up was worse than the crime. A month
after Nixon resigned, his successor, President Gerald Ford pardoned
him, and many observers believed his technically-less-than-one-term
administration never recovered from that action.

"The cover-up continues," a New York Times editorial declared on Sunday.

"The Obama administration has clung for so long to the Bush
administration's expansive claims of national security and executive
power that it is in danger of turning President George W. Bush's
cover-up of abuses committed in the name of fighting terrorism into
President Barack Obama's cover-up," the editorial argues.

A British court recently ruled
that the country should release U.S. intelligence information on the
alleged torture of a man held in several overseas prisons, despite
concerns it could harm intelligence-sharing with the United States.

As RAW STORY reported:

Lord Justice John Thomas and Justice David Lloyd Jones
want to disclose seven redacted paragraphs from an earlier ruling on
the treatment of an Ethiopian man who moved to Britain as a teenager,
was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 and held by U.S. officials in
Afghanistan, Morocco and Guantanamo Bay.

Binyam Mohamed alleges he was tortured by Pakistani intelligence
officials in overseas prisons, but that British officials were
complicit in his treatment. He told the BBC: "There is information in
there, I'm 99 percent sure, which states that the U.S. sub-contracted
the UK government to do its dirty work."

However, the NY Times points out, "To block the release of
those paragraphs, the Bush administration threatened to cut its
intelligence-sharing with Britain, an inappropriate threat that
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton repeated. But the court
concluded that the actual risk of harm to intelligence-sharing was
minimal, given the close relationship between the two countries. The
court also found a 'compelling public interest' in disclosure, and said
that nothing in the disputed seven paragraphs - a summary of evidence
relating to the involvement of the British security services in Mr.
Mohamed's ordeal - had anything to do with 'secret intelligence.'"

The editorial adds, "The Obama administration has aggressively
pursued such immunity in numerous other cases beyond the ones involving
Mr. Mohamed. We do not take seriously the government's claim that it is
trying to protect intelligence or avoid harm to national security."

The editorial also chastises Obama for "resist[ing] orders by two
federal courts to release photographs of soldiers abusing prisoners in
Afghanistan and Iraq."

"We share concerns about inflaming anti-American feelings and
jeopardizing soldiers, but the best way to truly avoid that is to
demonstrate that this nation has turned the page on Mr. Bush's shameful
policies," the editorial explains. "Withholding the painful truth shows
the opposite."

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