Here at the ACLU, we are non-partisan. We praise public officials when they do right by the Constitution and civil rights. And we wack them when they fail our freedoms.
There’s so much good news in Day 2 of the Obama administration, it’s hard to know where to begin. So let me just bullet point them for you.
- This morning, President Obama signed executive orders to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and the CIA’s secret prisons around the world. The message is clear: The United States is not a country that holds people indefinitely without charge and without trial.
- Yesterday Obama signed an executive order placing a presumption of openness on all government records. (I’m not sure how he did this without legislation, but hey, we’ll go with it.) In the past, a person pursuing a government record had to prove why it should be open. Now the government must prove why it should be secret. This is the same reform that Pennsylvania passed into law last year.
But it wasn’t all good news. Last night NSA whistle blower Russell Tice, who is a former analyst with the agency, told Keith Olbermann on MSNBC that the NSA spied on journalists inside the United States.
Andy in Harrisburg