Sitting Democratic Congresswoman from California, Loretta Sanchez, speaking on the Spanish-language network Univision, told her constituents that Republicans and “the Vietnamese” are trying to take away “our” seat. Sanchez is running against Van Tran, who is Vietnamese. The editor of the video is right; this is nothing if not race-baiting, and should be denounced as such.
The Obama administration has cited the state-secrets argument in at least three cases since taking office – in defense of Bush-era warrantless wiretapping, surveillance of an Islamic charity, and the torture and rendition of CIA prisoners. It prevailed in the last case last week, on a 6 to 5 vote by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
Warrantless surveillance of civilians, rendition and torture are all obvious outrages to constitutionally enumerated restraints on government power. It is no less troubling that Obama refuses to prosecute these crimes than the fact that he has implicitly left open the possibility that he, too, might make use of these illiberal practices.