Remember Obama’s “fierce urgency of now” moment? (It’s oft referred to as the “fierce moral urgency of change.”) In 2008, the Democrats constantly harped on Bush’s trampling on our civil rights. You could read about it and hear about it every day from multiple news outlets. We needed to elect Barack H. Obama to restore our civil rights.
But, you know what they say about good intentions. Some where the train switched tracks.
When Barack Obama took office, he was the civil liberties communities’ great hope. Obama, a former constitutional law professor, pledged to shutter the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and run a transparent and open government. But he has become a civil libertarian’s nightmare: a supposedly liberal president who instead has expanded and fortified many of the Bush administration’s worst policies, lending bipartisan support for a more intrusive and authoritarian federal government.
President Obama now has power that Bush never had. Foremost is he can (and has) ordered the killing of U.S. citizens abroad who are deemed terrorists. Like Bush, he has asked the Justice Department to draft secret memos authorizing his actions without going before a federal court or disclosing them. Obama has continued indefinite detentions at Gitmo, but also brought the policy ashore by signing the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, which authorizes the military to arrest and indefinitely detain anyone suspected of assisting terrorists, even citizens. That policy, codifying how the Bush administration treated Jose Padilla, a citizen who was arrested in a bomb plot after landing at a Chicago airport in 2002 and was transferred from civil to military custody, upends the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878’s ban on domestic military deployment.
“The major defining feature of the Obama administration on this issue is the eagerness with which it embraced the stunning evisceration of civil rights and liberties that was a hallmark of the Bush administration, and then deepened those outrageous programs,” said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, who is an attorney representing many Occupy protesters swept up in last fall’s mass arrests. “He has successfully counted on the acquiescent silence of the liberals.”
Of course the liberals have provided “acquiescent silence.” They have no moral core. ( No, Obama hasn’t delivered Bush’s third term. He’s been much worse. Aside from civil liberty matters, just take off your blinders and look around you. )
Even Aljazeera notes Obama’s horrific record on civil liberties.
A couple of weeks ago, the Democratic Party officially nominated President Obama for re-election at its national convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. Democrats hailed the three-day event as a triumph for the campaign, and it has led to President Obama opening up a clear, and some say insurmountable, lead over Republican candidate Mitt Romney. But perhaps the week’s biggest loser was not Romney, but Americans’ civil liberties.
For eight years under George W Bush, Democrats excoriated the former President and his administration for their brazen dismissal of many basic constitutional rights, and for much of Bush’s second term, it was often Barack Obama who was leading the charge. Instead, Obama has re-enforced many of them, and in the 2012 Democratic platform, most of the party’s previous positions were erased all together.
Mother Jones, an ultra liberal publication, outlines Obama’s attacks on civil liberties.
- Indefinite Detention ( Ruled unconstitutional, but how long will that last. It’s just a pesky federal court. )
- Warrantless Surveillance/PATRIOT Act
- Racial Profiling in Fighting Terrorism ( retained the FBI’s Bush-era guidelines )
Funny how this stuff just isn’t in the news much anymore since we have a Democrat president.
Protecting individual rights and liberties — apart from the right to be tax-free — seems barely relevant to candidates or voters. One man is primarily responsible for the disappearance of civil liberties from the national debate, and he is Barack Obama. While many are reluctant to admit it, Obama has proved a disaster not just for specific civil liberties but the civil liberties cause in the United States.
However, President Obama not only retained the controversial Bush policies, he expanded on them. The earliest, and most startling, move came quickly. Soon after his election, various military and political figures reported that Obama reportedly promised Bush officials in private that no one would be investigated or prosecuted for torture. In his first year, Obama made good on that promise, announcing that no CIA employee would be prosecuted for torture. Later, his administration refused to prosecute any of the Bush officials responsible for ordering or justifying the program and embraced the “just following orders” defense for other officials, the very defense rejected by the United States at the Nuremberg trials after World War II.
Obama failed to close Guantanamo Bay as promised. He continued warrantless surveillance and military tribunals that denied defendants basic rights. He asserted the right to kill U.S. citizens he views as terrorists. His administration has fought to block dozens of public-interest lawsuits challenging privacy violations and presidential abuses.
But perhaps the biggest blow to civil liberties is what he has done to the movement itself. It has quieted to a whisper, muted by the power of Obama’s personality and his symbolic importance as the first black president as well as the liberal who replaced Bush. Indeed, only a few days after he took office, the Nobel committee awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize without his having a single accomplishment to his credit beyond being elected. Many Democrats were, and remain, enraptured.
It’s almost a classic case of the Stockholm syndrome, in which a hostage bonds with his captor despite the obvious threat to his existence. Even though many Democrats admit in private that they are shocked by Obama’s position on civil liberties, they are incapable of opposing him.
“incapable of opposing him” How true. I can’t remember a time when denial ran stronger in our country. Mitt’s a devil because he won’t release all his tax records for the past 100 years, he’s rich, he donates a lot of money to charity, and he’s a Mormon. But, Obama’s a demigod because….because….uh….
We’ve seen the Obama administration’s thuggish and heavy handed reaction to the “Innocence of Muslims” video after the riots and attacks in Egypt and Libya, which strongly reflects Obama’s lack of respect for free speech.
Equality’s a code word Democrats and other lefties use to get people all riled up. People in prison are the most equal you’ll find. That’s the sort of country Obama and his ilk want to build. A country where we’re all forced into a confined equality. Of course, the guards, i.e. ruling class, will have it better than the rest of us.
Fair is a child’s fairy tale. “We need a level playing field.” If I’m bigger, stronger, faster, smarter, more attractive, a harder worker, I’m going to win more often than you. If life was fair, birds wouldn’t eat worms.
Freedom is imperative. Freedom allows us to flourish as individuals, a society and a culture. Nothing else works as well as freedom, especially the freedoms outlined in the Bill of Rights. Our country didn’t thrive for any other reason than that it’s been the most free major country in modern history. A freedom we’re losing, economically, as well as the ways mentioned above.
Amazingly, the killing blows are being delivered by “liberals.”