In late September, Jonathan Turley, professor of law at George Washington University, wrote in the LA Times that Barack Obama might be the most disastrous president in our history when it comes to civil liberties. Frankly, it was hard to argue with that position in September, but it is even more difficult to make a case against it here in December.
I can feel the wrath of the Obamanites even now, but his latest wimp out over the $662 billion Defense bill is just one more black mark on the Obama administration’s dismal civil rights record. I understand the political realities. He faced bi-partisan opposition to the veto threat. (And let me tell you that I have no idea what the hell Carl Levin was thinking.) The Defense bill has passed unscathed for 50 straight years. And Obama probably would have faced an embarrassing defeat had he vetoed the measure. That being said, any piece of legislation that further erodes our Constitution and denigrates our civil liberties should not pass. Period. Regardless of whether or not Obama would have been embarrassed he, as leader of what was once known as the free world, should have shown some opposition and should have had the guts to just say “enough” already.
While there are several problem areas in the defense bill, the most problematic provision is one that allows the military to detain and torture Americans indefinitely, without either charge or trial, even if they are captured on American soil. That is an affront to our Founding Fathers, and a perversion of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The framers of the Constitution put that document in place to protect American citizens in times of war as well as in times of peace. To those of you who are about to use the September 11th terrorist attacks as Obama’s excuse, let me just tell you that laws like the Defense Authorization Bill ensure that the terrorists have won. They have won because we are no longer the America they hated to begin with. We are now a police state. Perhaps we should congratulate Osama bin Laden posthumously. His intentions have been fulfilled.
I’m tired of heaping all the blame onto the GOP. Believe me, I am no fan of the GOP and I never have been. Never in all my years of voting have I supported the GOP, and I can promise without worry that I will never vote Republican. However, I am disgusted with Barack Obama because he doesn’t even give the illusion of opposition to the provisions that continue to insult our democracy and take away our civil rights. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t win in the end, as the protector and defender of the Constitution he is obliged to stand up and fight. Will I vote for him if he is the last Democrat standing? Yes. However, what I’d like is a real choice, not simply the lesser of two evils. To be perfectly honest with you, I wish I could just stay home and not vote at all. However, that is not an option for me.
As a candidate in 2008, Barack Obama promised the American people that he would restore the rule of law. Right off the bat, he refused to investigate the Bush administration’s war crimes. In fact, he made a deal with the devil himself by promising George W. Bush that he would not prosecute him or his anybody in his administration for war crimes. He promised to close Guantanamo. We are nearing the end of his first term and Obama hasn’t made any moves to do so. I know there are many who will come back and state that it requires an act of Congress to achieve this. Maybe so, but let’s remember that he had the majority for at least two years and he did absolutely nothing. Guantanamo is still open and there is no indication that that will change if he is reelected in 2012.
Barack Obama has also continued the Bush policies of warrantless wiretapping and military tribunals that deny defendants their basic rights. He has embraced the policy of assassinating American citizens that the executive office deems terrorists. He alone is the judge, jury and executioner. While he spent his campaign speaking out against the Patriot Act, President Obama authorized its extension by autopen from France this year without blinking an eye and without any revisions.
Can anybody out there find a reason for Barack Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize? I’d be interested to hear that point of view since the man didn’t have one single accomplishment to his credit (other than simply being elected) that would justify this award. In fact, his record since then proves him to be anything but a man of peace. Please, do not under any circumstance use the end of the Iraq war as a justification. These awards aren’t given in advance. And don’t kid yourself. We’re leaving behind plenty of military contractors and secret soldiers of fortune. The destruction we have left in our wake is an utter disaster for the Iraqi people we were supposed to be helping. We are still mired in Afghanistan, a losing cause with no viable exit strategy. We are victimizing civilians in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen by drone bombing in the name of defeating al Qaeda, while the fact remains that terrorism will never go away until we change our policies in these areas. In spite of opposition, we are now waging war in Libya under the guise of helping the Libyan people. We all know that Libya is simply another oil-rich land and we are protecting our oil addicted interests. Is there any doubt that Barack Obama will eventually support whatever Israel wants to do when it comes to bombing Iran? I firmly believe that our blind allegiance to Israel will lead us there as well.
The other day I opened up my Facebook page to find that someone posted a picture of Barack Obama in black sunglasses getting out of a car. His comment (and I’m paraphrasing) was something to the effect of has anybody ever looked so cool when going to battle with the Republicans. Barack Obama hasn’t battled with the GOP. He has spent most of his administration capitulating to their every demand. It is time for the Obamanites to take their collective heads out of the sand and admit that what has happened to this country is not only the fault of the GOP, but also the fault of Mr. Cool himself.
Perhaps Barack Obama is ‘better’ than any candidate offered by the GOP, but by what measure? He has not offered us “change we can believe in.” In fact, he has not offered us any change at all.