Monday, April 13, 2009

Obama reneges on civil liberties

The President (Bush) asserted the right to capture anyone anywhere in the world and to detain them indefinitely without judicial review. Obama, despite speaking out against this as a senator and as presidential candidate, is also asserting this right as president.

The President (Bush) asserted the right to listen in on anyone's phone conversations without warrant, without judicial review and without legal recourse for anyone who was so wiretapped, claiming that even having to make an argument in camera to a federal judge that state secrets would be revealed to the detriment of national security in a particular case would jeopardize national security. Obama makes a similar even more sweeping claim.

Opprobrium is coming in from many quarters.

As Glenn Greenwald says (all the above links are to various of his writings)
Even for the hardest-core Obama loyalists, it's rather difficult to attribute these increasingly harsh condemnations of Obama's civil liberties, secrecy and executive power abuses to bad motives or ignorance when they're coming from the likes of Russ Feingold, TalkingPointsMemo, the Center for American Progress, Nancy Pelosi, EFF, the ACLU, The New York Times Editorial Board, Keith Olbermann, Jonathan Turley, The American Prospect, Bruce Fein, Digby, along with some of the most enthusiastic Obama supporters and a bevvy of liberal law professors and international law experts -- those who were most venerated by progressives during the Bush era on questions of the Constitution and executive power. ......

.....Whatever else one might say, the rule of law, the Constitution, and core civil liberties are the centerpiece of a healthy and well-functioning government, and nothing justifies an assault on those safeguards. That was the argument most progressives made throughout the Bush presidency, and the more Obama continues on the Bush/Cheney path in this area, the more solid the progressive consensus against his actions becomes.