Friday, September 30, 2011

It's About Time, Damn It!

Do yourself a favor: go read the entire opinion piece by George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. He nails it in one.

Writing in passionate language which is more than faintly reminiscent of our Declaration of Independence, Prof. Turley indicts Barack Obama for continuing and even escalating the assault on our civil liberties initiated by the Bush administration, an assault which as a candidate our current president so decried.

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. [Emphasis added]

And here is the Bill of Particulars Prof. Turley offers:

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. ...

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.

Either Candidate Obama was just kidding during his campaign or the glories of the Unitary Executive mantle he inherited from George W. Bush corrupted him. It doesn't matter which; the results would have been the same under either explanation. What does matter is that the president is once again the candidate, and he is expecting those of us who worked to elect him the first time will forgive and forget, mostly the latter.

Jonathan Turley hasn't forgotten, nor should the rest of us.

And now the president

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Blogger John Gardner said...

i've always wondered if this is one of those first day "reality-check" moments you get as president.

you make all these sweeping campaign promises, and then that first morning they wake you up, and you have your first national security briefing and they drop a big stack of "oh shit" on the resolute desk...

i was presuming he'd get a lot more done in the first part of his administration, while he had a democrat congress, but that didn't seem to work out super well either.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

I think, John, it's more a case of we elected a Republican in Democratic clothing, which most of the DLC types are.

By the way, what's the new baby's name?

11:55 AM  
Blogger John Gardner said...

i don't think he's a republican in democrat clothing. That would have been Hillary. :)

new baby's name is Barrett!

10:14 AM  

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