Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Obama Has Been Disaster For Human Rights and The Rule of Law


Remember when President Obama promised to shut down Guantanamo? Well four years on, it still going strong, with scores of prisoners being held  indefinitely without trials. At least Stalin had the decency to have show trials!

Now the Obama and company have asserted their rights to kill anyone (including U.S. citizens) anywhere, anytime, without any oversight or external review: forget about judicial process! If the President determines you are security risk - your gone!  Has Obama used these powers broadly and against innocent persons? We don't know: because the administration refuses to have its actions reviewed by an independent body. (And it certainly does not agree to have them pre-approved by a judge or by anyone else.)

Now we all want to believe that Obama is a nice guy and pretty smart, so hopefully, he is unlikely to make too many errors or misuse his newly  claimed authority. But no one is infallible.  What about future administrations? This is a terrible precedent  Would you trust this power in the hands of Dick Chaney? President Obama has far surpassed the Bush administration in its assertion of executive authority to "do whatever is needed" in the name of national security.

A recent article by Glenn Greenwald explores all this, and examines the collusion of the mainstream media in Obama's erosion of civil liberties.

Time and again, the Obama administration shrouds what it does with complete secrecy, and then uses that secrecy to avoid judicial review of its actions and/or compelled statutory disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. "Oh, we're so sorry", says the Obama DOJ, "but we cannot have courts deciding if what we did is legal, nor ordering us to disclose information under FOIA, because these programs are so very secret that any disclosure would seriously jeopardize national security".

But then, senior Obama officials run to the New York Times by the dozens, demand (and receive) anonymity, and then spout all sorts of claims about these very same programs that are designed to justify what the US government has done and to glorify President Obama. 

Read the full article here.

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