Thursday, May 13, 2010

Glenn Greenwald: The Enemy Is Us

One of the most astute and consistent writers on U.S. politics is Salon's Glenn Greenwald. He always brings a fresh perspective and an informed legal analysis to the issues of the day. Since Obama was elected, Greenwald has revealed how his administration has maintained Bush & Cheney's extensive executive powers while continuing their assault on the American constitution. Now Obama is targeting U.S. citizens in a way Bush/Cheney never would have dared. We all could use more people like Greenwald, vigilant and articulate defenders of civil society. Here's a snippet from one of his most recent articles:

"What's most amazing about all of this is that even 9 years after the 9/11 attacks and even after the radical reduction of basic rights during the Bush/Cheney years, the reaction is still exactly the same to every Terrorist attack, whether a success or failure, large- or small-scale. Apparently, 8 years of the Bush assault on basic liberties was insufficient...Apparently, as "extremist" as the Bush administration was, there are still new rights to erode each time the word Terrorism is uttered. Each new incident, no matter how minor, prompts new, exotic proposals which the "Constitution-shredding" Bush/Cheney team neglected to pursue: an assassination program aimed at U.S. citizens, formal codification of Miranda dilutions, citizenship-stripping laws, a statute to deny all legal rights to Americans arrested on U.S. soil."
How pathetic is this? Rather than defend the principles he stood up for during the Bush years, Obama has caved into a never-ending demand for "security at any cost." The bullying of FOX & their cohorts is dictating policy and the Obama administration doesn't have the guts to kick back. A case in point was watching Attorney General Eric Holder today tie himself up in knots trying to avoid the term "radical Islam." Why not just say it's un-American to disparage any religion? Or at least reframe the question to include the Taliban?

That he didn't and appeared unable to do so speaks volumes about the Obama administration's inability to defend the core values of its own constitution. Pogo had it right: "The enemy is us."

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