Barack Obama Turns His Back On Change And Embraces Bush

Remember Barack Obama during the campaign — full of hope, change, and promises to make a clean break from the disastrous policies of George Bush? 6 months into his Presidency, not only has he failed to live up to the most basic of his promises, but he has embraced many of Bush’s most asinine and destructive positions.

Days before his inauguration, Obama made it clear he would close Guantanamo Bay, begin the process of moving current detainees through US or international legal systems, and stop torture from being committed by Americans. In fact, he blankly stated [via MSNBC]:

“I was clear throughout this campaign and was clear throughout this transition that under my administration the United States does not torture,” Obama said… “We will abide by the Geneva Conventions. We will uphold our highest ideals.”

And now? [via Wall Street Journal]

The Obama administration said Tuesday it could continue to imprison non-U.S. citizens indefinitely even if they have been acquitted of terrorism charges by a U.S. military commission…

Like the Bush administration, the Obama administration argues that the legal basis for indefinite detention of aliens it considers dangerous is separate from war-crimes prosecutions. Officials say that the laws of war allow indefinite detention to prevent aliens from committing warlike acts in future, while prosecution by military commission aims to punish them for war crimes committed in the past.

Yes, you read that right folks! Barack Obama’s administration is using the same legal justification as George Bush’s to detain ‘suspected war criminals’, even if they are found innocent by a military tribunal or American court.

Oh, and remember how he was opposed to Bush’s consolidation of powers in the executive branch and the NSA wiretapping program:

This is in late 2007, but Obama’s message is clear: Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program is illegal, against the principle and spirit of the Constitution, and completely unjustifiable, even with ‘terrorist threats’.

Welp, 6 months into his administration, guess what! Obama now wants to protect the warrantless wiretap program [via the Electronic Frontier Foundation]:

The Obama administration formally adopted the Bush administration’s position that the courts cannot judge the legality of the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) warrantless wiretapping program, filing a motion to dismiss Jewel v. NSA late Friday.

The Obama Justice Department claims in its motion that litigation over the wiretapping program would require the government to disclose privileged “state secrets.” These are essentially the same arguments made by the Bush administration three years ago in Hepting v. AT&T, EFF’s lawsuit against one of the telecom giants complicit in the NSA spying.

Oh, and not to mention that he is now encouraging failed banks and companies receiving government bailouts to hand out large bonuses to their executives, staffed his entire Treasury Department with Goldman Sachs alumni, has refused to prosecute Americans who committed torture, and held private meetings with coal executives and continued to push for mythical ‘clean coal’.

See Also: Judge Suppresses Coerced Confessions and Refuses to Delay Hearing in Gitmo Case, Obama Fails as America’s CEO, Obama Task Force To Delay Report On Detainee Policy, Now even the report on Guantanamo is delayed, Civilian court: first stop for terrorism cases?, and Obama Stalls On Guantanamo Accountability.

[tags]barack obama, torture, geneva convention, detainees, indefinite detention, warrantless wiretaps, warrantless wiretapping, campaign promises, Guantanamo Bay[/tags]


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