Re: Myth of Equality
By Beverly Rice
"We can make the case that this administration has held back the wave of rightwing oppression that his opponents would surely pursue . . ."
It would be a weak case. The Obama administration has racheted up the civil rights and Constitution trashing of the Bush/Cheney years.
-Obama signed off on the NDAA legislation that allow the president to order the indefinite detention of anyone he/she feels like messing with - regardless of probable cause. The administration pressed Congress to include US citizens in the mix of those who could be detained. The law contains broad language regarding who can be a potential target. Section 1031 defines a potential target as a person who is either a member of, or substantially supported, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or “associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.” This also includes “any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.” The law doesn’t define what “associated forces” are, or what “engaging in hostilities” against the US means. And because the definition of a “terrorist” shifts according to political necessity, all of us – all over the world – are potential targets and eventual victims - including dissenters at home such as Occupy Wall Streeters, environmental and animal rights advocates.
-Obama signed off on the The “Trespass Bill” in March 2012. This law makes peaceable protest anywhere in the US a possible federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Anyone can be charged with a federal felony for trespassing on property that is under Secret Service protection, even if the supposed person is not aware that the area is under such protection. One can also be charged if he/she impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of govt business or official functions.” This law effectively criminalizes any form of protest.
-More March Madness ensued with Obama's signing of the Natl Defense Resource Preparedness Act. This order allows the executive branch to take control of all food, energy, health and transportation resources in the service of “national defense,” even in times of declared peace. This order updates the previous one signed by Bill Clinton.
-Patriot Act? Obama voted for 2005 Patriot Act and its renewal. Media headlines touted stand against Act despite his vote for it.
-Obama vowed in 2008 to vote against FISA bill amendment giving immunity to telcom corp that cooperate w/Bush admin warrantless surveillance program. He then voted for bill in July of that year.
- Obama admin claims right to execute US citizens w/o charge or due process.
- Obama has prosecuted more whistleblowers than any of his predecessors.
- Obama told DOJ attorneys in 2009 to argue before San Fran Fed Dist Judge Walker that he should toss out the Shubert v Bush suit brought by Electronic Frontier Foundation. Suit challenges secret state driftnet surveillance of Americans’ electronic communications. April 2009: DOJ argued for dismissal of Jewel v NSA civil suit brought by ATT customers to stop company’s ongoing collaboration w/govt’s illegal surveillance. DOJ says if suit proceeds it would require govt disclosure of privileged state secrets. Arguing under Patriot Act that state immune from suit under the Wiretap Act and Stored Communications Act.
- In April, the Supreme Court ruled that jails can perform strip searches on new inmates regardless of the gravity of their alleged offenses. Obama DOJ lawyers spoke and filed briefs IN FAVOR of blanket strip searches. Instead of using arguments with regard to smuggling of contraband such as drugs and weapons, the admin's lawyer used hypothetical political protesters as the bad guys of his argument. Sounds like someone is more concerned with deterring political dissent as opposed to deterring more weed getting into jails. The hard core activist may be brave enough to not give a damn, but most would be protesters might think twice about risking a full body cavity strip search along with whatever other Gtimo-like actions the Gestapo guard feels like doing.
With Democrats like this, who needs Republicans? Obama isn't holding back right wing wave of oppression; he's throwing the sheeple into the waves and laughing as they drown in the River of Denial.
[Editor's Note: This was in response to "The Myth of Equal Rights" by Jack Random, posted on Counterpunch, Dissident Voice and Pacific Free Press.]