Thursday, September 30, 2010

Where Obama Has Really Disappointed

Unlike many so-called progressive bloggers who have taken to the fainting couch over Barack Obama's perceived failure to fulfill his hope-and-change election year mandate, I understood going in that when it came to carrying out his myriad campaign promises, the culture of Washington was going to push back hard . . . and keep pushing back hard.

As it is, the Obama administration has done a pretty damned good job of enacting substantial chunks of its legislative agenda, but where it has fallen on its face -- and I believe quite unembarrassedly so -- is rolling back Bush administration excesses as they pertain to Americans' civil liberties.

And in the case of the Bush administration's pretty much unfettered ability to wiretap Americans' phone calls, it wants to take this excess a step further and be able to monitor every single form of communication any American citizen uses. Anywhere, as in Facebook, instant messaging, email and Web browser histories.

In a not unrelated move,
the administration has urged a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit over its targeting of a U.S. citizen for killing overseas, saying that the case would reveal state secrets.

Echoing a frequent Bush era meme, White House officials contend the moves are necessary to combat terrorism and keep important secrets just that, while in fact under existing wiretap laws, most of these communications can already be monitored.

We expected better when it comes to civil liberties -- and we're sure not getting it.

No comments: