2013 and 1984–Liberty at a Crossroads

Strom Shirt

On his first day in office, President Barak Obama promised to “usher in a new era of open government.” Many advocates of federal government transparency, however, believe the Obama administration has went further than his predecessor, George W. Bush, to seal the doors of the federal bureaucracy from public scrutiny.

In 2008, candidate Obama promised to close Gitmo—the U.S. terrorist detention center in Cuba, and claimed, that if elected, his administration would give terrorist suspects trials in civilian courts. The Obama campaign further promised to “revisit” the USA Patriot Act “to ensure that there is real and robust oversight of tools like National Security Letters, sneak-and-peek searches, and the use of the material witness provision.”

As 2012 comes to a close, nearly three months after President Obama was reelected, his administration has not only failed fulfill any of the aforementioned 2008 campaign promises, it has, instead, responded like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney on steroids.

In 2007, liberal newspaper columnists ripped the Bush administration for water boarding—a technique that simulates the drowning of a person under interrogation—by rightfully claiming this tactic violated the protocols of the Geneva Convention. The vast majority of these same columnists have since remained silent as the Obama administration has chosen to simply assassinate terror suspects, including American citizens, absent due process, as if assassination is somehow morally superior to so-called ‘enhanced interrogation techniques.’

A post by liberal blogger Taylor Tyler, entitled “A Liberal Argument Against Barak Obama,” spotlights the 180 degree reality of Obama’s campaign rhetoric and his policies.

“While Bush favored the capture and indefinite detention of suspects,” Tyler notes, “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (otherwise known as drones) are Obama’s go to weapon in the War on Terror. Drone use began under Bush and greatly increased under Obama, with drone related deaths sharply rising. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports that since 2004, drone deaths in Pakistan total between 2,583 and 3,378, including between 475 and 885 civilian and 176 children. Since 2002, deaths in Yemen are reported to be between 365 and 1,055, with between 60 and 163 civilian deaths. Deaths in Somalia, since 2007, have been reported to be between 58 and 170, with between 11 and 57 civilians killed. Drone death numbers may vary because, as the New York Times reports, the Obama Administration has continued the Bush Administration’s policy of redefining civilians.”

And yesterday, President Obama, who took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, continued to trample on the document by signing an extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

The only thing “foreign” about this act is its willingness to ignore hundreds of years of judicial and legislative precedents concerning the Fourth Amendment’s prohibitions of unreasonable searches. By extending FISA to 2017, the Orwellian National Security Agency (NSA) will now have access to over 1.7 billion daily text messages, emails, and telephone calls that take place on American soil.

Even left-wing producer Oliver Stone has joined the ‘whatever happened to the Bill of Rights’ chorus—a mix of Democrat Party civilian libertarians (Oregon Senator Ron Wyden) and Republican libertarians (Kentucky Senator Rand Paul).

“He [President Obama] has taken all the Bush changes he basically put them into the establishment, he has codified them,” Stone told Russian Television, claiming that the U.S. is now an “Orwellian” surveillance state.

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2012/12/29/Oliver-Stone-to-Russian-TV-US-has-become-an-Orwellian-State

And, to a certain extent, Stone is right. Since 9/11, the NSA has secretly recorded more than 20 trillion telephone calls. Under FISA, recording these calls is no longer considered eavesdropping unless an NSA operative chooses to listen to the actual conversation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVv-SqByboc

Meanwhile, most Americans, as long as they have access to their electronic gadgets, seem ambivalent that every Web page they visit, every purchase that they make online or with a credit or debit card, and many of their telephone conversations—if they say one of hundreds of key words—are being secretly recorded and stored in an NSA database.

“If you want a picture of the future,” George Orwell wrote in his book, “1984,” imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”

Unfortunately, the American future is now the present. Whether it is biometric ID (Real ID for those of you in the mainstream media), Iris scans, surveillance cameras throughout the interstate and on light poles and busy intersections, Big Brother is watching, chronicling and storing what you say, where you travel, what you purchase and what you advocate.

And for those believing in the Starbuck’s mantra of “come together” bipartisanship, about the only thing the majority of Republicans and Democrats, including President Obama,  and even the judiciary seem to agree on nowadays, is that the society depicted in Orwell’s “1984” wasn’t so bad after all.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You, is available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Vol-ebook/dp/B00AGZTALE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354972268&sr=8-1&keywords=spingola+files

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, please visit:

www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2012

 

 

3 Responses

  1. Glenn Frankovis

    I laugh at all these lefties who claim to be so “offended” by what’s going on, yet the assholes still voted for Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the radical Democrats. They have no credibility with me.

    December 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm

  2. Marshall

    Wow. A rare opinion article that I agree with someone 100 percent. Thank you for standing up for the truth!

    January 2, 2013 at 2:54 am

  3. Pingback: Barack Obama, civil libertarian (not) | The Presteblog

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