Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Obama Quietly Backs Patriot Act Provisions

The false left-right paradigm stares you in the face. Yet most don't see it. The neocons are still obsessed with Obama's anti-police state campaign rhetoric, but still refuse to acknowledge that Obama not only broke his promise to roll back unconstitutional Bush era civil rights abuses, he has expanded them.

Or perhaps those who supported these abuses under Bush now miraculously have a problem with them now that they are facilitated by a so-called liberal administration. Never give to your friend power that your enemy might one day inherit. Perhaps, like me, they're awake, if for the wrong reasons. I once supported the Patriot Act. Torture. Pre-emptive war. I excused "collateral damage" as an unfortunate reality of war. We will simply have to wait to see how the views of neocons shift once a republican is back in office - if our country survives that long.

And then there are the liberals, who in great part swarmed to Obama's candidacy because of his opposition to Bush administration foreign policy and civil rights abuses. Have they revolted against Der Fuhrer? Not really. The anti-war movement has greatly subsided, with a few notable and heroic exceptions. Code Pink now supports our wars, because, supposedly, they promote women's rights. And on occasion, leftist establishment shills will throw us a bone and criticize heinous civil rights abuses, such as Obama's proposed pre-crime detention policy. But by and large, this all goes unnoticed by both sides of this facade. Until the paradigm is shattered, we will continue to revel in our self-enslavement.

    CommonDreams.org -

    With the health care debate preoccupying the mainstream media, it has gone virtually unreported that the Barack Obama administration is quietly supporting renewal of provisions of the George W. Bush-era USA Patriot Act that civil libertarians say infringe on basic freedoms.

    And it is reportedly doing so over the objections of some prominent Democrats.

    When a panicky Congress passed the act 45 days after the terrorist attacks of Sep. 11, 2001, three contentious parts of the law were scheduled to expire at the end of next month, and opponents of these sections have been pushing Congress to substitute new provisions with substantially strengthened civil liberties protections.

    But with the apparent approval of the Obama White House and a number of Republicans – and over the objections of liberal Senate Democrats including Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Dick Durbin of Illinois – the Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to extend the three provisions with only minor changes.

Read it all...