Obama campaigned on several specific promises about what he would do to roll back some of the civil liberties violations that had occurred under Bush. Politifact has its own list, which shows he’s broken as many promises as he’s kept (two each), compromised on three, is working on four, and is ‘stalled’ on eight. Let’s allow for a compromise to count as a kept promise given how dysfunctional the whole system is, but then he’s still only kept five promises out of 19. An LA Times op-ed from last year called the Obama administration “a disaster for civil liberties,” and the ACLU remains very unhappy with the state of civil liberties ten years after 9/11, saying it was ‘extremely disappointed’ with Obama just last year.
But don’t just take their word for it; take mine, too:
- Targeted, Due-Process-free Assassination: The CIA has long maintained a hit list of allegedly unsavory characters it would like to rub out. Obama took the unprecedented step of adding a US citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, to that list in early 2010. No evidence of his crimes was ever released, nor was there ever any due process afforded him before he was killed in September 2011 by a drone in Yemen. In fact, Yemeni experts had considerable doubt that al-Awlaki had “any operational role in Al-Qaeda” at all, but Obama apparently felt differently as judge, jury, and executioner.