I was passionate about Obama becoming our 44th president, and while I recognize that in the short term Obama greatly improves the U.S.’s standing abroad, I am starting to wonder whether Obama is actually becoming more dangerous for the world than George W. Bush.
Regardless of what Dick Cheney may think, Obama has fully embraced the Bush vision of an imperial and unchecked executive branch. From the proposed Guantanamo show trials to the notion that the president can order people to be detained indefinitely without trial, conviction, rationale or necesity, Obama has institutionalized, with bipartisan support, the notion that the executive branch is above and beyond the law.
Sure, Obama may be closing Guantanamo, but he is doing so only cosmetically. Obama is maintaining, without any dissent whatsoever, the detention facility at the Bagram Theater Internment Facility in Afghanistan, a prison that makes Guantanamo pale in comparison.
Remember all of those Democrats, journalists, and citizens complaining about the Bush Cheney world of secrecy? Remember Bush Cheney refusing to disclose which oil companies met with the White House prior to invading Iraq? Remember Obama’s promise of transparency? Welcome to the Obama state secrets doctrine that not only refuses to disclose evidence of government crimes (because upholding the rule of law may hurt our image abroad), it now also insists on keeping secret the names of the health insurance companies that have met with the president.
Bush Cheney Redux or worse? With the Democrats in power and fully supporting the Obama Administration’s Bush-Cheneyian policies, we now have bipartisan support for the notion that the president is above the law and that the U.S. government is completely immune from any claim of human rights abuses.