US – Civil Liberties – National Defense Authorization Act – Phony "Anti-Imperialist" Propaganda Motivating Attack on Obama Or Real Concern for Civil Liberties? – 25 March 2012

Required reading for those who make factually interesting claims about President Obama’s position on these matters. It’s odd that someone who is supposedly trying to strip all Americans of their right not to be held indefinitely without trial issued a statement when signing this bill indicating that he did not want to, you know, actually strip anyone of this right. It’s also odd that the provision in this arch-evil NDAA law relating to indefinite detention actually did not change existing law. It’s also interesting that Obama backed an amendment in the Senate to remove this provision in any case, but it simply did not pass the Senate. It’s also interesting that the law is a package deal which also contains troop funding the president did not want to risk by vetoing the bill.

Remember, it’s vitally important for “anti-imperialists” to make Obama seem as “imperial” as past administrations, in order to establish the US as incorrigibly imperialist and engender contempt for the political system generally. It’s hard to do that, of course, when the president makes good decisions about war and peace, as he has largely done over the past four years. So people have to whip up some furor about what he _might_ do, you know, if he _wanted_ to, which he _doesn’t_…

That’s why they spin the issue the way they do. But examining the facts, what we really have here is Obama not wasting time trying to kill a bill in Congress he can’t kill without causing greater harm by doing so.

I wonder why criticism of Obama can’t be replaced with a straightforward evaluation of how best to respect civil liberties while not allowing terrorism, and get a bill with the proper priorities through Congress and signed by the president? Is it because this issue was selected as being important primarily for its anti-American propaganda value, and not out of any real concerns about civil liberties?

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