Obama is just another Bush

The outburst of congressmen Joe Wilson during President Barack Obama’s speech to congress caused quite a stir in the political world that led to the House of Representatives disciplining him. Wilson shouted, “You lie,” after the President claimed illegal immigrants wouldn’t benefit from his healthcare plan. Obama was in fact being misleading because there was no verification for citizenship status. The Senate bill is now apparently going to add this verification.

While this could have been a case where Obama unintentionally stated a falsehood, there are much more serious questions of the Presidents credibility.

In Foreign Affairs, Obama wrote, “To build a better, freer world, we must first behave in ways that reflect the decency and aspirations of the American people. This means ending the practice of shipping away prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in far-off countries, of detaining thousands without charge or trial, of maintaining a network of secret prisons to jail people beyond the reach of law.”

All this talk of change, and yet none of what he said is being truly fulfilled.

Preventive Detention

During the primaries, Obama said he was going to “to restore our Constitution and the rule of law” particularly when it came to issues of national security. Ironically, during a speech on restoring the Constitution, he proposed a policy called preventive detention for terrorists. Preventive detention is when the government can hold a person in custody indefinitely, without ever charging these people with a crime or ever holding a trial. Obama said this would come in handy for people who have not committed a crime, but who might commit one in the future.

Obama might want to read the Constitution. The Fifth Amendment states: no person shall “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The Sixth Amendment states: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial,” and “be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation.”

This policy goes beyond just being unconstitutional. It is extremely immoral.

Rendition & Torture

Rendition is the policy of secretly abducting and transferring prisoners to third world countries. This policy allowed for much of the torture that took place during the Bush administration.

During the Bush administration, officials assured the public that torture would not take place. Many were tortured anyway, some of whom were later found innocent.

Obama condemned the Bush policy of rendition, since becoming president he has said, “Obviously you need to preserve some tools — you still have to go after the bad guys.” While Obama continues rendition, like Bush, he assures the public torture will not take place.

Raymond Azar would beg to differ.

In April of this year, FBI agents took Azar to the Bagram U.S. military base in Afghanistan. On the way there, he said the agents told him he would never see his family again unless he confessed. He also said that he was forced to stripped and photographed, in addition to being shackled to a chair for seven hours and not being allowed to move.

Azar was suspected of fraud, and not any terrorist activities. He was still tortured.

Protecting America is an important duty, one that must be taken very seriously. It is time, however, to demand an end to the depraved handling of these terror suspects. If America wants to be the beacon of freedom around the world, it must start reflecting that with its actions, even toward its enemies.

Unfortunately, Obama is just more of the same.

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  • The Law, Frederic Bastiat

    Life, faculties, production — in other words, individuality, liberty, property — this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.

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