Thursday, October 18, 2012

Unchecked Executive Power is Unchecked

On national security and civil rights, Obama = George W. Bush... And he may be much worse.
As the name suggests, the U.S. Espionage Act of 1917 is intended to punish those who commit acts of treason, whether for personal gain or out of ideological conviction. The Obama administration, however, seems to have abandoned all caution in wielding this extraordinary power. 
A new Bloomberg News investigation shows that Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department has indicted six government workers under the act for leaking information. If that doesn’t sound like a lot, consider that until President Barack Obama took office, there had been only three such cases in U.S. history.
 Hope and Change?  This President's track record of persecuting whistleblowers is a national disgrace.
Among the more disturbing examples of the administration’s overreach is the case of Thomas Drake, a senior National Security Agency employee who was prosecuted under the Espionage Act in 2010. Drake says he contacted a reporter after his superiors at the NSA failed to respond to his concerns about waste of funds in program development, along with intrusions into the lives of law-abiding American citizens. He is adamant that he didn’t disclose classified information and, indeed, the case against him collapsed.


These ill-advised prosecutions are a blatant violation of Obama’s promise to “usher in a new era of open government.”
The full article at Bloomberg is an expose of an executive branch run amok and hiding from accountability.
The president’s openness pledge is also undermined by a recent Bloomberg News analysis, which showed that 19 of 20 cabinet-level agencies disobeyed the Freedom of Information Act requiring the disclosure of public documents. In all, just eight of the 57 federal agencies met Bloomberg’s FOIA requests for top officials’ travel costs within the 20-day window required by the Act.
Make no mistake.  This is clearly a 'both sides do it" case.  George W. Bush and his administration of thugs stole our freedoms from us and Obama has done little, if anything to restore them

A McCain presidency (or, heaven forbid, a Romney one) would be as bad or worse than the Obama presidency has been, but what does it mean when the party who is supposed to represent "we the people" is as captivated by the notion of secrecy as the party of the oligarchs?  Could it be because they're both parties of the oligarchs?

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