While they crisscross the country mouthing each other’s platitudes, with only the smallest differences between them, neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney is paying the slightest heed to civil liberties. In fact, they’re trying to outdo each other in bragging about how they’re trampling on them.
From the president’s pushing for and signing into law the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), which codifies indefinite detention of American citizens, to his chillingly named “disposition matrix” (aka Kill List), which gives him carte blanche to kill whomever he wants, whenever he wants, with no oversight, to Romney’s embrace of torture, to both political parties’ approval of the increasing militarization of the police, to the fact that neither candidate has breathed a word about the TSA, VIPR, or any of the so-called security agencies out there, we can conclude that the current state of affairs vis-a-vis civil liberties is just fine with them.
John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute has been doing heroic work for years fighting for civil liberties, including working with Jonathan Corbett, who writes for TSA News and who himself has been battling the TSA.
Recently, Whitehead published a column called “Looking Beyond Election Day: The Issues That Threaten to Derail the Nation,” in which he outlines the major categories of civil liberties violations that both candidates are ignoring.
No matter who wins the presidential election tomorrow, don’t look for any redress of grievances in the coming years when it comes to your rights being tossed aside.
UPDATE: As if on cue, the brilliant and poetic Chris Hedges delivers his punch — fitting, since he used to be a boxer. In his latest column, he quotes Elias Canetti:
“Anyone who wants to rule men first tries to humiliate them, to trick them out of their rights and their capacity for resistance, until they are as powerless before him as animals.”
To anyone who reads this blog regularly, what does that remind you of?
(Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/Alan Cleaver)