Taking Back America: The Imperial President

(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

At his Balkinization site, Jack Balkin discusses how he had predicted the current state of increased national surveillance that were put in place by George W. Bush during the “war on terrorism”. It would not matter if the president was a Democrat or a Republican because it has little to do with 9/11 but more about the National Security State that was created after World War II and it would be expected that these policies would be expanded.

Barack Obama has largely confirmed these expectations, much to the dismay of many liberals who supported him. After issuing a series of publicly lauded executive orders on assuming office (including a ban on torture), he has more or less systematically adopted policies consistent with the second term of the George W. Bush Administration, employing the new powers granted to the President by Congress in the Authorization of the Use of Military Force of 2001, the Patriot Act of 2001 (as amended), the Protect America Act of 2007, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 and the Military Commissions Acts of 2006 and 2009. These statutory authorizations have created a basic framework for the National Surveillance State, and have made Obama the most powerful president in history in these policy areas.

In spite of all the flowery rhetoric in public, behind the curtain Barack Obama is an extension of what is turning into an Imperial Presidency. This issue goes hand in hand with the expansion of the Military Industrial Complex that President Eisenhower warned of in his farewell address. David Swanson, author, blogger, and activist, and Bruce Fein, a constitutional and international lawyer discuss the current state of the growing surveillance state that is is making an end run Bill of Rights protections and expectations about procedure. The following four videos that were made on March 17 and moderated by attorney and author, John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute are well worth the time.


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