I was playing with the main idea of this cartoon for a few weeks, and decided now might be a good time to use it, because Congress recently passed an Act that would grant the President nigh-unlimited power to imprison anyone without trial, even US citizens, for the duration of the “War on Terror,” which is another way of saying “forever.” The White House quickly responded that Obama would veto the Act, as well he should, but that his reasoning for doing so wasn’t that it’d give the President too much power, but rather that the powers granted were not broad enough.
The veto threat ultimately didn’t amount to much, anyway, because Obama abandoned it and signed the bill today.
This is not the first time Obama’s reneged on his commitment to restoring civil liberties that were weakened, circumvented, or totally obliterated by the Bush Administration, and instead fits a trend of actually expanding attacks on due process and the Bill of Rights. I’ve done a few cartoons on the subject before.
The Obama Administration has already shown a lack of restraint when it comes to assassinating American citizens who align themselves with the enemy (and their families). While the target in that case may indeed have been a dangerous radical, I still found the force expressed to have been excessive–just as I said in the case of Osama Bin Laden, reasonable effort needed to be made to apprehend the terrorist in question and bring him to trial before bullets were fired or missiles were launched. Since no one in the military, the intelligence community, or the White House even tried to argue that such efforts were made, I don’t believe they were.
That being the case, it’s not just some theoretical future President we need to worry about overzealously exercising these new powers–Obama’s own record proves that he can’t be trusted to wield them with appropriate discretion and respect for the Constitution. Is authorizing missile attacks on Americans who advocate the violent overthrow of the country that far removed from indefinitely jailing members of the press who might expose wrongdoing and corruption in the government, for example, in light of these draconian “war” powers? I think not!
Unfortunately, it’s not like we can look to the opposition party to save us from the incumbent President in the next election, since they’re even worse in every way that he is bad, and offer none of his strengths besides. What can be done to defeat these measures, when someone who spoke out against their like and who represented the public will to put a stop to them has become their most aggressive champion??