Strings Attached

Strings Attached

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??

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 15th, 2011 at 4:07 pm and is filed under Cartoons & Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Strings Attached”

By » F. Murray Rumpelstiltskin (December 15th, 2011 at 10:32 pm)

I like this one quite a lot. It put a resigned frown/smirk on my face and I even made a “pffft” sound. I truly believed a lot of Obama rhetoric. And, boy, do I feel stupid now.

Minor quibble (that other people may not agree with) – I wish “INSERT CHANGE” had been written in letters twice as high. That way – I think – my eye would have gone to the text, to the coin on a string and then back to the text.

By » LagomorphMan (December 16th, 2011 at 10:19 am)

This sums up most of my beliefs on the subject pretty well. And I’m so disappointed it’s painful. Between this and SOPA, I was hoping neither would make it past his desk (assuming the latter makes it there, which, I’m hoping, it does not). But as you pointed out, the worst part is that Obama is still the (for lack of a better word) sanest choice out there.

Maybe it’s just my list bit of desire to NOT see him as Bush 2.1 talking, but I also can’t help but feel disappointed in the entire American populace for allowing this sort of thing to happen. Many people knew about this. But their is no uproar, no Occupy Wall Street style protests. And what makes me feel worse about it the reasons why. Best case scenario? The majority of people feel resigned and too powerless to do anything. Worst case? They don’t care because it doesn’t immediately threaten them or even worse, they support the idea. And I think it’s more of the latter than the former. I recently had a discussion at work where I had a hard time finding anyone who agreed with me that the concept of concentration camps for rounding up all your “undesirables” was not just a bad idea and morally wrong, but patently unAmerican.

I don’t know what the answer is. Even if tomorrow the Supreme Court slapped everybody involved in making and signing this law and put it through the shredder like it deserves, it doesn’t change the underlying problem. People are willing to sacrifice important political rights in the name of perceived safety (insert the most misquoted and overquoted statement by Bed Franklin here). Is it any surprise we get elected officials who mirror that childish belief?

Leave a Response