If you had told me two years ago that my college classmate, then Sen. Barack Obama would find himself the President of the United States by 2009, assuming that I didn’t think you were insane, I would probably have just laughed my a** off, and left it at that. But… if you would have told me one year ago that President Barack Obama (having sewed up the Dem. nomination by then, his ascendancy to the Presidency became substantially more likely) would not only block so much as investigation of the misdeeds of his predecessor and his minions, but that Obama would continue the overreaching and brazenly unconstitutional Bush policies in the despised “war on terror,” and, if possible, make them even worse by formalizing such abominations as “indefinite detention,” as soon as I finished laughing my a** off, I might just assume you were trying to get me into a fist fight.
But, as we roll around to this year’s Independence Day holiday weekend, I note, perversely, that a year ago, I was actually cautiously optimistic in light of, for example, the Supreme Court’s Boumediene decision, which seemed to recognize that neither Congress nor the President could suspend habeas corpus because it was enshrined as the ultimate fundamental Constitutional right… but Congress, the President, and the lower courts (specifically the
Neo-Con All-Star Team United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit) continue to behave as if the rule of law were just an unwelcome inconvenience that we can feel free to turn off whenever expediency dictates.
Well, here we are. American troops are still mired in Iraq and Afghanistan, though perhaps, numbers in Iraq really will decline now that “sovereignty” or something has been promised… though more will be sent to Afghanistan for a mission every bit as nebulous as what Barack Obama meant by “change”. And although Pres. Obama promised to close GTMO within a year, after nearly half the time he has allotted himself, the census there shows only 11 fewer men (including one more dead and one transferred to New York for trial) than when he started in January with around 230 men still held without charge (including Candace’s two clients, al-Ghizzawi and Razak Ali) … and the Obama Administration is still arguing that habeas is a dead-letter if the remedy means admitting judicially-determined-to-be-innocent men into the (sacred and Holy) United States Homeland… it is still arguing that Bagram is beyond law, still arguing about its “right” to secrecy (even while touting its own commitment to “transparency”), still eavesdropping, still insisting on the “flexibility” of extraordinary rendition, and, for all we know, still keeping torture “as an option”. (The Obama Administration is, without doubt, certainly an accessory after the fact to prior tortures with its overreaching assertion of “state secrets” and its resistance to any kind of investigations.)
If you had told me that the Democratic President, operating with now sixty Senators in the Democratic caucus as well as a three dozen seat advantage in the House, was behaving like the Bush Administration in the “national security” realm, but still couldn’t get any meaningful progressive legislation passed on, say, healthcare reform… I’m just not sure I’d laugh my a** off… or be reduced to tears.
I don’t know. All I know is that the Constitution that on more than one occasion I have personally sworn to uphold and defend… just doesn’t seem to mean what I was taught that it meant. Just… where the f*** are we?