Posted by Bob Lord
Still getting blowback for not being on board with Obama and Feinstein, so, what the heck, here's Robert Scheer from No Place To Hide: We're All Suspects in Barack Obama's America:
Barack Obama’s speech Friday on surveillance was his worst performance, not as a matter of theatrical skill, though he clearly did not embrace his lines, but in its stark betrayal of his oft proclaimed respect for constitutional safeguards and civil liberty.
His unbridled defense of the surveillance state opened the door to the new McCarthyism of Mike Rogers and Dianne Feinstein, the leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees, who on Sunday talk shows were branding Edward Snowden as a possible Russian spy.
Some will read my criticism of Obama and Feinstein and say trust these good liberal Democrats, who would never condone misusing government power to undermine individual freedom. It is a rationalization difficult to accept on a day when we celebrate the memory of Martin Luther King Jr., a man blackmailed with information collected by the FBI and the NSA when Democrat Lyndon Johnson was president.
“In the 1960s, the government spied on civil rights leaders and the critics of the Vietnam War,” Obama noted in his speech, before quickly abandoning that caution and falling back on the lame “trust us” refrain of every overreaching government.
Apparently, some have the impression I'm siding with Republicans here. That's laughable, but I'll address it after the jump.
Without question, the Bush-Cheney gang was as guilty as Obama and Feinstein on this front. And that's the point. This is not a Republican / Democrat thing. It's a civil liberties thing. If you "trust" Obama (or, worse yet, Diane Feinstein) enough to relinquish your civil liberties, remember that you might have another GW Bush after the next election, when it will be too late to ask for your civil liberties back.
When you see the wings of both parties on the same page on an issue, as you do on this one, with the establishment of both parties joined at the hip, the wings are on the side of people. Think back to the first days of the financial crash, when Libertarian-leaning Republicans and progressive Democrats opposed the bailout, and the establishment members of both parties were in the hip pocket of the banksters.
Truth is, the parties are not as distinguishable as we'd like them to be. Democratic candidates receive more funding from the top .01 percent than they do from organized labor these days. Care to hazard a guess where their loyalties lay? Democrats are eager to distinguish themselves on issues of abortion rights, LGBT rights and immigration reform, but less than outspoken when it comes to economic justice.
I'm as progressive as anyone on abortion rights, LGBT rights and immigration reform, but that doesn't mean I'll look the other way when Barack Obama and Diane Feinstein are shredding our civil liberties while their drones are bombing the crap out of Yemen and Pakistan and their JSOC forces are all over Africa.