One would think that a Constitutional lawyer and once-scholar would know better. One would think that such a person would respect the First Amendment -- and of course the remainder -- of the Constitution of the United States of America. One would indeed think that such a person would place his Oath of Office to uphold our Constitution ahead of virtually all of his other responsibilities. But, sadly, in the case of President Barack Obama, one would be absolutely wrong on all counts -- and others, as well. Barack Obama has indeed declared War on the First Amendment, et. al.
Perhaps our American President is trying to star in a remake of the old movie titled: "Honey, I Shrank the Kids!" In this case, the title would be: "Honey. I Shrank the Constitution!" For, among other portions, much of our Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to our Constitution, appear to have been challenged and rejected by Barack Obama. With a Right Wing Majority still sitting on our Supreme Court, he just might get away with such abuses of his Oath -- and of the public trust, as well.
One of the most recent outrages is outlined in a New York Times story dated May 8, 2014: "The Obama administration is clamping down on a technique that government officials have long used to join in public discussions of well-known but technically still-secret information: citing news reports based on unauthorized disclosures. A new pre-publication review policy for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence says current and former employees and contractors may not cite news reports based on leaks in their speeches, opinion articles, books, term papers, or other unofficial writings." (italics added for emphasis)
Failure to comply with these new restraints may result in the imposition of civil and administrative penalties, loss of security clearances and accesses -- whatever that last term means -- because supposedly a federal official talking about what everyone else all over the world is talking about might "confirm the validity of an unauthorized disclosure and cause further harm to national security" in the words of the new gag order.
According to the Times, Timothy H. Edgar, a visiting professor at Brown University who worked at the intelligence office and the White House from 2006 to 2013, says that the new policy goes too far because it retroactively blocks former officials from citing news reports which are already in the public domain. Formerly, such officials were allowed to comment on such vital matters "as long as they did so neutrally and did not confirm them as factually correct. That would amount to a prior restraint on former officials First Amendment rights" to which they had never consented, according to this good professor and former federal official.
Of course, perhaps one should not be surprised by this latest violation of our civil and constitutional rights by the Obama Administration, undoubtedly with the direct knowledge and consent of the President. Continuing and enhancing the abusive uses of drone aircraft to find, judge, and execute targets in many nations, including American citizens -- an atrocious Constitutional and human rights violation which began under his predecessor -- has become a hallmark for Barack Obama. Meanwhile, his administration continues to fight the release of any of the rules governing these inappropriate uses of drones.
During his first presidential campaign, Barack Obama vowed that his administration would be the most transparent in recent history. He vigorously condemned the withholding of vital information by his predecessor and that administration. Yet, the Obama Administration is not only less transparent than those of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, it has become legendary for its misguided uses of presidential power to inhibit the exercise of Constitutional rights by Americans.
Author George Orwell wrote the prophetic book 1984 to point up the horrors of governmental control of citizens -- and the resulting loss. not only of their rights, but indeed of their humanity as well. It would seem that a sequel is now in order, and might well be titled: 2014 -- with Barack Obama featured as the Big Brother of our day. The new American motto has become: One Nation, under Control, with Secrecy and Loss of Rights for All. Reversing these trends NOW is an absolute moral obligation.