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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/22/12

Best Hope or Worst Enemy?

Message Walter F. Wouk
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The only thing worse than the pernicious prattle of the Tea Party Republicans is the inane mantra of Obama supporters claiming that "he's our best hope, he's our best hope, he's our best hope..." 
Their best hope poses a clear and present threat to our civil liberties, but they remain wilfully indifferent to the truth, prefering instead to cling to the illusion that Obama's really a stand up guy who cares about "we the people." 
He's not. And he doesn't. He's a self-serving opportunist who sold out the people who supported him in 2008 and I have no doubt that the overriding question on Obama's mind is: How do I get these a**holes to vote for me again?
In her article, "Cruel & Unusual Punishment: NDAA,"    Jacqueline Marcus notes that "Barack Obama placed his hand on the Bible and took an oath, vowing to uphold and defend the Constitution.  This is not an empty ritual.  Did anyone hear him take an oath to ban the Constitution?"
He may not have uttered the words, but he has been working on it since "Day One" of his administration. Obama has ramped up the infrastructure of the Bush-Cheney surveillance state, and the legal framework needed to crush any serious against government policies. His most recent effort is the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.
Jacqueline Marcus writes that the Constitutional rights abolished under the NDAA include:
" The right to Know Specific Charges against us"
" The right against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures"
" The right to a Speedy and "Public" Trial"
" The right to an Impartial Jury"
" The right to Confront Witnesses against us"
" The right to a Lawyer"
" The right to Call Witnesses for us"
" The right against Self Incrimination"
" The right against Double Jeopardy "
" The right against Cruel And Unusual Punishments Inflicted"
" The right Against Slavery And Involuntary Servitude Without Being Duly  
" The right to Peaceably Assemble and to Petition for Regress of Grievances"
" The right to Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness...
In addition, Obama wants the power to indefinitely detain journalists who are only trying to get all sides of the story; or criticize the president's foreign policies; which is the focus of a lawsuit brought by seven dissident plaintiffs -- including Chris Hedges, Dan Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, and Birgitta Jonsdottir -- alleging that the NDAA violates "both their free speech and associational rights guaranteed by the First Amendment as well as due process rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution."
On September 12, Southern District of New York federal Judge Katherine B. Forrest blocked Obama's indefinite detention law. 
Constitutional lawyer and columnist at The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald reported "The court was particularly disturbed by the Obama DOJ's adamant refusal to say, in response to being asked multiple times, that the law could not be used to indefinitely detain the plaintiffs due to their journalistic and political activities."
The Obama administration appealed the decision and On September 17, Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Raymond Lohier issued a one-page order. It stayed Forrest's decision until a three-judge panel rules. On September 28, it'll hear pro and con arguments. If they uphold her injunction, the case is sure to go to the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Obama's supporters will continue to blissfully claim "he's our best hope, he's our best hope, he's our best hope..." 
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I'm a Vietnam Veteran, live and let live progressive, fan of Thomas Paine, MST3K, Punk Rock, the Adirondacks, and warm and fuzzy pubs..

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