Obama’s First-Term Track Record on Civil Liberties


“I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president I actually respect the Constitution.”—Barack Obama (March 2007)
Four years after Barack Obama was elected on a platform of “change you can believe in,” he’s now promising America that the “best is yet to come.” However, on almost every front—fiscally, militarily, politically, socially—the country is in a state of disarray.
Most troubling, however, is the state of our freedoms. Indeed, during Obama’s first term, our civil liberties were utterly and completely disemboweled. The great irony, of course, is that this happened with a self-proclaimed constitutional law professor at the helm—a man who was supposed to understand and respect the rule of law as laid out in the U.S. Constitution.
Not only did Obama continue many of the most outrageous abuses of the George W. Bush administration (which were bad enough), including indefinite detention and warrantless surveillance of American citizens, but he also succeeded in expanding the power of the “imperial president,” including the ability to assassinate American citizens abroad and unilaterally authorize drone strikes resulting in the deaths of countless innocent civilians, including women and children.
Obama has a lot to account for over the course of his first four years in office, particularly in terms of the erosion of our civil liberties. Just consider some of the assaults on our freedoms that took place under Obama’s watch, either as a result of his continuing Bush’s policies, enacting his own misguided policies or simply because he did nothing to counter them.

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