Missing from the 2012 Democratic Platform: Civil Liberties


Courtesy of http://bit.ly/OViBY6

In 2008, then candidate Obama appeared to be a strong defender of civil liberties. At least his speeches indicated so. He assured us that a President Obama would be vastly different from a President Bush on this issue (and many others). President Obama would close GITMO, stop torture and renditions, scrap the Patriot Act, etc, etc.

Yet, for those of us who care deeply about the issue of civil liberties, the current president has turned out to be a nightmare. GITMO is still open, torture and rendition have been outsourced to foreign governments (in a clever sleight of hand by the Obama administration), civil liberties on US soil are more curtailed after the President signed off on indefinite detention (after initially threatening to veto such measures), and the Obama drone program is four times larger than Bush’s (one of the reasons he’s called “Bush on Steroids”).

And the broken promises mentioned above are only the tip of the iceberg. For a more complete picture of Obama’s record on civil liberties, please refer to Salon’s Glenn Greenwald. He has been absolutely phenomenal on this issue.

This brings us to the Democratic National Convention. This year, the DNC has removed something rather important from their platform: civil liberties. Hmm, I wonder why? Maybe because their candidate has such an abysmal record on the issue? Here are the details from Mother Jones:

What a difference four years makes.

In 2008, Democrats were eager to draw a contrast with what they then portrayed as Republican excesses in the fight against Al Qaeda. Since then, the Obama administration has in many cases continued the national security policies of its predecessor—and the Democratic Party’s 2012 platform highlights this reversal, abandoning much of the substance and all of the bombast of the 2008 platform.

Is anyone really surprised that the issue of civil liberties will be absent from this year’s DNC? To those that are I say: “Where the heck have you been in the last 4 years?!”


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