Last week, a letter to the editor was submitted critiquing the Barack Obama administration, written in response to the previous week’s letter. Sadly, both pieces relied on anecdotal evidence and tired political rhetoric and falsehoods to make their point.
Admittedly, Romney’s campaign was filled with lies and inconsistencies, but as he was not elected, it seems moot to address his candidacy.
However, making a solid case against Obama, one that has nothing to do with his alleged place of birth, or his supposed destruction of the economy, or his purported sole power over gas prices or budget reform (despite fact-based, empirical evidence to the contrary), has proven a challenge for the right-wingers of America, and something left-wingers are happy to ignore. Here, therefore, are just some of the legitimate reasons why the current administration of our country is one of the scariest in the world, from a non-republican and non-democrat.
1. Two Words: Predator Drones
For those of you who are not familiar, drones are basically remote-controlled, robotic killing machines that are now a part of the US “defense” strategy. These drones have been used to kill, at least in the sovereign nations of Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan, but likely elsewhere as well. The problem? The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that between 2004 and 2012, approximately 475-885 Pakistani civilians have been killed, with a reported 176 children among them – not soldiers or militants, but regular citizens. Obama has authorized drone strikes every 6 days in that country, compared with Bush’s attacks each 28.
2. Increased Surveillance and Infinite Detainment
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) sounds innocuous enough, but under it, the President can indefinitely detain US citizens without charge or due process. This isn’t a provision of martial law, this is an everyday, peacetime policy. Worse, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) allows the government to eavesdrop on cell phone conversations and acquire email and messaging data with no warrant. Seeing a pattern here? So this president has not only extended Bush’s Patriot Act, tried to pass SOPA and CISPA, and successfully passed FISA, but uses the NDAA to follow up from the information gained there. If this sounds like alphabet soup, what you need to know (and then go Google all of this) is that Obama is working hard to be able to watch your every move, and then be able to act on in by completely bypassing the justice system.
3. Cracking Down on Opposition
President Obama has prosecuted more whistleblowers, the very people who have tried to bring all of these policies to the attention of the American people, than any other US president. When the very people who attempt to provide a check and balance to his power are going down, so goes the truth.
4. Investing in Guantanamo Bay
One of the promises that Obama made during his first campaign was that he would close Guantanamo Bay within four years. Not only has he completely failed to do so, but the Pentagon has plans to plunge $40 million into a fiber optic communication link between the prison and the mainland. Guantanamo Bay is the famous military prison where detainees of all ages (literally – a nine year old was held here) are tortured with methods that violate Geneva Conference-mandated human rights standards, and has been condemned by the international community.
The current administration has perpetuated wars and violence against humanity, diminished government transparency, restricted civil liberties, and perpetuated many of the failed policies of the Bush presidency. What’s more disturbing, however, is how little of this information makes it into the mainstream political conversation. If the prominent news sources are not going to investigate our government, then we must turn to sources that will, and never become complacent in our citizenry just because the leader of the free will has promised us hope and change.
Anna Harris is a senior majoring in French language and literature and minoring in business. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.