Barack Obama = Joe McCarthy??

According to reports, President Obama plans to sign a defense bill that officially authorizes the indefinite detention of American citizens accused of terrorism without a trial.

What about that pesky 5th Amendment, the one that bars the government from depriving a person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law? Because due process does not exist when someone is thrown in a cell and not allowed to challenge the detention, is not put on trial, and is not even charged with a crime in the first place.

What about that pesky 4th Amendment, which bars the government from executing unreasonable searches, and requires reasonable searches to be done with a warrant approved by a court of law? Unfortunately, the 4th Amendment has been disregarded for the last 10 years thanks to the PATRIOT Act, which grants government unprecedented searching capabilities without getting approval from the courts, and the codifying of warrantless electronic surveillance in 2008 that Constitutional law professor-turned US Senator Barack Obama voted in favor of. The indefinite detention of American citizens was just the next logical devolutionary step.

Glenn Greenwald, maybe the only principled liberal left in the media, gives all the sordid details. According to Greenwald’s article, not since the McCarthy era has the indefinite detention of Americans been codified.

Somehow I doubt favorable comparisons to Joe McCarthy will show up in Team Obama’s 2012 reelection materials.


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