Reason.tv: Barack W. Bush—Is the Obama administration's "war on terror" policy more of the same?

Amongst liberals, libertarians, and even some conservatives, there has considerable "hope" that a Barack Obama presidency would radically transform Bush administration policies regarding the "war on terror." And, on certain issues, the new administration has delivered a measured amount of "change." But were Obama's executive orders banning torture and closing down the prison at Guantanamo Bay, signed on his first two days in office, just a head fake? Were they designed to placate a certain segment of his base, while actually continuing—or even expanding—many of Bush administration terrorism policies? 

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  • SpongePaul||

    Were they designed to placate a certain segment of his base, while actually continuing-or even expanding-many of Bush administration terrorism policies?
    _________________________________________
    Short answer is YES!

  • ||

    Its governance by press release, or, perhaps more accurately, the substitution of the permanent campaign for actual governance.

    In campaigning, there is no connection between policy and PR, because when you are running for office, you aren't making policy.

    Apparently, the Obama administration has taken this temporary and contingent state of affairs that exists only during the campaign, and is trying to make it a permanent state of affairs.

    "Hey, go with your strengths, right? He's a hell of a campaigner, but has never governed, so let's stick with what got us here!"

  • Joel||

    Can't see the video.

  • ||

    Joel,

    My truck's "Check Engine" light came on. I don't think the problem is on Reason's side in that case either.

  • ||

    Of course it is a headfake. Just look at enemy combatants. Obama says that we are no longer going to call people enemy combatants. Okay. Obama then in the fine print says that the government still has the right to detain people in defeinitely under the exact same justification used by Bush, adding the term "substantially" to "in support of terrorism". We just don't call them enemy combatants anymore.

    Now, I didn't have a problem with Bush's policy, so I can't really complain about BO's policy. But I sure as hell can laugh at the idiots who ran around for the last 8 years calling GUITMO Austwitz and voted for Obama. They are either fakes or fools or both.

  • ||

    make that detain indefinately.

  • ||

    Fauxbama

  • 3rd Time Is The Charm||

    indefinitely

  • B||

    You are posting an interview with someone from the ACLU? This is a joke right? I thought this site was supposed to be libertarian.

  • The Angry Optimist ||

    B - define "libertarian" and, in 500 words or less, explain what percentage "libertarian" the ACLU is and why that's below the appropriate threshold.

  • ||

    AO,

    If you don't believe in reading the Constitution as it is written with regards to the right to own a fire arm, you are not a Libertarian. That alone precludes the ACLU from being called Libertarian.

  • The Angry Optimist ||

    Pfft. Constitutional Reading Skillz =/= Threshold for libertarianism.

    I'm not a monster fan of the ACLU, but I'm not a member of the Libertarian Church, so I'm willing to listen to people who are good on things and who fight for good things, be they the NRA, ACLU, C4L, HRW....blah blah blah.

  • ||

    John,
    Libertarians don't read the second amendment as written. They redact the "well organized militia" part.

  • ||

    Has Obama changed ANYTHING? No troops coming home from Iraq, more troops going to Afghanistan, Gitmo still operating, torture still ongoing, War on Drugs still full steam ahead, nothing wrong with strip searching children, and the same Bush fascist/corporatist economic policies but with more gusto.

    Why does this guy still have a political base? Why are fauxtarians still giving him a pass? Why are progressives still feeling warm and fuzzy. Why are liberals still swooning?

    Obama == Bush on Crack

  • ||

    Well organized militias should have the right to own firearms too! I don't know of any libertarian who disageres with that.

  • ||

    For any of you still wondering why joe left, just imagine the beating he would take if he showed up in this thread. QED.

  • ||

    Why does this guy still have a political base? Why are fauxtarians still giving him a pass? Why are progressives still feeling warm and fuzzy. Why are liberals still swooning?

    Remember 2000 W? He was for "humble foreign policy" against "nation building" and a critic of "big government".

    Remember how his base abandoned him as he introduced NCLB, MED-D, shitcanned "freedom to farm", and went launched the US Imperialism world tour? Yeah, I don't either.

    You are either for Team Red or Team Blue. When your team scores, you cheer. It doesn't matter what goal it goes in, only who took the shot.

  • ||

    "John,
    Libertarians don't read the second amendment as written. They redact the "well organized militia" part."


    Take it up with the Supreme Court. Last I looked liberals were all screaming that theirs was the word of God, except of course when it isn't.

    Further, the Amendment says "for the purpose" that doesn't mean that only the militia has arms. It means individuals shall always have the right to own weapons so that if we ever need to call out the militia "the possee comotatus" the people will be armed and ready. Liberals are just opressive, ignorant superstious fucks when it comes to the right to bear arms.

  • ||

    Let me jump into this!
    B,
    Most libertarians agree with the ACLU on some issues. This site has hosted content and comments from conservatives and liberals as well when they have had the good sense to support liberty.
    Warren,
    Libertarians do not omit the "well organized militia" phrase from their understanding of the second amendment. Rather they put it in its proper historical (and grammatical) context-as the reason the rights of the people should not be infringed.
    All,
    While I find libertarianism comfortingly ideologically consistent and very defensible from both a theoretical and empirical viewpoint, I find that most libertarians are such because of disillusionment with the political system generally. This is the case for myself, anyway. If anyone is surprised that BO, on a whole, is little or no improvement over GWB, then they had fallen for to empty rhetoric. No matter who is in power, they will abuse it. The best we can hope for is gridlock grinding the gears of government to a snails pace. While I'm no fan of the Republican party, right now our best friends are "the Party of 'no!'"

  • ||

    Libertarians don't read the second amendment as written. They redact the "well organized militia" part.

    Nonsense. As written:

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    the reference to a well-organized militia places no limits whatsoever on the right of the people.

  • ||

    RC,

    You are right about this thread being some kind of WWF tag team beat down of Joe. That is why he left. I understand that. What I don't understand is why he would have found it so diffucult to admit he was wrong and just turn on BO for this kind of stuff.

  • ||

    "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "the reference to a well-organized militia places no limits whatsoever on the right of the people."

    I believe the founders considered the people as the well regulated militia so therefore, our rights to gun ownership was not to be infringed. A well armed citizenry was intended to be a further check against a tyranical government. It's silly to think that within the Bill of Rights, there would be a provision for the establishment of the National Guard. The Bill of Rights is all about the rights of individuals against the oppression of a powerful central government.

  • ||

    "The best we can hope for is gridlock grinding the gears of government to a snails pace. While I'm no fan of the Republican party, right now our best friends are "the Party of 'no!'"

    Is there any hope for that gridlock with a liberal Democrat president and a majority Democratic Congress?

  • ||

    For any of you still wondering why joe left, just imagine the beating he would take if he showed up in this thread. QED.

    Can we please stop waxing nostalgic over joe? We've said his name at least 3 times and it didn't summon him. Game over.

  • The Angry Optimist ||

    JW FTW!

    Warren, Heller stated (in part) that the "well regulated Militia" clause was the purposive clause, not the operative clause. That is, the Second Amendment should read "The right of of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, because we just used our own arms to beat Britain."

  • Telly||

    what Obama lectures and preaches about on TV is rarely what is really happening, even within his own administration, much less the world

  • ||

    It's fun how this thread became an argument over the second amendment. While the discussion so far has been on the meaning of the language (a discussion in which I took a side) I think that it is important to point out that libertarians are not necessarily constitutional literalists. Indeed there is quite a bit of overlap as the constitution was and continues to be a mostly libertarian document, but yet some deficiencies exist. The most obvious example and antithetical to liberty was the permission of slavery. It was constitutional, but libertarianism opposed it just the same (as this publication has pointed out again and again). So while we may agree with Scalia's reading of the second amendment, often we disagree with the views of the nominal constitutional literalists on the SCOTUS when the question of executive authority at times of war (and what constitutes a war) is raised. A law is not just by virtue of its inclusion in the constitution. Should the constitution have forbid blasphemy, I'd oppose that. For its few flaws, however, the constitution is a remarkable document and our elected officials would do good to abide by their oaths to uphold it.

  • ||

    So Il Duce lied, once again . . . what else is new??

  • ||

    RE; 2nd Amendment and "militia"

    I'd like to add that the "militia" incorporated all males of military age and had ZERO affiliation with the states. Militia companies were raised privately (ex. the first militia in PA was raised not by the crown or by the proprietors, but by Benjamin Franklin) , ergo the canard of equating the 2nd amendment with the National Guard is historically ignorant.

    RE: BFair
    I consider myself a strict constructionist and a good libertarian (small "l"). While I concur in the need for rationality and conscience in applying the Constitution, I am loath to consider it a "living document" subject to "evolved sensabilities" and "modern interpretation." Far better that it be followed to the letter (using accurate historical translation) and, when deemed necessary, amended purposefully and clearly as was done in the 13th Amendment, for example.

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    Seems to me that on torture, Obama has just moved us back to where we were in pre-Bush Administrations.

    Prez sez to CIA chief "no torture, OK (wink). I don't want to hear that there's any torturing going on, OK. Because if I hear about any torture I'm going to have to fire your sorry ass, OK. So make sure I don't hear about any torture, OK."

    Bush's mistake wasn't so much thinking that torture was OK. He told the world that he thought torture was OK. Big mistake.

  • alan||

    Were they designed to placate a certain segment of his base, while actually continuing-or even expanding-many of Bush administration terrorism policies?

    If it doesn't involve spending like a mo-fo, or destroying the financial base of private charities (Obama never looked so misty eyed than when he tried explaining this away) than it is not coming from the heart, so it must have been said or done to placate someone.

  • Lisa||

    "You are either for Team Red or Team Blue."

    You conveniently ommitted Team America. They had me at - sometimes dicks fuck assholes.

  • ||

    You are either for Team Red or Team Blue. When your team scores, you cheer. It doesn't matter what goal it goes in, only who took the shot.



    That doesn't explain his libertarian enablers.

  • ||

    While I'm no fan of the Republican party, right now our best friends are "the Party of 'no!'"

    I'm no fan of either party, our best friends are whoever "the Party of 'no!'" happens to be at the time.

  • Unthreaded Joy||

    sometimes dicks fuck assholes ... It doesn't matter what goal it goes in, only who took the shot.

  • jtuf||

    Brandybuck | March 27, 2009, 1:09pm | #

    Has Obama changed ANYTHING? No troops coming home from Iraq, more troops going to Afghanistan, Gitmo still operating, torture still ongoing, War on Drugs still full steam ahead, nothing wrong with strip searching children, and the same Bush fascist/corporatist economic policies but with more gusto.

    Why does this guy still have a political base? Why are fauxtarians still giving him a pass? Why are progressives still feeling warm and fuzzy. Why are liberals still swooning?

    Obama == Bush on Crack



    Obama keeps support, because he funnels billions of taxpayer dollars to ACORN, academia, and other bulwarks of the liberal movement.

  • jtuf||

    Warren | March 27, 2009, 1:22pm | #

    Why does this guy still have a political base? Why are fauxtarians still giving him a pass? Why are progressives still feeling warm and fuzzy. Why are liberals still swooning?

    Remember 2000 W? He was for "humble foreign policy" against "nation building" and a critic of "big government".

    Remember how his base abandoned him as he introduced NCLB, MED-D, shitcanned "freedom to farm", and went launched the US Imperialism world tour? Yeah, I don't either.

    You are either for Team Red or Team Blue. When your team scores, you cheer. It doesn't matter what goal it goes in, only who took the shot.



    Conservatives spoke out loudly against Bush's big government policy and criticized McCain in the primaries for being too centrist. We'll see if liberals do the same to Obama or if he manages to buy their silence with new government benefits.

  • jtuf||

    It's a shame how government officials can get away with violating rights just by changing the name of their actions. Shoot electricity through someone as part of your "questioning" and everyone rightly denouces you for torture. Call it "electroconvulsive therapy" and the public praises you as a healer. Those of you concerned about toture should visit www.mindfreedom.org to learn more about electroshock therapy.

  • ||

    I liked the answer an Aussie politician gave when asked about torture of terrorists. "If it saves one Australian life, all I can say is that the red terminal is positive, the black is negative and make sure his nuts are wet." I'll bet you a million bucks that's what the huge majority of Americans believe as well.

  • jtuf||

    That's horrible, Eric.

  • jso||

    terrorists are wonderful delightful people and should never be tortured for fear of making them feel unwelcome in america

    instead we should torture the capitalist big businessmen, right jtuf?

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