Civil Liberties

ACLU Chief "Disgusted" With Obama's Civil Liberties Record

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Politico reports:

Speaking at a conference of liberal activists Wednesday morning, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero didn't mince his words about the administration's handling of civil liberties issues.

From an advertisement the ACLU published in The New York Times in March. Click on the image to see the whole ad.

"I'm going to start provocatively … I'm disgusted with this president," Romero told the America's Future Now breakout session, according to blogger Marcy Wheeler of Firedoglake.com.

In an interview with POLITICO, Romero confirmed the gist of the quote, though he emphasized it wasn't intended as an ad hominem attack.

"I'm not disgusted at President Obama personally. It's President Obama's policies on civil liberties and national security issues I'm disgusted by. It's not a personal attack," Romero said….

Asked why he's so animated now, Romero said: "It's 18 months and, if not now, when? … Guantanamo is still not closed. Military commissions are still a mess. The administration still uses state secrets to shield themselves from litigation. There's no prosecution for criminal acts of the Bush administration. Surveillance powers put in place under the Patriot Act have been renewed. If there has been change in the civil liberties context, I frankly don't see it."

Update: D'oh! The story's from June.

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  1. He is really angry. And if things don’t change, sure he will still support Obama. But he won’t be happy about it.

    1. Well, I said, “I’m not disgusted at President Obama personally.”

    2. The yummy, salty crocodile tears of presidential buyer’s remorse.

      1. Its like getting a blowjob. You can get the blowjob from the old crackwhore with no teeth, which makes for a very good blowjob.
        Or you can get the blowjob from the supermodel, with those pearly whites, who doesn’t quite know how not to keep her teeth from scraping against your tallywhacker. Rationally, you should choose the crackwhore…but most people choose based on looks.
        Just think of it as a blowjob from a clean, good looking, articulate…

        1. Teh externalities!

        2. Lol, but damn, fresno, way to make the rest of us have to step our game of mixing perverted humor with contrarian analogies.

    3. Be patient,Anthony. It took time to free the slaves.

      1. Sorry, sir, I think you meant to say “It took time for me to free the slaves.”

  2. Well, at least Obama paid lip service towards transparency. None of the other (non-Ron Paul) candidates even went that far.

    Its like choosing to vote when your two choices are a giant douche and a turd sandwich. Just choose the assmunch who offends your sensibilities the least.

    1. Lip service is all you’ll ever get from me.

      1. “”Lip service is all you’ll ever get from me.””

        You just can’t avertise it in the Adult Services section of Craigslist anymore.

    2. This makes Obama far worse. It makes him a hypocrite.

      1. Yeah, but…

      2. True, but when two people are lying to you, it is somewhat understandable that you will choose the person telling the more appealing lies. Its not as if there was an obvious better choice on civil liberties.

        1. This is why voting for ciphers is almost always bad. They need some sort of public track record to base our electoral judgments upon.

  3. Anyone think he would have prefaced, “I’m disgusted with this president,” with, “I’m going to start provocatively,” if he was talking about a Republican?

    1. The speech took place “at a conference of liberal activists,” so…

      1. I wonder how many canceled their memberships in protest.

    2. Of course he wouldn’t have. He is a fake. He doesn’t really care about any of this stuff. If he did and thought it was that important, he would support a third party or a primary challenger to Obama. Since he doesn’t, he is just pissing in the wind.

      1. last I checked obama wasn’t running this year.

        1. What kind of money you do you have to bet that there will not be an ACLU supported challenger in 2012?

          1. Is there a Republican challenger that’s even paying lip service to civil liberties? FUCK no. I have no problem saying Democrats win on civil liberties only on a “lesser of two evils” basis.

    3. Anyone think he would have prefaced, “I’m disgusted with this president,” with, “I’m going to start provocatively,” if he was talking about a Republican?

      I wouldn’t need the preface.

  4. To be fair, Obama inherited his Civil Rights record from the Bush administration.

    1. Mister DNA- the comments section is for original thoughts. In the future, please refrain from simply copying and pasting Huffington Post comments. Thank you for your cooperation.

      -The Management

    2. What’s sad is that is something the administration would actually say..

    3. He’s an altruistic pervert…

      1. You mean he f**ks with people’s ideals?

      2. …shove it.

  5. Another rube self-identifies….

    Here’s a hint for those who still believe the grotesque “Change” slogan: Obama never had any intention, of dismantling the Bush security apparatus.

    He only said that to get your votes. And like lovestruck junior high school girls, most liberals still hope he will someday fulfill their wildest dreams.

    Suckers.

    1. Bu-but, he was such a courageous reformer when he worked in the Illinois political machine.

      1. A reformer from the Chicago political machine….well, THERES your problem.

  6. “I’m going to start provocatively … I’m disgusted with this president,” Romero told the America’s Future Now breakout session, according to blogger Marcy Wheeler of Firedoglake.com.

    You too, my child? You too?

    Romero said: “It’s 18 months and, if not now, when? … Guantanamo is still not closed. Military commissions are still a mess. The administration still uses state secrets to shield themselves from litigation. There’s no prosecution for criminal acts of the Bush administration. Surveillance powers put in place under the Patriot Act have been renewed. If there has been change in the civil liberties context, I frankly don’t see it.”

    “The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers!”

    1. Good SW quote..

  7. The ACLU went all the way for Obama, and they didn’t even get a second date. They must feel soiled.

    1. The ACLU went all the way for Obama, and they didn’t even get a second date. They must feel soiled.

      No, they went all the way for him and he never called them for the first date.

  8. There’s no prosecution for criminal acts of the Bush administration.

    Yes, because that would mean they also would have to prosecute themselves for such “criminal acts” – because they’re still doing the same things, and in fact expanding some of those actions and doing them more often.

    I would not hold my breath for the current administration (or any subsequent one, actually) to start prosecuting the supposed “criminal acts” of the Bush admin.

    1. But don’t worry, now the GOP is touting they we’ll investigate the current administration.

  9. Where’s the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!

  10. It’s President Obama’s policies on civil liberties and national security issues I’m disgusted by.

    I blame Bush for this.

  11. Power has its own logic and one of the most insidious notions is that one can trust oneself with powers that one would not trust in the hands of others.

  12. Hey, Romero… you just earned yourself a surprise IRS audit. And it’s not even your birthday.

  13. Hey Romero it sounds as though it may be dawning on you that Obama fed you a big steaming line of shit and you ate it up. Maybe just maybe Obama was LYING? Maybe? Just a tad bit? A little mulatto lie thats all. Who else you going to vote for HAHAHA!!!

  14. I’m not disgusted at President Obama personally.

    The fucking rat-baggers made him do that stuff. He *wanted* to be a civil liberties Presidents, but those obstructionist reactionaries have him backed into a corner.

    1. Must have been that filibuster-proof majority they had.

  15. Jesse, I wouldn’t mind seeing this story every day, but the conference (and the Politico story) are from June.

    1. D’oh! And here I was thinking I was just a week late with the news…

      1. If he was this animated at 18 months, he must be positively Looney Tunes ™ at 22 months. Maybe a follow-up is in order?

  16. What are you, on drugs?

  17. “I’m not disgusted at President Obama personally. It’s President Obama’s policies on civil liberties and national security issues I’m disgusted by. It’s not a personal attack,” Romero said.

    Wrong answer.

    Exactly what level of contempt for civil liberties does the guy have to show for you to be disgusted with him personally, Mr. Romero?

    Were you disgusted with President Bush personally, Mr. Romero?

  18. If Barack Obama walked into a gun shop and bought a pistol, Romero would be disgusted.

    1. He doesn’t have an Illinois FOID card, so legally he can’t buy a pistol.

      Wait, is the President still legally considered a resident of his home state? Anybody know?

      1. He’d have to maintain a residence in IL, which he does. I suppose if he didn’t, he’d have to use his 1600 Pennsylvania Ave address as a resident of DC. Then, ironically thanks to Heller, he could buy a pistol.

  19. Oh yes let’s pooh-pooh the ACLU, the people actually doing stuff and spending money to increase individual liberty in this country.

    Why don’t libertarians put up some of that corporate cash for the same cause? Could it be because you assholes only really care about the tax rates for those same corporations, and consider individual liberty to be entirely consumed in the subject of taxes? Spending all your money on free market propaganda doesn’t cut the mustard, I’m afraid, but carry on bashing the ACLU because it’s full of libruls.

    1. Thanks, Mr Hayward. I know you want more taxes on ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell and greater regulation of the upstarts, but there’s only so much we can do after you made a mess in the Gulf.

      We’ve done our best to keep the scary libertarians and the free market at bay… it’ll just take a few more million in campaign contributions to get more oil regulation.

    2. Well, actually, I was a member of the ACLU. Only discontinued my membership because I had to cut personal spending because of the recession.

    3. It’s called ‘Schadenfreude’, Tony.

  20. Decaf, Tony.

    1. What’s the point of decaf? If I want a tasty beverage I’ll have a mojito. On the other hand, if I need to make it through the morning I’ll have my usual half gallon of coffee, thank you.

    2. And after your decaf, tony, some Valium. Better now? good. Some of us do support the ACLU. They gained a large amount of credit among libertarians for having the stones to fight for Citizens United. That alone means I will get my checkbook out for them at some point this year.

      Now, maybe another Valium and a nap.

      1. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. They side with corporate electioneering and NOW you’re with them?

        1. They side with corporate electioneering

          …as I was saying over in the militias thread…

        2. It’s almost as if they see corporations as groups of individuals, or they feel individuals do not lose rights when they form groups. Weird stuff and hard to comprehend too.

          1. They’re not groups of people, they’re evil corporations!

        3. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. They side with corporate electioneering and NOW you’re with them?

          No, some of us were with them when they actually started supporting the first amendment without nuance. I was duly impressed with them when they fought campaign finance reform.

          It would be nice if they had supported a few other amendments as well– but I understand that they’re primarily a first amendment organization.

      2. I mean, you couldn’t have made my point any better if you tried.

        1. First of all, I actually wish they would take on more 4th and 5th amendment cases.

          Also, do you believe that the NYT, LAT, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, Fox etc. should not discuss elections for a set amount of time prior to their occurance? They’re (gasp) corporations!!

          1. I mean, let’s shut up Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Maddow, Olbermann, Schultz, etc. for a few months prior to elections. They work for corporations, and can’t have any undue influence on the outcomes.

            That won’t have any effect on free speech.

          2. This should be the point that shuts up all of the idiots who think that Citizens United was a bad decision. I am not convinced that everyone who is convinced that the decision was a bad one is stupid, so there is a lot of cognitive dissonance or dishonesty going on here. Newspapers are corporations! The press is not just the institutional media. Anyone who wants to publish anything is “the press” and should have the freedom to say or publish anything they want to, at any time. God am I sick of this shit.

            1. This should be the point that shuts up all of the idiots who think that Citizens United was a bad decision.

              It should be…but it isn’t. I’ve been told by three separate, nice, earnest, helpful, decent people that “…of course there will be a media exception…” and none of them thought that it was a problem that the government would ultimately decide who qualified for the exception, nor would they entertain the idea that could impair the freedom of the press.

              At which point I don’t see a way forward.

              1. Were those three separate, nice, ernest, helpful, decent people 3 of the 4 Justices who voted against CU?

                1. Nick, name three Justices (of any ideological bent) who could reasonably be described with those adjectives.

                  Name two.

                  One?

                  // think’ng of link’ng to the elitism thread at this point…

                  1. Muddy, I got nothing.

            1. I don’t actually have a strong opinion on Citizens United. The first amendment argument does make sense, but the consequences of the decision to our democracy may well be disastrous. I’m open to the possibility that the first amendment can have negative consequences.

              I just think it’s weird that those who claim to care most about individual liberty shit on the ACLU out of pigheaded cultural biases against liberals. Maybe liberals are just on the right side of liberty most of the time?

  21. carry on bashing the ACLU because it’s full of libruls.

    I’m pretty sure the point of this post was to commend Romero for explicitly admitting Obama’s near-total failure on civil liberties.

    Now, some us in the peanut gallery are not above jeering at him for taking so long.

    1. Ook!

      ::hefts jumbo sized bag of peanuts::

  22. D’oh! The story’s from June.

    And still completely accurate in every particular.

    We won’t even mention his mocking serious (and sane) proposals to legalize and tax reefer.

    1. The ACLU is probably now happy with Obama.

  23. Surveillance powers put in place under the Patriot Act have been renewed.

    I’m sure Obama objected to them vociferously during committee.

  24. From what I’ve heard Obama is using Patriot Act powers in MORE abusive ways than Bush did. Such as cracking down on anti-war protesters who weren’t in Obama’s bag and were unwilling to shut up for 4-8 years like the rest of the movement.

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