The wait is over, boys and girls! Here is the next part of my ongoing series about President George W. Obama. Sometimes partisanship and heated debates makes us forget how little has changed and how little really divides the two parties when it comes to national security. The rhetoric was changed and the policies had to be repackaged, modified a little bit to better fit the administration’s own beliefs and political promises, but what’s actually being done has changed very little. Policies, like celebrities, need to be re-invented to stay with the times.
Case in point: President Obama has just signed a one-year extension of the Patriot Act. The entire legislation wasn’t preserved, though—so surely it was refined to limit its violations of civil liberties, right? Think again. As The Associated Press reports, “Thrown away were restrictions and greater scrutiny on the government’s authority to spy on Americans and seize their records.” Oh, snap!
And this isn’t just one isolated example of a similarity. On January 29, I wrote an entire article about the parallels (click here). Right around the time that piece was published, a few more things happened to buttress my case. President Obama was found to be spending more on America’s nuclear weapons stockpile than his predecessor, and decided to hold nearly 50 Gitmo detainees indefinitely at the prison because it’s too risky to try to prosecute them, agreeing with Bush that Congress “implicitly” gave the Executive Branch that authority in 2001.
Change we can believe in.