OK, first the media amplification of a bigot trawling for Islamophobic innuendo in repeating Obama’s middle name. Then a highly entertaining (though issue-free) Saturday Night Live smackdown of misogyny exhibited by overwhelmingly male pundits, and an SNL rehabilitation of Clinton.
Ready to get your wonk on again?
Remember Abu Ghraib and those images of black-hooded men in handcuffs? Do the words “warrantless search” disturb at all? Or maybe it’s waterboarding that you find really, really, troubling. All of that done under our flag, of course.
If it seems habeas corpus (that legal process allowing a person to appeal an unlawful detention of oneself or someone else) is on wobbly ground as we speak, as authorized by numerous pieces of legislation that chip away at our Constitutional rights in the name of anti-terrorism, it is.
Now it seems Clinton and Obama have similar records of voting against these Constitution-eroding laws. But as Naomi Wolf argues, it was Obama who demonstrated, with vigor and pro-active commitment, that he best grasped the stakes of defending our Constitution and by extension, our rights and the rule of law when opposing the passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Because what if, in the name of anti-terrorism, America ended up torturing the wrong suspected “enemy combatant”–someone who was either an innocent U.S. citizen or an innocent Australian Justice of the Peace?
Go read Naomi Wolf’s “Why I Voted for Obama.” It’s a starting point for comparing Obama and Clinton’s actions on this issue. Because it’s not just about how the next president of the U.S. upholds the Constitution, it has everything to do with domestic civil liberties and diplomatic, state-to-state relations with our allies…you know, those other countries whose multilateral cooperation we need to forestall future acts of terrorism? But, like Australia, also wonder why we can imprison and torture their citizens without accountability or recourse?
More food for thought:
“Outsourcing Torture: The Secret History of America’s ‘Extraordinary Rendition’ Program,” The New Yorker
“Australia to Sign Torture Treaty That Howard Spurned,” Sydney Morning Herald
Cross-posted on MOMocrats.