The candidate who criticized Bush-Cheney became the president who continued their legacy
(Reason) -- by Steve Chapman --
Back in 2007, when Barack Obama was running for president, a mildly surprising bit of news emerged: He and Dick Cheney were eighth cousins. Today, though, it appears that report was wrong. Judging from Obama's record in office, the two are practically brothers.
As a candidate, Obama criticized the last administration for holding Americans as enemy combatants without trial. He faulted it for wiretapping citizens without a warrant. He rejected the Republican claim that the president has the "inherent power" to go to war without congressional consent. He depicted George W. Bush and his vice president as a menace to constitutional limits and personal freedom.
But look at him now. Last week, Obama signed a bill letting him detain U.S. citizens in military custody without convicting them of anything -- not for a month or a year, but potentially forever.
Obama pledges he will never use that power to hold an American. But Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said the bill originally applied only to non-citizens. Citizens were included, he said, at the request of the White House. Even if Obama doesn't plan to use the power, it will be sitting on the shelf for Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum.
Those who voted for Obama in 2008 expected something different. "The detention of American citizens, without access to counsel, fair procedure, or pursuant to judicial authorization, as enemy combatants is unconstitutional," he told The Boston Globe.
His reversal brings to mind not only Cheney but another Republican. "Obama has eclipsed Nixon in the establishment of an imperial presidency," George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley told me. And Turley voted for Obama.
There is plenty of evidence for that conclusion...MORE...LINK
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