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The Law Barack Obama and Civil Liberties


  • AUTHOR'S NOTE: Many thanks to Louis Fisher for his invaluable suggestions, close proofreading, and guidance.


Most Americans would like to believe that no person is above the law. When President Richard M. Nixon claimed such powers, he was driven from office. When President George W. Bush authorized the torture of prisoners, that abuse was viewed as an aberration. But, as this article documents, President Barack Obama is squarely in the Nixon-Bush tradition of presidential power. In shielding the torturers from prosecution, he has preserved kidnapping and torture as options, while asserting unreviewable authority to assassinate foreigners and American citizens by remote controlled drones. These developments have transformed the American presidency into a modern version of the Stuart monarchies, at least where allegations of national security are concerned.