Obama’s failure to defend the U.S. Constitution

Micah Zenko writes: When asked last September if he personally chose which individual terrorist suspects could be targeted with lethal force, President Barack Obama gave a response that would have astounded the founding fathers: “What is absolutely true is that my first job, my most sacred duty, as president and commander in chief, is to keep the American people safe.” This is false. As the presidential “Oath or Affirmation” in the Constitution reads: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

It is troubling that someone who lectured on constitutional law for a dozen years at the University of Chicago Law School would misidentify the president’s primary pledge and obligation. To be fair, his predecessor was similarly guilty. George W. Bush told a cheering crowd at the 2004 Republican National Convention: “I believe the most solemn duty of the American president is to protect the American people.” This interpretation was supposed to be corrected with the 2008 presidential election; then-Senator Obama had declared during the campaign: “I was a constitutional law professor, which means, unlike the current president, I actually respect the Constitution.”

Now in his second term, President Obama insists that his counterterrorism policies differ markedly from Bush’s. However, there are far more similarities than differences with regards to: non-battlefield targeted killings (an estimated 50 under Bush, and 387 under Obama); indefinite detention of suspected terrorists (approved by both through executive orders); broad surveillance authorities (as former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden admitted on Sunday, “NSA is actually empowered to do more things than I was empowered to do under President Bush’s special authorization”); and overclassification of government information (largely unchanged). Ari Fleischer, Bush’s former spokesperson and now public defender, recently tweeted: “Drone strikes. Wiretaps. Gitmo. O is carrying out Bush’s 4th term. Yet he attacked Bush 4 violating Constitution. #hypocrisy.”

The essential and enduring feature of both post-9/11 presidents has been their shared contention that their core objective — and by extension, that of the executive branch — is to protect U.S. citizens from one particular form of harm: terrorist violence. Both success and failure at achieving this objective have justified the expansion of additional authorities and tools. If there are no terrorist attacks, then all policies in place must remain, but when terrorist plots are revealed or the rare attack occurs, then additional tools and secrecy are mandated. Like a ratchet wrench, it only works in one direction. It does not matter if these presidential powers erode individual civil liberties or the ability of citizens to comprehend or evaluate the activities of the national security state. Again, the executive branch’s obligation is less to protect citizens’ constitutional rights than it is to protect citizens’ lives, but only from terrorists. [Continue reading…]

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1 thought on “Obama’s failure to defend the U.S. Constitution

  1. Tusense96761

    It is not that Obama is not protecting the constitution, it is that he is dilibertately destroying it. He is a usurper, infiltrator of our government and it about time people stop being politically correct while he is shreeding our constitution. Let’s see while Obama has been hold America hostage he has managed to take away our right to “due process” with the NDAA and our right to protest HB 345 making it a felony to protest in the vincinity of the secret service! No such thing as free elections anymore with the amount of fraud in Obama’s camp that he got away with, religious freedom in trouble with Obama and Obamacare forcing Catholic Hospitals to give abortions, sterilization, birth control, even standing for one political party, for if you are a Ron Paul supporter Obama has declared you a terrorist. What about Obama is the terrorist, he is the one bringing the Muslim Brotherhood, our enemy to power ? Why are we letting him have this power I. Our country , he is an ILLEGAL president and he is being blackmailed by Russia and he is giving our military secrets away because Ruusia Putin’s is threatening to expose him and the fraud he is to the American people that he is ineligilible president. This is what happens when we want to be politically correct, I say it is causing more harm. Exposé this illegal infiltrator Muslim criminal, Christian hating , America and everything we stand for he will destroy if not stopped.

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