Jimmy Carter: President Obama “Cruel and Unusual”
Out of principle, I don’t usually take anything former President Jimmy Carter says seriously. But I can always make a special exception when he goes cannibal and bashes President Obama.
In a New York Times op-ed out today titled “A Cruel and Unusual Record”, Carter complains about the United States’ record when it comes to human rights since September 11th, 2001. I just assumed this meant he was going to attack the Bush year record on human rights (and not mention W’s efforts to eliminate AIDS in Africa) but then he went on to attack President Obama’s actions in the same vein during past 3 years:
Recent legislation has made legal the president’s right to detain a person indefinitely on suspicion of affiliation with terrorist organizations or “associated forces,” a broad, vague power that can be abused without meaningful oversight from the courts or Congress (the law is currently being blocked by a federal judge). This law violates the right to freedom of expression and to be presumed innocent until proved guilty, two other rights enshrined in the declaration.
In addition to American citizens’ being targeted for assassination or indefinite detention, recent laws have canceled the restraints in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to allow unprecedented violations of our rights to privacy through warrantless wiretapping and government mining of our electronic communications. Popular state laws permit detaining individuals because of their appearance, where they worship or with whom they associate.
Despite an arbitrary rule that any man killed by drones is declared an enemy terrorist, the death of nearby innocent women and children is accepted as inevitable. After more than 30 airstrikes on civilian homes this year in Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai has demanded that such attacks end, but the practice continues in areas of Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen that are not in any war zone. We don’t know how many hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed in these attacks, each one approved by the highest authorities in Washington. This would have been unthinkable in previous times.
Then of course for good measure he makes note that the Guantanamo Bay detention facility is still open.
I understand most of the issues Carter has with Obama here are not shared by many Republicans, but it’s still nice to see a little Dem-on-Dem mutilation every once in a little while.