Noam Chomsky: Obama's Attack on Civil Liberties Has Gone Way Beyond Imagination
- Both parties should support the Constitution, but they don't.
In an interview with AlterNet this past week, America’s most well-known left-wing intellectual slammed our Comrade President Obama for his attacks on civil liberties in the forms of various bi-partisan laws expanding upon the executive powers set forth by President George W. Bush.
Speaking with the liberal blog’s Mike Stivers, Chomsky expressed dissatisfaction with the current president’s record on civil liberties: “I personally never expected anything of Obama, and wrote about it before the 2008 primaries. I thought it was smoke and mirrors. The one thing that did surprise me is his attack on civil liberties. They go well beyond anything I would have anticipated, and they don’t seem easy to explain.”
For an example of Obama’s civil liberties abuses, Chomsky cited Holder vs. Humanitarian Law Project, in which the administration petitioned the Supreme Court to put an end to legal groups giving any “material assistance” — including advice to turn nonviolent — to terrorist organizations.
“The case in question was a law group that was giving legal advice to groups on the terrorist list, which in itself has no moral or legal justification; it’s an abomination,” Chomsky said. “But if you look at the way it’s been used, it becomes even more abhorrent … And the wording of the colloquy is broad enough that it could very well mean that if, say, you meet with someone in a terrorist group and advise them to turn to nonviolent means, then that’s material assistance to terrorism…. Obama wants to criminalize that, which is a plain attack on freedom of speech. I just don’t understand why he’s doing it.”
Continues Chomsky, "The NDAA suit, of which I'm a plaintiff - it mostly codifies existing practice. While there has been some protest over the indefinite detention clause, there's one aspect of it that I'm not entirely happy with. The only protest that's being raised is in response to detention of American citizens, but I don't see why we should have the right to detain anyone without trial. The provision of the NDAA that allows for this should not be tolerated. It was banned almost eight centuries ago in the Magna Carta."
For the full interview: AlterNet.org / civil-liberties