George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley has been on a tear recently. His recent op-ed in the Washington Post lists ten reasons why the US should no longer consider itself the land of the free.
While each new national security power Washington has embraced was controversial when enacted, they are often discussed in isolation. But they don’t operate in isolation. They form a mosaic of powers under which our country could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian. Americans often proclaim our nation as a symbol of freedom to the world while dismissing nations such as Cuba and China as categorically unfree. Yet, objectively, we may be only half right. Those countries do lack basic individual rights such as due process, placing them outside any reasonable definition of “free,” but the United States now has much more in common with such regimes than anyone may like to admit.
These countries also have constitutions that purport to guarantee freedoms and rights. But their governments have broad discretion in denying those rights and few real avenues for challenges by citizens — precisely the problem with the new laws in this country.
Just go down the list to see how the bogus ‘war on terror’ waged by both Bush/Cheney and Obama has been used to steadily strip away all the protections that used to be considered sacrosanct. It is both shocking and depressing.