Obama’s record on civil liberties is shocking: Naomi Wolf

The feminist writer and political activist Naomi Wolf is the author of The Beauty Myth. She recently published Vagina: A New Biography.

Naomi Wolf
File: Bush and Obama

When Obama was elected I was hopeful and fearful at the same time. I was excited about his inaugural promise to close Guantánamo and I believed that he meant it. The suppression of civil liberties is more critical than any other issue we have right now in America, and I would say globally as well. I was hopeful but I knew that the vested interests that benefit from terror theatre and endless war are so powerful that no single president is powerful enough to completely resist that pressure.

So you know where I’m going here: I’m awfully disappointed. In terms of civil liberties his record has been shockingly, alarmingly disappointing. He has carried on the policies initiated by Bush’s justice department of suppressing information under the guise of state secrets. I’ve been witnessing his personal appeal to pass the National Defence Authorisation Act, an unspeakable legislation that would give him the power to detain any US citizen indefinitely without charge or trial. He’s covered up efforts to investigate torture. And Guantánamo still has almost 170 men in it who have never been charged or tried, and there’s no hope of getting them out anytime soon.

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