I voted for Obama reluctantly, but never did I imagine he would become another Richard Nixon
By Jeff Jarvis, The Guardian
What are you thinking, Mr President?
Is this really the legacy you want for yourself: the chief executive who trampled rights, destroyed privacy, heightened secrecy, ruined trust, and worst of all, did not defend but instead detoured around so many of the fundamental principles on which this country is founded?
And I voted for you. I’ll confess you were a second choice. I supported Hillary Clinton first. I said at the time that your rhetoric about change was empty and that I feared you would be another Jimmy Carter: aggressively ineffectual.
Never did I imagine that you would instead become another Richard Nixon: imperial, secretive, vindictive, untrustworthy, inexplicable.
I do care about security. I survived the attack on the World Trade Center and I believe 9/11 was allowed to occur through a failure of intelligence. I thank TSA agents for searching me: applause for security theater. I defend government’s necessary secrets. By the way, I also defend Obamacare. I should be an easy ally, but your exercise of power appalls me. When I wrote about your credibility deficit recently, I was shocked that among the commenters at that great international voice of liberalism, the Guardian, next to no one defended you. Even on our side of the political divide, I am far from alone in urgently wondering what you are doing.
As a journalist, I am frightened by your vengeful attacks on whistleblowers – Manning, Assange, Snowden, and the rest – and the impact in turn on journalism and its tasks of keeping a watchful eye on you and helping to assure an informed citizenry.
As a citizen, I am disgusted by the systematic evasion of oversight you have supported through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) courts; by the use of ports as lawless zones where your agents can harass anyone; by your failure on your promise to close Guantánamo, and this list could go on.
As an American often abroad, I am embarrassed by the damage you have caused to our reputation and to others’ trust in us. I find myself apologizing for what you are doing to citizens of other nations, dismissing the idea that they have rights to privacy because they are “foreign”.
As an internet user, I am most fearful of the impact of your wanton destruction of privacy and the resulting collapse of trust in the net and what that will do to the freedom we have enjoyed in it as well as the business and jobs that are being built atop it.
And as a Democrat, I worry that you are losing us the next election, handing an issue to the Republicans that should have been ours: protecting the rights of citizens against the overreach of the security state.