As the Democratic National Convention gets underway, I think it's very important that we hear the voices of people like journalist John Cusack and George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. In this recent interview at Truthout, Cusack talks with Turley about President Obama's record regarding civil liberties--and about why that record ought to be of intense concern to those who defend human rights.
An excerpt (this is Cusack speaking in his preface to the interview):
Under Obama do we continue to call the thousands of mercenaries in Afghanistan "general contractors" now that Bush is gone? No, we don't talk about them... not a story anymore.
Do we prosecute felonies like torture or spying on Americans? No, time to "move on"...
Now chaos is the norm and though the chaos is complicated, the answer is still simple. We can't afford this morally, financially, or physically. Or in a language the financial community can digest: the wars are ideologically and spiritually bankrupt. No need to get a score from the CBO.
Drones bomb Pakistani villages across the border at an unprecedented rate. Is it legal? Does anyone care? "It begs the question," as Daniel Berrigan asks us, "is this one a "good war" or a "dumb war"? But the question betrays the bias: it is all the same. It's all madness."
One is forced to asked the question: Is the President just another Ivy League Asshole shredding civil liberties and due process and sending people to die in some shithole for purely political reasons?
There will be a historical record. "Change we can believe in" is not using the other guys' mob to clean up your own tracks while continuing to feed at the trough. Human nature is human nature, and when people find out they're being hustled, they will seek revenge, sooner or later, and it will be ugly and savage.
Words that need to be heard, in my view.