It Takes Jon Stewart To Finally Ask Obama About Civil Liberties... But Lets Him Off The Hook On Bogus Answer

from the sad dept

In the various Presidential debates, no one seems to want to bring up President Obama's near complete about-face on his promises concerning civil liberties. It's so ridiculous that the Democratic party simply removed the issue from their platform -- and that's because he hasn't just continued former President Bush's abuses of civil liberties, he's gone even further with them. And no one seems to want to ask the candidates about it... except a comedian. When President Obama appeared on The Daily Show recently, Jon Stewart actually asked him about this:

STEWART: I think people have been surprised to see the strength of the Bush era warrantless wiretapping laws and those types of things not also be lessened—That the structures he put in place that people might have thought were government overreach and maybe they had a mind you would tone down, you haven’t.

OBAMA: The truth is we have modified them and built a legal structure and safeguards in place that weren’t there before on a whole range issues.

However, as the EFF explains in great detail, President Obama's answer is simply not true. It's not even close to true.
To the contrary, there’s no indication that the still-active warrantless wiretapping program—which includes a warrantless dragnet on millions of innocent Americans’ communications—has significantly changed from the day Obama took office. With regard to the FISA Amendments Act, the Obama Administration has actively opposed all proposed safeguards in Congress. All the while, his Administration has been even more aggressive than President Bush in trying to prevent warrantless wiretapping victims from having their day in court and has continued building the massive national security infrastructure needed to support it. 
They then go on to look more closely at all of these different promises from President Obama related to this, all of which he's fallen down on. Unfortunately, Stewart doesn't push back on this point, as they then go straight to a joke, before moving on to another topic. Of course, for those of us who aren't shackled to a party and, instead, find civil liberties to be a key issue, we're left with two major candidates who don't seem to care about massive abuses by the federal government.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Obamainable Snowjob, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 12:26pm

    Lies lies and more lies.

    "President Obama's answer is simply not true"

    Racists.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Oct 25th, 2012 @ 12:31pm

    Unfortunately Jon Stewart's first job is to be funny. It's his weak spot. He can't play hardball too long before he feels a need to crack a joke.

    His interview with Obama was disappointing to say the least, but the fact that nobody else asks about these issues is even more disappointing.

    And from Obama's perspective, there just aren't enough people that care to make an issue out of it.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Oct 25th, 2012 @ 12:42pm

      Re:

      And from Obama's perspective, there just aren't enough media people that care to make an issue out of it.


      FTFY.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 1:46pm

        Re: Re:

        No, it was right the first time. The media for sure doesn't care, and neither do many citizens.

         

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          Sneeje (profile), Oct 25th, 2012 @ 1:53pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm not convinced that citizens don't care, the problem is that they can't comprehend what to do about it on top of the alligators eating their shorts every day.

          On a daily basis they are stressing about their job, health, the hole in their roof, debt, kids, the environment, etc.

          How can we expect them to make a stink that may jeopardize their job or security, when they might not even be educated enough to fully comprehend the issue?

           

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            The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Oct 25th, 2012 @ 5:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Since when has not fully comprehending an issue ever stopped an American from speaking their mind? It's certainly never stopped me.

            I'm a big proponent of the Being Loudly Wrong method of crowdsourcing the perfecting of arguments. It's not like there aren't plenty of people who're quite happy to tell you how you're wrong.

             

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          John Fenderson (profile), Oct 25th, 2012 @ 3:32pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Just to reinforce what Sneeje said... when I discuss this and similar issues with my non-geek friends (yes, I do have them), they start off ignorant of them. Once they've learned about the issue, they inevitably become very concerned.

          I think most people care a lot, they just aren't aware of the issue at all, largely because the media doesn't care and so it doesn't get widely covered.

           

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      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Oct 25th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

      Re:

      there just aren't enough people that care to make an issue out of it.

      I care, and therefore Obama doesn't get my vote this time.

      NC is very close, although is highly likely to go to Romney, and Obama doesn't need it to win anyway. Too bad I don't live in Ohio, where either candidate would do almost anything for a few more votes.

       

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      Jesse (profile), Oct 25th, 2012 @ 1:55pm

      Re:

      I think it's part that and part that the people who do care about civil liberties are worried about the alternatives to the Obama administration.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 3:35pm

        Re: Re:

        Afraid of civil liberty alternatives to the (Double-tap drone strikes on innocent civilians, gun trafficking to drug cartels, massive warrant-less wiretapping and surveillance of US citizens, TSA harassment, Internet redirection for thousands of innocent websites, attack whistle-blowers, bypassing the peoples elect Congress as dictatorial issuer of royal decrees) Obama administration who will have more flexibility for Vladimir after the election.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 3:41pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Forgot the most important, signing the NDAA into law and fighting to keep the unconstitutional provision that removes the right to a trial operational.

           

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Oct 25th, 2012 @ 12:32pm

    "Lets him off the hook", not "let's him off the hook."

     

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      Laroquod (profile), Oct 25th, 2012 @ 1:39pm

      Re:

      You've never heard of the verb, to him off? Meaning to hone, or to sharpen? Thus, "let's him off the hook on bogus answer" -- as in, upon hearing a bogus answer, let us sharpen the hook with which we will hold the President to account. See? You've just misinterpreted it.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 12:33pm

    Lets

    (Hate to the grammar nazi, but it's in the title.)

     

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    Chris ODonnell (profile), Oct 25th, 2012 @ 12:37pm

    I would expect anybody running for President to back off any promises related to civil liberty once elected. Once they get into office and see what they can do, why would they ever give that power up? The President would have to be completely selfless, and selfless people don't get elected President.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 12:37pm

    Will someone explain why an attack by foreigners result in surveillance of you own citizens to defeat the terrorist threat?

     

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    Bryan (profile), Oct 25th, 2012 @ 12:46pm

    Re:

    "Will someone explain why an attack by foreigners result in surveillance of you own citizens to defeat the terrorist threat?"

    But. . . but. . . TERRORISM!

    Couldn't resist the softball.

     

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    icon
    George Zimmer (profile), Oct 25th, 2012 @ 12:52pm

    Hi Mike, I'm George Zimmer, Founder and CEO of Men's Wearhouse.

    This wireless tapping is a huge problem for me because the sight of my Cthulhu love tentacle during the Men's Wearhouse annual naked twister party causes most people to recite the ramblings of the Mad Arab Abdul Alhazred, but in a higher octave, and we know what the government thinks of Arabs.

    My first solution would be to clean out Obama's ears with my writhing flesh snake, but unfortunately that would kill him. I guarantee it.

     

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    identicon
    monkyyy, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 12:59pm

    u realize he's a comedian, who just happens to be the best journalist, mostly because his job isnt to look like a journalist, where if u ask a single hard question to a politician u can be put on a black list that means u never get to speak to one again ruining ur career

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 1:09pm

    Well that's one less person likely to shatter Obama's cult of personality.

     

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      identicon
      monkyyy, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 1:26pm

      Re:

      no one will ever get to ask any politician a hard question, its simple if anyone ever does earn the right to interview one, it doesnt matter if they ask hard questions they will get ratings while asking had questions means they will NEVER work again in journalism as politician can pick and choose who gets to interview them;

      so they will always always always, pick a safe bet on who wont challenge them and if possible someone who knows how to ask questions that make them look good like "so how did u find bin laden?" "how much worse would the ression be w/o those bailouts?" "just how much do u hate terrorism?"

       

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    identicon
    Obamainable Snowjob, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 1:25pm

    If he actually asked hard questions

    and expected true answers, no one would go on his show. At least he gets close... as close as he can without pissing off the master rulers.

     

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    PT (profile), Oct 25th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

    Where the power lies

    I think the truth is that the President just doesn't have the power people expect he has. The Federal government is less about Congress and the President than it is about what might be called the permanent civil service, the agencies that go on and on with their own agendas regardless of which party holds office. I don't believe George W Bush had anything more to do with the abuses of his administration than blindly signing the papers that were put in front of him, and I don't believe Obama (or for that matter, Eric Holder) has enough of a leash on the security agencies to restrain their existing power, let alone roll them back.

    And let's not forget what happened to the last President who acted decisively against the wishes of one of the agencies. No other president has taken that chance for fifty years.

     

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      identicon
      Bushies, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 1:41pm

      Re: Where the power lies

      "don't believe George W Bush had anything more to do with the abuses of his administration"

      Iraq for sale... see it.

       

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        PT (profile), Oct 25th, 2012 @ 3:12pm

        Re: Re: Where the power lies

        Bush had plenty of faults, but being smart enough to plan evil foreign policy wasn't one of them. The man just did what he was told by the people behind the curtain.

         

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        Niall (profile), Oct 26th, 2012 @ 6:34am

        Re: Re: Where the power lies

        I was trying to explain to a friend the other day the difference between 'stupid' and 'evil' in terms of people doing bad things. When I used the example "Bush was stupid but Cheney was evil" he totally got the distinction.

         

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

      Re: Where the power lies

      So what?
      His answer still sucked.

       

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
  •  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Oct 25th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

    I Voted Democrat because I felt they are the lesser of two Evils.I do not like them but everyone must Vote and I have a big dislike for the GOP so I Voted against them across the board.
    1984 Issue is one of my real big hates about Obama.I do have some more hates but the hell with it.

    We all must Vote !!!

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 1:52pm

      Re:

      You could, you know, vote Ron Paul and send these assholes a message, saying that a system of Choice A or B is bullshit and unacceptable... instead of playing their game.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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        Ophelia Millais (profile), Oct 25th, 2012 @ 3:05pm

        Re: Re:

        Ross Perot got almost 19% of the popular vote in '92. Boy, that sure sent shockwaves through the establishment. Oh wait...

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 8:04pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Wow. Such a defeatist attitude. I really hope you enjoy reaping what you sow. Heaven forbid we try and change anything, now that we know Ross Perot got 19% of the vote in the early 90s, that means we can't ever have a 3+ party system. Thanks so much for wasting my time and especially contributing negatively with your cowardly, defeatist attitude.

           

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    •  
      identicon
      Money with Attitude, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 1:59pm

      Re:

      Just love these... I hate "insert Party Here".... Pull your head out of your ass and pick a person (regardless of party) who represents you and your views... NOT A DAMN PARTY the PARTY'S ARE THE PROBLEM... YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM WITH STUPID STATEMENTS LIKE THAT... Parties do not represent Ideas anymore

      I vote for the person I think is the best, last time I voted for all 3 parties (different positions) and i will again...

       

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        mischab1, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 5:47pm

        Re: Re:

        "... pick a person (regardless of party) who represents you and your views"

        Can I have a patch-work president? I want 10% of Romney, 40% of Obama ... I'm not sure where the rest should come from. Are there any politicians out there truly interested in reducing the executive branch's over-reach and improving civil liberties with more than lip-service?

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 2:29pm

      Re:

      Sad thing is, you probably don't even get how stupid your post is.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 2:53pm

      Re:

      "I Voted Democrat because I felt they are the lesser of two Evils.I do not like them but everyone must Vote and I have a big dislike for the GOP so I Voted against them across the board."

      I always vote for the best individual candidate whose track record closest matches my viewpoints. People voting party lines is how a lot of these worthless politicians get in and stay in.

       

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      identicon
      Scott, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 3:42pm

      Re:

      Same here,I voted for Obama this year for that reason.I left the Libertarian Party for the fact they believe no government regulations on businesses across the board.Businesses shouldn't left unregulated like children shouldn't be left unsupervised.

       

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      identicon
      monkyyy, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 3:49pm

      Re:

      no voting is completely meaningless
      and no, democrats is probably are greater of two evils if u think they are the lesser;

      for example(assuming ur biggest selling point is peace) it rarely matters which side is in power for things but when in comes to extreme cases like cannadas debt issues a few decades ago, the leftys in government cut spending quite well, why? cause the lefty werent whining, currently people believe the war is over, why? because the leftys arent whining about obama being the violent warlord

      so yes the government is full of evil men who will screw u over if they get a dime BUT their biggest goal is to stay in power(not to destroy the world) so voting the opposite party in means people of the "ur" party will be on the lookout of flat out evil things being done while they would ignore it if "they" won

      or in other words the neo-cons are better about ending wars and the socialists are better at removing terrible regulation, a rightwinger would be able legalize pot when the prison system is getting to big for even the corrupts own good and the left will cut spending better when the system is risking hyper inflation

       

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        Niall (profile), Oct 26th, 2012 @ 6:41am

        Re: Re:

        Can I have some dressing with that word salad?

        Seriously, I got a headache trying to parse that. One piece of garbage I'll point out though is "neo-cons are better about ending wars". Like the 'lefty'-instigated wars in Afghanistan and Iraq?

        I'm wondering if you got your left and right mixed up here... since I think the 'left' would be more likely to legalise pot, and for all that I'm a Liberal, the left aren't renowned for cutting spending. Or, I'm just totally confused by your baloney!

         

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 2:56pm

    It's part of "the long slide"

    The executive branch has never given up any power, once they take it. The longer they have the power, the harder the power to take back.

    If you think about it, it's an inherent trait of an "executive". Their mandate is to execute policy (law, etc.) Clearly, the more power they have, the easier their job is (ask any CEO or dictator). Why would they do something to make their job harder like giving up some power?

    The check on executive power is the legislature (not good - too disperse), judicial, and "the people". Those groups are multi-party. The executive is single party. Originally, per the US Constitution, the executive was split. VP was almost guaranteed to be opposition party. I think the lack of that balance has burt the US, longer term.

    Anyway, the lack of executive will to give back a power is why Bush should have been taken to task when the power grab happened. "Those who would trade freedom for security deserve neither."

    History has show this pattern: executive takes power at each opportunity. Usually for a reason (sometimes a valid one). But they never give it back when the "crisis" is over. Thus, the system eventually collapses (aka: re-boots)

     

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    identicon
    Nick, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 3:27pm

    Not sure I care

    Obama supporter here. His answer is probably not true. He probably is infringing on my civil liberties worse then any other president.

    Here is the thing:

    I just don't care. It does not impact me on a daily basis. Moving on now.

     

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      monkyyy, Oct 25th, 2012 @ 4:13pm

      Re: Not sure I care

      mafia supporter here, they lie alot, and are probaly raising the protection fees all the time

      buts heres the thing:

      i just dont care. it doesnt impact me on a daily basis. i'll pay the fee and move along


      why do u call yourself a supporter? and if it doesnt impact u, why are u playing their little game of voting?

      "I am very fond of truth, but not at all of martyrdom." voltare

       

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        Niall (profile), Oct 26th, 2012 @ 7:30am

        Re: Re: Not sure I care

        You can hate one element of his platform and performance (or even more), but that still doesn't balance out hating (nearly) everything about his opponent. So were I voting, I wouldn't vote for the 'worse evil' even though Obama is hardly much lesser in some ways.

        Maybe I'd vote for Jimmy Hoffa, he's probably done more good for the country...

         

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    Tex Arcana (profile), Oct 26th, 2012 @ 7:25pm

    Lovely.

    He's a Corporatist in drag...

    I think it's time to throw them all out and start over...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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