Documents found in the files of Muammar Gadhafi’s intelligence services in Libya, which indicated that the now overthrown dictator cooperated closely with U.S. rendition of terrorist suspects to his torture chambers, should prompt questions about how much President Barack Obama has improved civil liberties from the bad old days of George W. Bush. Answer: not much.
Obama’s first promise in office was to close the infamous and torture-tainted U.S. military prison at Guantanamo within a year, which he abysmally failed to do. Granted, the Republican Congress has blocked the transfer of prisoners from the offshore facility to mainland civilian courts, but Obama, despite his prominent pledge, has failed to make the issue a top priority. The main reason he hasn’t is because politicians of all political stripes read public opinion polls indicating that the American people would rather be safe than free. The politicians should not be surprised by this outcome, because it is they who have scared Americans into preferring “security” at the expense of civil liberties.