This Is What They Actually Said (Part 1)

“soon after the PATRIOT Act passed, a few years before I ever arrived in the Senate, I began hearing concerns from people of every background and political leaning that this law – the very purpose of which was to protect us – was also threatening to violate our rights and freedoms as Americans.  That it didn’t just provide law enforcement the powers it needed to keep us safe, but powers it didn’t need to invade our privacy without cause or suspicion. … it’s come time to reauthorize this law, we’ve been working in a bipartisan way to do both – to show the American people that we can track down terrorists without trampling on our civil liberties.  To show the American people that the federal government will only issue warrants and execute searches because it needs to, not because it can. … if someone wants to know why their own government has decided to go on a fishing expedition through every personal record or private document – through library books they’ve read and phone calls they’ve made – this legislation gives people no rights to appeal the need for such a search in a court of law.  No judge will hear their plea, no jury will hear their case.  This is just plain wrong.  Giving law enforcement the tools they need to investigate suspicious activity is one thing – and it’s the right thing – but doing it without any real oversight seriously jeopardizes the rights of all Americans and the ideals America stands for. … We don’t have to settle for a PATRIOT Act that sacrifices our liberties or our safety – we can have one that secures both.” … [Senator Barak Obama, December 15, 2005]

In a federal lawsuit against President Obama, the Hon. Richard J. Leon described President Obama’s behavior: it does “raise justifiable citations to George Orwell … I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval.  Surely, such a program infringes on ‘that degree of privacy’ that the Founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment.  Indeed, I have little doubt that the author of our Constitution, James Madison, who cautioned us to beware ‘the abridgment of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power,’ would be aghast.” … [United States District Judge Richard J. Leon, in the lawsuit “Klayman v. Obama”, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Civil Action No. 13-0851 (RJL), Memorandum Opinion, December 16, 2013]

“The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” … [Barak Obama, 2008 presidential candidate]

President Obama “has ordered airstrikes in seven different countries (that we know of)”.  … [CNN, at “CNN Politics”, at cnn.com, September 23, 2014]

“Our legitimacy is reduced when we got a Guantanamo that is open, when we suspend habeus corpus … those kinds of things erode our moral claims … we’re going to lead by shutting down Guantanamo and restoring habeus corpus … we have to stand for human rights … it is harder for us to do it when we have situations like Guantanamo where we’ve suspended habeus corpus … to the extent that we are not being true to our values and our ideals, that sends a negative message to the world when we want to deal with countries that are abusing human rights, so I think it’s part and parcel with a larger program of us restoring the traditions that made this country great and made us admired around the world … I’ve said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo and I will follow through on that.  I’ve said repeatedly that America doesn’t torture, and I’m going to make sure that we don’t torture.  Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America’s moral stature in the world.” … [Barak Obama, 2008 presidential candidate]

“We simply cannot allow people to pour into the Unites States undetected, undocumented, unchecked and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently, diligently and lawfully to become immigrants into this country.” … [Barak Obama, 2008 presidential candidate]

“no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period.  If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period.  No one will take it away, no matter what.” … [President Barak Obama, June 15, 2009]

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