Former judge and adjunct professor of constitutional law Andrew Napolitano pointed out in March that the president's claim that he can indefinitely detain prisoners - even after they are acquitted of their crimes - is a power that even Hitler and Stalin didn't claim:
(While I strongly dislike Fox News and its barrage of disinformation, Judge Napolitano knows his constitutional law, and gives very hard-hitting analysis of the current state of the rule of law in America.)
Similarly, Chris Floyd wrote Monday in connection with the new indefinite detention bill:
And whatever the outcome of this particular bill, the reality will remain the same: the President of the United States will continue to claim — and exercise — absolute arbitrary power over the life [yes, the government has also claimed the power to assassinate American citizens without trial or even oversight] and liberty of every person on earth. As we’ve said here before, not even Adolf Hitler or Josef Stalin at their most megalomaniacal ever dreamed of asserting the kind of universal power now asserted by American presidents and the lickspittlish lackeys in the United States Congress.
In case you think I'm being hard on Obama, please remember that progressive constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald has long argued that Obama is even more brutal than Bush, and has trashed even more of the Constitution than Bush.
STRONGMEN HAVE BEEN SCARING THEIR PEOPLE INTO SUBMISSION FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS
Of course, Obama - like Bush - claims that tyrannical measures are necessary to fight the war on terror. But FBI agents and CIA intelligence officials, constitutional law expert professor Jonathan Turley, Time Magazine, Keith Olbermann and the Washington Post have all said that U.S. government officials “were trying to create an atmosphere of fear in which the American people would give them more power”, and even former Secretary of Homeland Security – Tom Ridge – admits that he was pressured to raise terror alerts to help Bush win reelection.
And Hitler, Stalin and other strongmen throughout history have also claimed that tyrannical measures were necessary to fight their wars on terror:
“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”
“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
- U.S. President James Madison
“Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death”.
- Adolph Hitler
“Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
- Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.
“The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened”.
- Josef Stalin