The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Obama administration comparable to George W. Bush years

After some startling political events during President Obama’s term in office, it is amazing the kind of far reaching support he continues to have. Those aware of his political failings argue he is the lesser evil of the two candidates.

However, if Obama’s supporters would momentarily broaden their view they would realize that he is not a better alternative. In fact, in some ways he might be worse than Mitt Romney.

One of the big victories that Obama and his supporters paraded during the recent Democratic conventions was the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

During Vice President Joe Biden’s speech, he paraded Bin Laden’s corpse like some kind of trophy for the Obama administration.

To celebrate the killing of Bin Laden as a victory is to sugarcoat what it actually is: state approved murder (ironically approved by a man who was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 2009).

Initially, people like Kevin Jon Heller wrote that Bin Laden’s assassination was in line with international law since official reports claimed he was armed.

This has recently been proven false by Matt Bissonnette, a member of the Navy Seal team, and one of two soldiers who fired at Bin Laden. In his book “No Easy Day,” he detailed what really happened during the mission.

Bin Laden was already incapacitated and defenseless before he was killed. This new information is important because it proves that the killing was illegal under international law and thus a war crime. After the mission, the Navy Seals joked how Obama would take credit for the killing and use it as political leverage in getting re-elected: they were right.

Obama’s cowboy antics do not stop there. A few months ago, The New York Times published a 10-page article that detailed the Obama administration’s policy on using drones in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

The article reported the Obama administration conducted secret weekly meetings in which he signed off on “kill lists” of individuals to be targeted by drone strikes. The lists included US citizens as well as teenagers.

What is more disturbing is the article exploitation of how the administration has changed the definition of what is considered a militant to give them more leverage in bending the law and casting a wider net. The Bush administration did something eerily similar in 2002 by passing the “Bybee Memo,” a memo that changed the definition of what constituted as torture and directly resulted in the political scandals in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.

Obama has stated that drone strikes have not caused a severe number of civilian casualties, saying they are “precise” and strike only on al-Qaeda and its affiliates. However, a recent joint report published by the Stanford Law School and the NYU School of Law has shown that secret drone strikes in Pakistan are highly ineffective in fighting insurgents. They kill a larger number of civilians, more than officially reported by the US government, and the strikes have also alienated the Pakistani public, creating strong anti-American sentiment.

The irony here is that by fighting a war against terrorism; the administration is actually creating more enemies and possible future terrorists. Romney was right for once: It was naêÑԏve.

The more closely you look at the Obama administration, the more similar it looks to the Bush administration.

In fact, Obama has continued many of Bush’s policies under his presidency.He extended the Patriot act for another four years, has not closed Guantanamo like he promised and still has not pulled out U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Obama also promised more government transparency early in his election, but his administration has clamped down on whistle blowers, as shown by the arrest of U.S. citizen and soldier Bradley Manning. Manning, who was responsible for leaking the embassy cables which were later released publicly by WikiLeaks, has been in jail without a trial for two years now.

This preconceived notion that it is one’s civic duty to vote during election season is something that runs deep with many Americans, but bothers me to no end. People will argue that if both candidates are not good enough it should just come down to voting for the lesser evil. As one friend put it, “They’re giving me a choice between Pepsi and Coke and I don’t even want soda.”

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