I'm so upset about this, and I don't see how any progressive, or supporter of liberty of any kind, can support President Obama, turn a blind eye to these policies yet call themselves politically aware. My article "Cult Politics" was published at OpEdNews.com about a week ago, and I will post that as well below, but read Glenn Greenwald's article, then listen to this poor kid and what happened to him.
From 2000-2008 the government of the United States of America used fear, strong arm tactics, and a coordinated campaign of misinformation to promote a war that led to the deaths of 100,000 innocent civilians, thousands of coalition soldiers, and the almost complete erosion of at least two of the original ten civil liberties outlined in the Bill of Rights. Our collective memory of these events is so short, I have already begun to see odious bumper stickers asking if we've missed number 42 yet.
Yet even under a new Democratic administration, the American people remain largely indifferent to the collapse of basic constitutional protections. The current President of the United States, who, during his campaign, vowed to end the thuggish Nixon/Kissinger-like practices that had occurred over the previous two terms, has engaged in a secret war in Pakistan and Yemen, extended Guantanomo Bay and the complete suspension of Habeas Corpus , publicly authorized assassination of American Citizens, stripped whistle blowers of any recourse to expose corruption in government, and worked together with the Republican party to exert diplomatic force to quell a criminal case (original link in Spanish here ) being built against Bush's senior officials who falsified intelligence and set up a torture network around the globe! And yet, when these facts are brought up in discussion with certain liberals, their immediate reaction is to act as apologists for the administration. Their response to the facts at hand, invariably, is to point out how globally and domestically destructive the Bush/Cheney doctrine was. If we are to believe this fallacious, strawman reasoning, then we are to be grateful for the modest change we have experienced under Obama's new covenant, and mute any criticism or misgivings about his apparent embrace of Bush era executive abuses.
It seems Democratic sycophants are as dexterous at employing the fear technique as their Republican counterparts were. In 2004, the Republicans expertly manipulated public opinion with empty jingoistic and xenophobic rants from Washington. Democrats were "soft on terror," and if Republicans left office, Americans would be at the mercy of Al Qaeda. Only Republicans would and could keep America safe. In 2010, Democrats have turned that argument on its head: give power back to those wackos and watch the stock market crash again, watch your liberties disappear! Mention the fact that those same civil liberties lost during the Bush years have yet to be restored during the Obama years, and you may be labeled "some kind of tea bagger," or just unrealistically impatient.
Neither side can bear to hear any criticism of their leaders, and debates over alleged criminal or unconstitutional behavior typically devolve into a childish pissing contest of "I'm rubber and you're glue." This willful ignorance and blind deference to party dogma is akin to the behavior of another type of group: religious cults.
It should come as no surprise that, with the fusion of religion in politics, political parties themselves have taken on the same sociological phenomenons as religion itself. Cult like allegiance to political leaders is nothing new, and has, in fact, been the hallmark of many modern political movements. Even the "Atheist" regime of Stalin mirrored the messianic fanaticism exhibited by religion. In a recent debate, Daniel Dennett, a Philosophy professor at Tufts University and the Co-director at the Center for Cognitive Studies, argued a similar point.
"Let's think about Stalin for a moment. Was he an Atheist? At first you might think, 'well of course he was an Atheist,' but on the contrary, I think in a certain sense, he wasn't an Atheist at all. He believed in God. He believed in a god whose will determined what right and wrong was, and he was sure of the existence of this god. And the god's name was: Stalin."