EPIC, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, has issued a report card today evaluating President Barack Obama’s policy record on civil liberties. Last year, EPIC gave President Obama a grade of C+. This year, Barack Obama’s grade has fallen to a D. EPIC explains why:
Last year we acknowledged that the Obama Administration inherited many troubling programs from the Bush years: the Patriot Act, Fusion Centers, No Fly Lists, E?Verify, and REAL ID. There was, as we said, little change in the early months with the new Administration. But we remained optimistic that things would change.
A year later, there is no reason to make excuses. The Obama administration has aggressively asserted the “state secrets” doctrine, expanded Fusion Centers and watch lists, and subjected all American air travelers to unconstitutional body searches in airports. Incredibly, the White House allowed the President’s Civil Liberties and Privacy Oversight Board to languish. Even the Bush administration made this a priority. We wish we could give higher marks to the former law school professor now in the White House. But it doesn’t take a legal scholar to conclude that little has changed.
We agree, and we know that there are all too few groups left advocating for civil liberties in America. It’s vitally important that voices like EPIC’s continue to notice that on civil liberties, this President has no clothes. That’s why Irregular Times is making a donation to EPIC today. If you have a few semolians to spare, consider sending EPIC a donation too.