Former President Carter Blasts Obama's Police State
June 27, 2012 • 8:08AM

Former President Jimmy Carter accurately described President Obama's police state in an op-ed in the June 24 New York Times, headlined, "A Cruel and Unusual Record." The op-ed was made more notable by the fact that Carter is criticizing his own party's president, something many Democratic members of Congress have been too intimidated to do.

Though he never mentions Obama by name, all of the police state policies that he refers to, including the indefinite detention provisions of last year's defense authorization bill, warrantless surveillance of American citizens, the killer drone policy, the continued operation of the Guantanamo prison, and so on, though begun by the G.W. Bush administration, are the policies of the Obama Administration.

"Revelations that top officials are targeting people to be assassinated abroad, including American citizens, are only the most recent, disturbing proof of how far our nation's violation of human rights has extended," writes Carter. "This development began after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and has been sanctioned and escalated by bipartisan executive and legislative actions, without dissent from the general public. As a result, our country can no longer speak with moral authority on these critical issues."

It has gotten to the point that, by Carter's count, US national counterterrorism policy is in violation of at least 10 of the 30 articles of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the prohibition against "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

The drone policy, in particular, not only kills civilians, but has affected American foreign policy. Carter notes, "Top intelligence and military officials, as well as rights defenders in targeted areas, affirm that the great escalation in drone attacks has turned aggrieved families toward terrorist organizations, aroused civilian populations against us and permitted repressive governments to cite such actions to justify their own despotic behavior...

"At a time when popular revolutions are sweeping the globe, the United States should be strengthening, not weakening, basic rules of law and principles of justice enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But instead of making the world safer, America's violation of international human rights abets our enemies and alienates our friends," Carter concludes. "As concerned citizens, we must persuade Washington to reverse course and regain moral leadership according to international human rights norms that we had officially adopted as our own and cherished throughout the years."

Though he couches his argument in terms of international human rights, rather than in terms of violations of the U.S. Constitution, Carter's op-ed comes close to amounting to a bill of indictment requiring Obama's Constitutional removal from office.