The United States is only a small step away from some kind of dictatorship. This may sound like hyperbole to some, but the lack of a clear and strong opposition to military and intelligence community institutional pressures has driven the Obama administration to the right even of the Bush administration on matters of secrecy and executive power. Proposals for “terrorist courts” continue to be seriously considered, while the public uproar over the use of torture on prisoners has died down ever since Barack Obama told his Democratic Party followers not to “look back,” and made clear that accountability for war crimes would not happen on his watch. Meanwhile, tremendous inroads are made on privacy rights, while surveillance of private citizens, strip searches at airports, seizures of personal computers, and gathering of personal data from emails and phone calls are now everyday occurrences.
As a result, Obama has been the active creature of militarist forces within
the government, and on point after point, has given way to lobbying by the
military and intelligence establishments, themselves beholden to a power elite
that holds the economic reins of the country, from oil to finance, in their
hands. Obama’s role is most evident in his recent military actions against