Trump Must Expose Obama’s Abuses of Power

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Photo by www.GlynLowe.com | CC BY 2.0

Photo by www.GlynLowe.com | CC BY 2.0

President-elect Donald Trump will face pervasive doubts about his legitimacy from the day he takes office.  Trump’s opponents will assert that he is governing in unprecedented and reckless ways.   The best response to that charge is to open the books to reveal how the Obama administration stretched its power far beyond what most Americans realized.

Trump should follow the excellent precedent set by Barack Obama. In 2009, shortly after he took office, Obama released many of the secret Bush administration legal memos that explained why the president was supposedly entitled to order torture, deploy troops in American towns and cities, and ignore the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on warrantless, unreasonable searches.  Those revelations proved that the Bush administration was far more of an elective dictatorship than most people suspected.  The disclosures signaled a new era and helped give Obama – at least temporarily – a reputation as a champion of civil liberties.

Turnabout is fair play.  Trump should quickly reveal the secret memos underlying Obama’s “targeted killing” drone assassination program. Administration lawyers defeated lawsuits by the ACLU and New York Times seeking disclosure of key legal papers on how the president became judge, jury, and executioner. Obama sought to codify a presidential right to kill that would have mortified earlier generations of Americans.  His program has been cloaked in…

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  • ipragmatist

    Great article.