Just when you thought our rulers could not get worse. Obama, taking time out from targeting teenagers for aerial assassination by drone, has surpassed the Bush regime by clamping new and extreme limitations on the right of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay to meet the attorneys who are defending them in court. Sometimes you have to pinch yourself to believe this stuff is true as you type it.
At least one attorney has been told he will have no access to his client unless he signs a “voluntary agreement” which accepts that any meetings with his client are entirely at the discretion of the US authorities and not a right.
In another “technical” adjustment, the Obama administration has altered flight rules to allow unpiloted drones to fly over the United States, in places where previously only piloted planes were allowed. There has been no official reason given for the change in regulations, but it opens the way for unlimited aerial surveillance of US citizens, and the eventual sci-fi scenario of citizens being zapped from the air without warning if Obama does not approve of them, just as has happened to hundreds of people in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. That may found far fetched – but so does anti-aircraft batteries on the roofs of London apartment blocks and 17,000 army personnel patrolling the streets of London. Civil liberties have disappeared so fast in the past decade there is no telling where it will end.