Noam Chomsky has again slammed the Obama administration's civil liberties record, this time specifically in the context of the drone program.
Previously, Chomsky, the influential MIT linguistics professor, author, and prominent left-wing political activist, commented in an interview that civil liberties violations under the Obama administration “go well beyond anything I would have anticipated, and they don’t seem easy to explain.”
In a discussion this week with Laura Flanders on GRITtv, a self-described progressive network, Chomsky declared that the president's administration is running a big terrorist operation that will have the perverse result of creating more terrorism.
With regard to the massive National Security Agency PRISM domestic surveillance program that was recently leaked, Chomsky opined that we are moving into an Orwellian world. "If we had anything like a free press, there would be headlines saying this is a bad joke,” Chomsky said of the NSA revelations.
Chomsky didn't hold back this thoughts about the lethal drone issue either. "The Obama administration is dedicated to increasing terrorism. As a matter of fact, it’s doing it all over the world. Obama, first of all, is running the biggest terrorist operation that exists, maybe in history. The drone assassination campaigns, which are just part of it, special forces operations and so on, all of these operations, they are terror operations.”
Other prominent public figures on the left who would seem to be Obama’s natural allies in most things have reached similar conclusions. For example, Cornel West, the Princeton University professor and civil rights activist, has declared that President Obama is a war criminal because of the administration’s controversial drone policy. Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate and former third-party presidential candidate, has stated that the president should be held accountable for war crimes in connection with overseas military and foreign policy decisions.
Chomsky explained that in his opinion, people in other nations who are walking down the street are terrorized by the possibility of being blown away by drone attacks at any moment. Villages, regions, and even countries are also similarly fearful and therefore become anti-American. "That has a reaction, people just don’t say, 'Fine, I don't mind if my cousin was murdered.' They do mind. And they become what we call terrorists. This is completely understood from the highest level, that as you carry out these operations you’re generating terrorism. First of all, they are terrorist operations, and they're generating more terrorist operations. Sometimes it’s almost surreal ..."
Added Chomsky: "...People hate the country that’s just terrorizing them, that’s not a surprise. Just consider the way we react to acts of terror. That’s the way other people react to acts of terror."
The professor also claimed that US forces tracked bin Laden in the Pakistan area by a fake vaccination campaign which has discredited legitimate inoculation programs in that part of the world.
What do you think of Chomsky's allegations against the Obama administration? Do you believe that the US overseas drone program could or will lead to a backlash against America?