“The Silent Guest at the State of the Union” @ Boston.com

Posted on February 11, 2012

January 25, 2012 — Carol Rose, On Liberty:

“This guest blog was written by ACLU of Massachusetts Privacy Rights Coordinator Kade Crockford.

Last night, President Obama book ended his State of the Union address by praising the US military. The beginning of the speech:

We gather tonight knowing that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected around the world. For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq. For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country. Most of al Qaeda’s top lieutenants have been defeated. The Taliban’s momentum has been broken, and some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home.

The end of the speech:

Which brings me back to where I began. Those of us who’ve been sent here to serve can learn from the service of our troops. When you put on that uniform, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white; Asian or Latino; conservative or liberal; rich or poor; gay or straight. When you’re marching into battle, you look out for the person next to you, or the mission fails. When you’re in the thick of the fight, you rise or fall as one unit, serving one Nation, leaving no one behind.

….But there was a major, symbolically resonant hole in the speech. Obama only said the word ‘liberty’ once, in reference to the revolutions of North Africa. He said ‘freedom’ once, but in the context of the US military, not civil liberties. He did not say the word ‘transparency,’ and he said ‘accountable’ twice, both in the context of the financial crisis….”

Read more at Boston.com.