November 7th, 2008


Dear President Obama

I just submitted this statement through the comment form at

The most important thing I want from an Obama administration is the restoration of civil liberties taken away by the Bush administration. Stop the warrantless wiretappings, the indefinite imprisonments without charges, the shadowy extraterritorial prisons beyond the rule of law. Close Guantanamo and give the people imprisoned there fair and public trials. Stop the signing statements, roll back the executive branch power grabs, and return the actions of the Vice President to the public view.

And, pettiest of this list but the one with the most impact on the most people: eliminate airport "security" procedures that annoy and delay passengers without improving security, like the removal of shoes, restriction of liquids, and un-casing of laptops. Replace ham-handed, formulaic intimidation by untrained TSA thugs with less-obtrusive, more-intelligent inspection by officers trained to spot suspicious behavior, as in Israel. Passing through an American airport today is the most frightening, demeaning, and intrusive experience of most citizens' lives, and it's even worse for non-citizens. This would be a place where you can quickly show Americans and the world how an Obama administration differs from Bush.