John Cusack: Barack Obama As 'Bad or Worse' Than George W. Bush

John Cusack, the actor, writer, and increasingly, political pundit, has said Barack Obama is “as bad or worse” than George W Bush when it comes to issues such as the NSA, freedom of the press, civil liberties and drone strikes.


“Obama has extended and hardened the cement on a lot of Bush’s post-9/11 Terror Inc policies, so he’s very similar to Bush in every way that way,” he told the Daily Beast

“He hasn’t started as many wars, but he’s extended the ones we had, and I don’t even think Dick Cheney or Richard Nixon would say the president has the right to unilaterally decide whom he can kill around the world.”

Cusack, who has described Obama’s domestic social policy as “much better”, has been a vocal opponent of the president’s foreign policy for much of his term in office. In 2012, he published an interview with Jonathan Turley, professor of law at the George Washington University law school, which he prefaced with his thoughts on US military intervention in Afghanistan and drone strikes in Pakistan. 

“One is forced to ask the question: is the president just another Ivy League asshole shredding civil liberties and due process and sending people to die in some shithole for purely political reasons?” he wrote. 

The actor has long been a champion of press freedom and sits on the board of the non-profit Freedom of the Press Foundation. One of his fellow board members is the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Closer to home, he has attacked the film industry for its attitude towards female stars, describing Hollywood as “a whorehouse”. 

Cusack next appears in Love & Mercy, a biopic of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, directed by Bill Pohlad. Paul Dano plays Wilson in the midst of recording the group’s seminal album, Pet Sounds, and Cusack plays him in later life, when he was isolated following drug rehab and under the powerful influence of his abusive therapist Eugene Landy.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.