Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Obama's Honeymoon is Over

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Barack Obama has had his 100 days! The honeymoon is over! The gloves are off! Mr. Obama, tear down those illegal prisons!
Two thousand pictures of Americans performing acts of savage torture on prisoners will not be released to the general public if Mr. Obama gets his way. Military commissions will continue to try prisoners outside the scope of American law, and will be free to use brazen hearsay as "hard" evidence against defendants. Mr. Obama continues to cleave to the most abhorrent aspects of Bush-era secrecy policies, and has moved to block a lawsuit filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) on behalf of former CIA agent Valerie Plame, who was outed by Bush administration officials in order to silence her Iraq whistle blower husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson.

--William Rivers Pitt, Truthout
It was not merely the stolen elections in Florida and later Ohio that made Bush illegitimate; it was his declaration in both word and deeds: "The Constitution is just a goddamned piece of paper!" Under the cover given him by 'war' (however illegal), Bush claimed to be above the law, beyond responsibility to the people, in effect, a dictator!
The sooner that the United States dissociates itself from the crimes of the Bush administration, the sooner will it regain its role as leader of the world's democracies. Indicting the Bush administration now for its promotion of torture as US policy is the first, and most important, step in that direction.

Unfortunately, there is no way to impeach George Bush retroactively for leading us into the illegal and disastrous Iraq war. Nevertheless, Barack Obama should realize that victory over terrorism depends critically on the United States emphatically denouncing its ties to Bush's failed policies of unilateralism, militarism and torture.

--Sweep Bush policies into dustbin, John F. Bellantoni, Sarasota
No, we cannot impeach Bush now! We blew an opportunity to make the statement that OUTLAW PRESIDENTS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED! Instead, we bent over and allowed a war criminal to get away with murder.

Here's the bad news for Obama: if Bush is guilty of war crimes for his attack and subsequent war crimes in Iraq, so, too, is Obama for continuing them. I have yet to see active, good faith efforts by Obama to end the illegal, military occupations in the Middle East.

That fact most certainly makes Obama prosecutable for continuing violations of the War Crimes Act of 1996 passed by both houses of Congress without dissent. The act covers every crime that may be charged to Bush as of this moment and as of the moment Bush exited the 'cover' given him by his occupation of the Oval Office.

The act deals specifically with his deliberate "killing, torture or inhumane treatment" of 'detainees' at Abu Ghraib, GITMO and the gulag archipelago of 'detention centers' throughout Eastern Europe. Violations of the War Crimes Act that result in the death of a detainee carry the death penalty and there is no statute of limitations.
(a) Offense.— Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.

--TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 118 > § 2441 § 2441. War crimes

Ironically, it was the GOP congress which passed the War Crimes Act in 1996 without a dissenting vote. It was said that they wished to 'rebuke the unpunished war crimes of dictators like Saddam Hussein'.

But this was the era of 'wag the dog'. The GOP had hoped make Clinton prosecutable in the Hague. Significantly, when it was feared that it would be Bush who would wind up in the dock, the GOP did a transparent about face, a cowardly and disingenuous move that we have come to expect from the GOP. Tom DeLay sponsored legislation authorizing the US military to invade the Hague should Bush find his sorry ass in the dock! DeLay was reacting to legislation that defined a "war crime" as any "grave breach" of the Geneva Conventions.

I want to know: what is the frickin' point of passing legislation if it is routinely ignored by 'Presidents' be they Clinton, Bush, Obama?

What is the point?


Either we will insist upon the rule of law --or our governments hereinafter will be illegitimate. People of the US, I put it to you: you are NOT represented by a legitimate government. Nor have you been for some time now!

It did not help his case that Bush was (and, presumably remains) an idiot, a waste of human DNA, a cancer on mankind, a slimy liar of no talent and less wit or intelligence.

Obama seemed to be everything that Bush was not: literate, intelligent, perhaps even moral! But Obama has been given his 100 days and more! By now it is clear: Obama has no intention of righting the fatal harms inflicted by Bush upon the 'rule of law' or that 'goddamned piece of paper', the US Constitution. Obama has no intention of ending the illegal occupations of both Afghanistan and Iraq!

These so-called 'Military Commission' are kangaroo courts and have no legitimacy whatsoever. Verdicts handed down by them are invalid, bogus, unlawful, and because the US occupations are illegal, the verdicts themselves may violate treaties and international laws. Surely the arbitrary assumption of powers not granted by a 'sovereign' is illegal! Any death resulting is murder! Any illegal US tribunal ordering 'death' is, itself, a murderer!

The presence of US troops anywhere in the world not supported by a declaration of war is illegal, a war crime. If death results to any person in those US occupied territories, the penalty is death! Clearly --the Obama administration has, heretofore, shown no interest in restoring legitimacy or the rule of law.

It appears, however, that the rule of law no longer applies to Presidents or, for that matter, the 'elected' idiots in Congress who write them. Clearly --everything enacted by Congress with regard to war, prisoners of war, or war crimes has failed to impress those occupying the Oval Office! Is this the reason the US has NOT won a war since War II?. Does this have something to do with the fact that the US --now a third world economy with the world's largest negative current account balance --has not paid for any war since World War II? Come to think of it, I am not quite sure we paid for WWII!

It is ludicrous to expect other nations to respect our sovereignty if we do not respect theirs.

The US remains a rogue and criminal nation, an oil thief, a pathetic, idiotic bully boy whose presence abroad still threatens its own economic underpinnings. What is the origin of this idiotic idea that because we covet another nation's oil or other resources, we may dictate to them with threats of bombs and/or invasion?

The US has nukes! But cannot use them! What would result if there should be another Hiroshima or Nagasaki?

The people of the US have been treasonously betrayed by both parties, by the Congress and in the unkindest cut of all, by the courts --the same judiciary that was intended to be the remedy of last resort. Thanks to the pin head Antonin Scalia and like minded, slit-tongued, slit-eyed reptilians, the courts are compromised and corrupt --sell-outs to the various elite interests that long ago 'invested' their money in the Congress and the White House. The best politicians money could buy??

How absurd the US has become! While the MIC murders for the sake of death, America, like a moronic, drooling, lumbering leviathan on steroids, wages war for the sake of war, bleats bullshit that it might hear its own pathetic, whining voice amid a wailing chorus awaiting Armegeddon!

Wake up, Mr. Obama! You are what you do! Have you become Bush?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The sooner that the United States dissociates itself from the crimes of the Bush administration, the sooner will it regain its role as leader of the world's democracies. Indicting the Bush administration now for its promotion of torture as US policy is the first, and most important, step in that direction.

Unfortunately, there is no way to impeach George Bush retroactively for leading us into the illegal and disastrous Iraq war. Nevertheless, Barack Obama should realize that victory over terrorism depends critically on the United States emphatically denouncing its ties to Bush's failed policies of unilateralism, militarism and torture."

--Sweep Bush policies into dustbin, John F. Bellantoni, Sarasota

Nice idea, John, but . . .

Hasn't it dawned on you and others like you that the reason Osama is doing what he's doing is because he's joined at the hip with those people? And that he is a puppet with a Zionist hand up his ass?

The federal government needs to be completely abolished. The recent actions of state legislatures confirming their 9th and 10th Amendment rights are not enough. They all need to declare their independence from DC NOW! There is not one misery afflicting this country right now that is not a result of deliberate actions by people in DC, as well as their bankster cronies who are receiving taxpayer money from these treasonous scum as a quid pro quo.

If the federal government doesn't die, THIS COUNTRY WILL!

Len Hart said...

Anonymous said...

"The sooner that the United States dissociates itself from the crimes of the Bush administration, the sooner will it regain its role as leader of the world's democracies.Obama had BEST get wise and fast!

But CONTINUING the policies of a mass murderer, terrorist, usurper and liar is NOT the way to distance himself or his administration.

We needed a revolution. We GOT a sop!

Rx said...

Americans must get to the point where we can move beyond the belief in our God-given, creamy nougat center special wonderfulness (wait- we wouldn't be Americans then, would we?) Detention centers throughout Europe, black ops this, and surveillance that, administration policies based upon keeping us safe rather than promoting the rule of law and obeying the articles of the constitution- we buy into this because we're told our exceptional way of life is at risk.

We heard Obama say what he wanted to do during the campaign, but once he got behind that desk how quickly he adopted the language of the last clown to sit there. Obama has begun to talk steadily about keeping us safe, even as he decries the policies of BushCo. A neat trick, that. Are you familiar with Peter Weiss' Marat/Sade? I'm thinking of the song sung by the inmates of the asylum, and its lamenting refrain, "Change meant one thing to you I see, and something quite different to me."

Are you listening, Mr. Obama?

Mauigirl said...

I'm concerned about these things as well; am hoping he is just trying to do one thing at a time and do it well, and that as he goes along he will gradually get away from these policies that Bush started. I think he is trying but that Bush left him in a difficult situation - for instance, with the Gitmo detainees, the evidence was so poorly collected and probably not complete, so there is no legitimate case to be made against these people - but they are actually dangerous. He can start over and not detain anyone new without due process, but what do you do with these other people that are already there? I think that's the quandary he is in.

I think he will do the right thing but not as quickly as we would like. Ditto on gay rights. Obama does not rush into things until he knows exactly what he is doing and how he will deal with the consequences. Not saying it isn't frustrating, but that is also his strength. Bush did plenty of things with NO thought of the consequences and look where we ended up.

SadButTrue said...

The worst thing about Obama is not his refusal to prosecute war criminals, not his positions on FOIA and FISA, not even his Bush-like belief in unlimited executive power. The worst thing is that the US electoral system (aka The Best Government Money Can Buy) doesn't really offer a viable alternative. Nor will it ever without radical changes.

I recently read an article that observed the GOP to have declined so low in popularity that the Democrats could conceivably split into 'left' and centrist branches and the two parties run against each other in 2012 or beyond. But realistically, how would that play out? I wouldn't be too optimistic.

First of all splitting the vote would only allow more slimy GOP candidates to ooze their way back into power even with just over 33% support. Second of all, you KNOW that whichever ex-Dem candidate was further to the right on things like taxes, regulations and entitlement programs would receive vastly more funding from the deep pockets of the multinationals. In the US most elections are won by the candidate who spends the most on advertising, which usually translates to whichever candidate is most willing to sell out.

Until you stop selling candidates like they were boxes of laundry detergent the profits-before-people crowd will continue to dominate the government. I really don't see any solution to this short of a second American Revolution.

Len Hart said...

RX sez...

Obama has begun to talk steadily about keeping us safe, even as he decries the policies of BushCo.It's the 'myth' we've been taught since we were infants! Fact is there is NOTHING 'exceptional' about America. We are no better than most nations, worse than many! The 'Cold War' was a propaganda war of distraction while a real war --a trade war --was fought and lost! China kicked out asses!

We need to COMPLETELY SCRAP the stupid and irrelvant paradigms that are spoon fed us. We must bury the idea of 'American exceptionalism' forever!

Mauigirl said...

I think he is trying but that Bush left him in a difficult situation - for instance, with the Gitmo detainees, the evidence was so poorly collected and probably not complete, so there is no legitimate case to be made against these peopleI don't believe that there was EVER a 'legitimate case' to be made, Our presence was illegal (under International Law) from the 'git go'! As we had no legal basis to detain ANYONE, all 'detainees' must be released immediately. This is what comes of believing in 'American exceptionalism'. Put another way --International Laws that we might apply to other nations, apply to US as well. Otherwise, we have just become a nation of hypocrites and liars.

ksliberal said...

It is too early to judge exactly what Obama is trying to do. BUT we can and must carefully observe every single action he takes and object when that action is counter to either what was promised or what this country needs. I can't pretend to know why Obama is attempting to obstruct justice in bringing war criminals to justice, but I must call him out on it. It's an obstruction of justice and he could be just as guilty as Bush if he continues this stance that we should look the other way. Yes, looking ahead is the same as looking the other way. Bottom line. I don't care to consider Obama's possible strategies; there is no grey area here. The war was illegal, torture was used to illicit false information that could be provided to the international community in order to justify an illegal invasion into Iraq. Crimes piled upon crimes; the criminals must be made to pay or there is no justice.

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