Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Obama Sells His Soul

The Democratic Activist
Those of us whose jaws nearly dislocated from continual dropping at the arrogance, cruelty, and moral and ethical bankruptcy of the Bush/Cheney administration are now having to come to grips with an emerging pattern of evidence too dreadful to have imagined only a few months ago.

Notwithstanding pronounced improvement over the previous president in several important areas, it's becoming increasingly clear that, on the critical matter of civil liberties, Obama may end up being just as bad as (or worse than) Bush ever was.

Excerpts from a recent post by Glenn Greenwald:

So candidate Obama unambiguously vowed to his supporters that he would work to ensure "full accountability" for "past offenses" in surveillance lawbreaking. President Obama, however, has now become the prime impediment to precisely that accountability, repeatedly engaging in extraordinary legal maneuvers to ensure that "past offenses" -- both in the surveillance and torture/rendition realm -- remain secret and forever immunized from judicial review. Put another way, Obama has repeatedly done the exact opposite of what he vowed he would do: rather than "seek full accountability for past offenses," he has been working feverishly to block such accountability, by embracing the same radical Bush/Cheney views and rhetoric regarding presidential secrecy powers that caused so much controversy and anger for the last several years.

I could literally spend all day highlighting passages from the ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross) Report that will turn the stomach of any minimally decent human being. Those morally depraved individuals who continue to mock and dismiss the notion that the U.S. Government, at the highest level, ordered the most brutal and inhumane torture should be compelled to read the Report in its entirety (and the Report is confined to 14 individual "black site" prisoners; it says nothing about what was done to the tens of thousands of other detainees at Guantanamo, Bagram, in Iraq and elsewhere -- many of whom died in our custody).

Andrew Sullivan highlights but one of the key passages from Mark Danner's article demonstrating the similarities between standard Soviet torture techniques and the ones the U.S. used repeatedly on our detainees. Note how warped our political culture is: Sen. Dick Durbin was forced to tearfully apologize on the Senate floor for accurately comparing our treatment of detainees at Guantanamo to the techniques used in Soviet gulags and by Gestapo interrogation squads, but those who perpetrated these war crimes have apologized for nothing, remain welcome in decent company, and are still shielded by our Government from all accountability.

Is this the vaunted "transparency," and "change you can believe in" that Obama endlessly promoted as the centerpiece of his campaign?

The following interviews by Keith Olberman explain in lay terms just how the terribly, terribly bad the Obama record on constitutional liberties is turning out to be. In them, Olberman rightly expresses dismay and disgust at how Obama is out-Bushing Bush in defending and even surpassing the dictatorial, autocratic, un-American claims of virtually unlimited executive power that Bush and Cheney became infamous for espousing and that Obama himself so strongly decried only months ago during his run for the presidency:

To avoid distraction from the economic crisis, disdain from some within the intelligence community, and a likely right-wing political smear and media onslaught, President Barack Obama, the constitutional law professor and new hope of the free world, has apparently decided to turn his back on the rule of law ... and to allow the crippling, disfiguring disease of irresponsibility, unaccountability, corruption, greed, and inhumanity at the root of our governmental, economic, and cultural problems to continue to progress unchecked.

Will band-aids, denial, broken promises, and repeating the awful mistakes of the recent past do anything real to heal the deeply serious, systemic illness of character of which our current economic woes are merely the most urgent current symptom?

No, they won't. In fact, by putting off the day of reckoning and allowing the true cause of our troubles to continue to fester, these dysfunctional responses only worsen our already rather dire predicament.

If you agree, here's how you can ...



Contact President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and mainstream media companies and DEMAND immediate criminal investigation and prosecution of ALL Bush administration officials responsible in any way for the brutal torture of detainees in U.S. custody or illegal surveillance activities conducted against American citizens within the borders of our own country and an abrupt end to the Obama administration's wholehearted embrace of Bush's doctrine of imperial presidential power:


President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Phone: 202-456-1111

Fax: 202-456-2461

Email form: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/


Attorney General Eric Holder

Attorney General Eric Holder
Office of the Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, D.C., 20530

Phone: 202-514-2001, 202-353-1555

Fax: 202-307-6777

Email: AskDOJ@usdoj.gov


Mainstream Media

Click here and here to contact various mainstream media outlets.


Thank you.

Pass it on.
The Democratic Activist

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