Sunday, May 24, 2009

Obama Sounding More & More Like Dick Cheney

UPDATE: 11:47 AM Sunday May 24,2009

Quote of the day:

The Two Ways and the First Commandment. There are two ways, one of life and one of death, but a great difference between the two ways. The way of life, then, is this: First, you shall love God who made you; second, love your neighbor as yourself, and do not do to another what you would not want done to you. And of these sayings the teaching is this: Bless those who curse you, and pray for your enemies, and fast for those who persecute you. For what reward is there for loving those who love you? Do not the Gentiles do the same? But love those who hate you, and you shall not have an enemy. Abstain from fleshly and worldly lusts. If someone strikes your right cheek, turn to him the other also, and you shall be perfect. If someone impresses you for one mile, go with him two. If someone takes your cloak, give him also your coat. If someone takes from you what is yours, ask it not back, for indeed you are not able. Give to every one who asks you, and ask it not back; for the Father wills that to all should be given of our own blessings (free gifts). Happy is he who gives according to the commandment, for he is guiltless. Woe to him who receives; for if one receives who has need, he is guiltless; but he who receives not having need shall pay the penalty, why he received and for what. And coming into confinement, he shall be examined concerning the things which he has done, and he shall not escape from there until he pays back the last penny. And also concerning this, it has been said, Let your alms sweat in your hands, until you know to whom you should give.

From The Didache
The Lord's Teaching Through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations.
at Early Christian Writings

There is an absolute prohibition on torture not because the impulse is alien to human nature but because it is so deeply familiar. When torture does not work, the urge is to turn up the voltage and to widen the dragnet. We do not allow torture in the ticking time bomb scenario because when the would-be torturer looks out on the landscape, he sees it littered with ticking time bombs and people who might know something about them. We do not balance the costs and benefits to see if torture works because there will always be some argument that can be made that it works or it might work or people believed at the time that it would. By refocusing on whether torture worked, Vice President Cheney wants to deflect attention from the fact that civilized legal systems make torture criminal precisely because we are ever tempted that it might work.

Quote From Cheney, the CIA and Torture: Asking the Wrong Questions by Eric L. Lewis at huffington Post May 21,2009

Anyway when it comes to the so-called War on Terror Obama offers no real change from the Bush/Cheney Regime. Whether Obama is adopting or adapting Bush and Cheney policies because he too believes that he must wage all out war against Terrorism or is doing so to appease the C.I.A. & the US military & the National Security Bureaucracy or to appease the fear mongering Republicans & conservatives this is uncertain but the end result is what matters.

And the end result is the continuation of the Long War or Perpetual war on terrorism & especially on Arab & Islamic terrorists in which everything is permissible. Obama like Bush & Cheney is determined to look Tough On Terrorism & so will fight terrorism by any & all means necessary.

In an effort to look tough Obama refused to release more photos of the proof of detainee abuse by US soldiers, the C.I.A. , Navy Seals & Private Contractors- his feeble excuse was that it might lead to blow-back & the deaths of US soldiers. But the real problem of Blow-back is the abuse & torture of detainees which is still taking place at prisons in Afghanistan & Iraq. And from what investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill asserts is that abuse & torture is still taking place at Gitmo with the use of the Goon Squads known as Immediate Response Force who like to beat the crap out of prisoners based on the flimsiest of excuses.

Obama has also reassured the C.I.A. & others who took part in the abuse & torture of detainees since he believes that they did so in "Good Faith" - they were " just following orders " and so Obama overturns unilaterally the Nuremberg judgement that claiming one is " just following orders " is no defense for War Crimes or Crimes Against Humanity .AKA The Oliver (Ollie ) North defense- ie My Country Right or Wrong & other Pathological Thinking.

Obama has also said he will re-work or tinker with the Military Tribunals to put some of the "detainees" at Gitmo on trial while others for various reasons of National Security will no be put on trial so they will be left to rot as it were.
Others won't be tried it seems because the US government doesn't have a strong enough case against them to find them guilty so they will also be kept in jail til they confess or til they go insane I guess due to abuse & torture. We have been told over and over again that the majority of prisoners held in Guantanamo or in prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan are innocent yet Obama so far refuses to deal with this issue.

In conducting the War in Afghanistan & Pakistan as we have seen Obama has appointed Lieutenant-General Stanley McChrystal who was known for leading an assassination squad which was basically a Death Squad & he was also known for his brutal tactics of abuse & torture of prisoners when he was commander of a notorious & infamous prison in Iraq. When we add to this the wanton & indiscriminate bombings & straffing by Gunship Helicopters and fighter jets on villages or towns where it is claimed there are suspected Taliban or Al Qaeda or insurgents or any who dare resist the US and Nato invasion & occupation of their countries. So the US uses the unmanned Drones & massive bombings including the use of White Phosphorus on civilian populations which of course are considered to be War Crimes under the Geneva Conventions. But as we have seen over the last eight years the US and even NATO has all but abandoned the Geneva Conventions.

So anyway in another major speech this week Obama critiques the Bush/Cheney Regime & then goes on to announce his own draconian ad hoc stitched together policy on "Combatants" or "detainees"- Pre-Crime arrests- Obama argues that those arrested or already being held need to be kept in prison because they may plan to commit crimes in the future. But President Obama following in Cheney's footsteps also wants to extend even further the powers of the president.Like Bush & Cheney Obama is going to make up a legal framework to justify his illegal & unconstitutional criminal acts.

In Britain for instance detainees can only be kept for 28 days before being charged, tried & sentenced. Obama wants to hold detainees for months or years before they are charged or tried or until the War on Terror ends but as many have pointed out there will always be some extremist or crack-pot somewhere who will want to attack the US or American troops or an American embassy so this is not just the Long War but is a perpetual war in which every time another innocent person is arrested or disappeared by American or NATO personnel & who is then abused & tortured this generates more anger and a new batch of so-called terrorists. As I have noted many times US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan tend to treat all citizens as potential terrorists or as Hostiles.

Rachel Maddow Criticizes Obama on Prolonged Detention- May 22, 2009

Republican & Conservative Fear Mongering over the closing of Guantanamo has worked as Obama back peddles on closing the prison & re-adopting Cheney' s Sham Show Trials known as Military Tribunals plus Obama has claimed that holding detainees in Indefinte Detention in the so-called War on Terror is a must. And Obama as far as we know has offered little solace to the thousands held in other prisons besides Gitmo in Afghanistan & Iraq & he has further said that extraordinary renditions are still needed. And for all of this Obama now talks like Cheney et al about creating a new legal construct to make sure everything is supposedly done by the book.

Once again Obama spoke very little about the thousands victims at Gitmo or other prisons who have been abused or tortured . Is it because like Cheney & Rumsfeld et al he believes that anyone arrested by US personnel must by definition be guilty of terrorists actions or are planning terrorists actions. Thousand over the last eight years have been imprisoned and denied their rights to be treated justly & with dignity to be free from abuse & torture to know what crimes they are charged with to have the right to legal counsel & that their families be notified about their incarceration & that they have a right to a speedy trial . Instead under the Bush/Cheney Regime so-called "detainees" were denied their rights and were abused & tortured often they have been treated like animals rather than as human beings. And now Obam wants to keep most of this horrible and inhumane treatment of prisoners in place.

Daisy - A Guantanamo Interpretation-RNC May 21, 2009

A Tale of Two Speeches: Obama Uplifts, Cheney Uses Old Arsenal of Fear-Mongering By Leslie Savan, The Nation. Posted May 23, 2009.

While we're enthralled by Obama's elegance and reason, Cheney waits like a troll under a bridge, watching for the slightest misstep.

In his speech, Obama sympathized with the quaking souls of his fellow Party members, saying, "These issues are fodder for 30-second commercials and direct-mail pieces that are designed to frighten. I get it."

Get a grip, European-style socialists! There's plenty of evidence that the American people want to turn the page on all that fear and doubt. A vast majority desperately wants Barack Obama to be their knight in shining armor, hoping he will modestly rewrite the social contract in a way that eases their economic burdens, gets us out of wars we can't afford, and moves toward the universal health care that every other developed country takes for granted.

Larry O'Donnell on MSNBC: Cheney's Speech an Insult to One's Intelligence-May 21, 2009

FBI use dubious tactics to create & then arrest so -called terrorist who were supposedly belonged to an Islamic Terrorist organization though none of these peopler are muslims.
and once again the Media reports on bogus Terrorist plot discovered by FBI or just cooked up by the FBI. So even with Obama at the helm of state the FBI & other agencies are trying to find non-existent plots to scare the American people & to justify draconian law enforcement programs. So little has changed when it comes to the War on Terror & keeping Americans in a hyper-alert fearful state to maintain the status quo post-9/11.

FBI Blows It: Supposed Terror Plot Against NY Synagogues Is Bogus

By Robert Dreyfuss, The Nation. Posted May 23, 2009.

Turns out it is really the handiwork of a creepy FBI informant. The story strengthens the narrative that the "homeland" is under attack. It's not.

By the now, it's maddeningly familiar. A scary terrorist plot is announced. Then it's revealed that the suspects are a hapless bunch of ne'er-do-wells or run-of-the-mill thugs without the slightest connection to any terrorists at all, never mind to Al Qaeda. Finally, the last piece of the puzzle: the entire plot is revealed to have been cooked up by a scummy government agent-provocateur.

I've seen this movie before.

In this case, the alleged perps -- Onta Williams, James Cromitie, David Williams, and Laguerre Payen -- were losers, ex-cons, drug addicts. Al Qaeda they're not. Without the assistance of the agent who entrapped them, they would never have dreamed of committing political violence, nor would they have had the slightest idea about where to acquire plastic explosives or a Stinger missile.

...So a creepy thug buttonholes people at a mosque, foaming at the mouth about violence and jihad? This is law enforcement? Just imagine if someone did this at a local church, or some synagogue. And the imam says the people "believed he was a government agent."

Preying on these losers, none of whom were apparently actual Muslims, the "confidential informant" orchestrated the acquisition of a disabled Stinger missile to shoot down military planes and cooked up a wild scheme about attacking a Jewish center in the Bronx.

...Despite the pompous statements from Mayor Bloomberg of New York and other politicians, including Representative Peter King, the whole story is bogus. The four losers may have been inclined to violence, and they may have harbored a virulent strain of anti-Semitism. But it seems that the informant whipped up their violent tendencies and their hatred of Jews, cooked up the plot, incited them, arranged their purchase of weapons, and then had them busted. To ensure that it made headlines, the creepy informant claimed to be representing a Pakistani extremist group, Jaish-e Muhammad, a bona fide terrorist organization. He wasn't, of course.

It is disgusting and outrageous that the FBI is sending provocateurs into mosques.

The headlines reinforce the very fear that Dick Cheney is trying to stir up. The story strengthens the narrative that the "homeland" is under attack. It's not. As I've written repeatedly, since 9/11 not a single American has even been punched in the nose by an angry Muslim, as far as I can tell. Plot after plot -- the destruction of the Brooklyn Bridge! bombing the New York Subways! taking down the Sears Tower! bombing the Prudential building in Newark! -- proved to be utter nonsense.

also see: Cheney Intervened in CIA Inspector General's Torture Probe by jason Leopold, May 22, 2009

Facts and Myths about Obama's Preventive Detention Proposal By Glenn Greenwald May 22, 2009 ""

also see at The Washington Post : " Obama Endorses Indefinite Detention Without Trial for Some " By Peter Finn Washington Post , May 22, 2009

also see detailed account in article in McClatchy Newspapers pointing out the lies & misinformation in Cheney's speech:

Cheney's speech ignored some inconvenient truths by Jonathan S. Landay & Warren P. Strobel at McClatchy Newspapers , May 21, 2009

and see on Afghanistan Obama's Vietnam /Cambodia style quagmire & his move to Total War:

Tomgram: The Pressure of an Expanding War Tomsdispatch May 21,2009

" Rumsfeld's Renegade Unit Blamed for Afghan Deaths " By Jerome Starkey in Kabul "The Independent May 17,2009 ( Information Clearing House)

" New York Times
Villagers in Afghanistan Describe Chaos of U.S. Strikes " By CARLOTTA GALL and TAIMOOR SHAH, New York Times, May 15, 2009

" Civilian Deaths Undermine Allies’ War on Taliban " by Carlotta Gall & David E. Sanger at The New York Times May 13, 2007

and for an example of how Republicans approve of Obama expansion of the War on Terror:

"Republicans salute Obama's military tack:Moves anger liberal Democrats" Washington Times, May 17, 2009

and so it goes,

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