By November 2012, nobody will be voting for him…

As one of the hawkish types who thinks that we need places to interrogate and hold some of these very dangerous people, I’m inclined to cut Obama some slack on this particular issue. It is still ironic that he excoriated the Bush Administration for this network of prisons.

At least Gitmo insures that there is some standard of treatment. If you were a terrorist trying to overthrow regimes in Islamic countries, my bet is that, if caught, you’d rather be held by the Americans than the Saudis or the Afghanis.

Johann Hari: Obama’s secret prisons in Afghanistan endanger us all

Obama ran on an inspiring promise to shut down Bush’s network of kidnappings and secret prisons. He said bluntly: “I do not want to hear this is a new world and we face a new kind of enemy. I know that… but as a parent I can also imagine the terror I would feel if one of my family members were rounded up in the middle of the night and sent to Guantanamo without even getting one chance to ask why they were being held and being able to prove their innocence.” He said it made the US “less safe” because any gain in safety by Gitmo-ing one suspected jihadi – along with dozens of innocents – is wiped out by the huge number of young men tipped over into the vile madness of jihadism by seeing their brothers disappear into a vast military machine where they may never be heard from again. Indeed, following the failed attack in Detroit, Obama pointed out the wannabe-murderer named Guantanamo as the reason he signed up for the jihad.

Yet a string of recent exposes has shown that Obama is in fact maintaining a battery of secret prisons where people are held without charge indefinitely – and he is even expanding them. The Kabul-based journalist Anand Gopal has written a remarkable expose for The Nation magazine. His story begins in the Afghan village of Zaiwalat at 3.15am on the night of November 19th 2009. A platoon of US soldiers blasted their way into a house in search of Habib ur-Rahman, a young computer programmer and government employee who they had been told by someone, somewhere was a secret Talibanist. His two cousins came out to see what the noise was – and they were shot to death. As the children of the house screamed, Habib was bundled into a helicopter and whisked away. He has never been seen since. His family do not know if he is alive or dead.

The “Nobel War Prize” Speech

One speech doth not a turn around make, particularly from this President. That said, few articles hit the nail on the head as well as this one.

Obama can blame Bush for today’s troubles all he wants. During the Oslo Speech, Obama channeled Bush so effectively that you could barely tell the speeches apart. The icing on the cake is that he delivered these words to a the Peace Prize audience. I posted an excerpt from the end of the linked piece. The irony is delicious.

The Nobel War Prize

At the end of the speech the president went even farther in claiming grounds for military intervention, adding that “a just peace includes not only civil and political rights—it must encompass economic security and opportunity” as well as “swift and forceful action” against climate change. He ominously asserted that economic development “rarely takes root without security” and that “military leaders in my own country” believe that “our common security hangs in the balance” so long as climate change is not swiftly and forcefully addressed.

In a crowning irony, Obama attacked the believers of absolute, universal truth for “the murder of innocents.” No “Holy War”, he said, “can ever be a just war.” For “if you truly believe that you are carrying out divine will, then there is no need for restraint—no need to spare the pregnant mother, or the medic, or the Red Cross worker, or even a person of one’s own faith.” Such total adherence to belief is “incompatible with the concept of peace.”

Given Obama’s orders as commander-in-chief, their deadly consequences for civilians and U.S. soldiers, and his justifications for them, one might say, indeed.

Whether you disagree with Mr. Thaddeus Russell or not, he basically nails it. America has been engaged in a ‘Holy War’ promoting its values since its inception. Whether it’s Communism, Islam, or something else in the future, you will either accept our “universal truths” or end up in a fight with the most dangerous nation.

Cook County Corrupt now running the nation

I suppose a lefty could argue that the Texas (or Corporate) corrupt ran the nation under Bush. There certainly are grounds for debate, but I’d argue that at least Bush’s people created some value in their lives.

White House wealth: President Barack Obama’s team virtually all Chicago millionaires

When President Barack Obama moved into the White House earlier this year, he took several of his fellow Chicago millionaires with him.

Newly released disclosure reports show virtually all of the top Chicagoans serving in the West Wing had assets valued at a million dollars or more at the end of 2008.

In several cases, the reports provide the first detailed look at the finances of some of the president’s top aides and friends from Chicago who have risen with him. They also show the salary haircut many have taken to be in the White House, at least until they return to the private sector.

Some of the wealth can be attributed to the fact that the top staff members surrounding Obama — such as Chicagoans Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett — are from a big city where salaries tend to be higher. Many of the comparable senior staffers with the previous two presidents came from Austin, Texas, and Little Rock, Ark., where salaries for top professionals tend to be the lower than in Chicago.

Read through the entire article. Private or Public sector, these people have created virtually NO VALUE in the working careers. Every Lefty who complains about the corporate sector as a cushy place where the rich and connected get richer and more connected should wake up and realize they just elected and empowered the most blue blooded, elitist, connected (to the cash flow) and disconnected (from reality) pack of snobs ever to run a country.

It would be interesting to have a Seymour Hersch style muckraker do an expose on Goldman-Sacks just to expose the likes of Rahm Emanuel, who likely did nothing more in his stint there but connect politicians to Wall Street insiders.

Another “Obushma” moment

Try as he might to pretend that his problems all stem from Bush’s terms, Obama is still relying on Bush’s policies in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama Afghanistan Plan Breaks Old Ground

Did George Bush leave one of his old speeches in the Resolute Desk? As President Obama unveiled his Afghanistan-Pakistan policy Friday, it was hard to miss the echoes of his predecessor’s “surge” strategy in Iraq. Indeed, says James Dobbins, the State Department veteran who served as President Bush’s first envoy to Afghanistan, Obama’s plan is “largely an extension of where the Bush Administration, in its last years, was heading,with some refinements and additions.”

Like Bush, Obama plans to send more U.S. troops to fight the insurgency in Afghanistan. In fact, when you add them up — the additional brigade Bush announced in January, the 17,000 combat troops Obama announced a couple of weeks ago and the 4,000 trainers added Friday — you get almost exactly the same number of extra troops sent into Iraq for the “surge.” (See pictures of Afghanistan’s mean streets)

The parallels don’t end there. Bush’s “surge” strategy was twinned with an effort to capitalize on disputes between al-Qaeda and its Iraqi allies; eventually, the majority of Sunni insurgents were induced, with promises of money or political power, to stop attacking U.S. forces and turn their guns on the jihadists. Obama, likewise, hopes to drive a wedge between what he describes as “uncompromising” Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders on the one hand, and less implacable insurgents who may be more inclined, for the right price, to make a deal with Western forces or the Afghan government.

Obushma VII

Obama administration tries to kill e-mail case (PETE YOST, 2/21/09, Associated Press)

The Obama administration, siding with former President George W. Bush, is trying to kill a lawsuit that seeks to recover what could be millions of missing White House e-mails.

Two advocacy groups suing the Executive Office of the President say that large amounts of White House e-mail documenting Bush’s eight years in office may still be missing, and that the government must undertake an extensive recovery effort. They expressed disappointment that Obama’s Justice Department is continuing the Bush administration’s bid to get the lawsuits dismissed.

Obama Widens Missile Strikes Inside Pakistan (MARK MAZZETTI and DAVID E. SANGER, February 20, 2009 , NY Times)

The missile strikes on training camps run by Baitullah Mehsud represent a broadening of the American campaign inside Pakistan, which has been largely carried out by drone aircraft. Under President Bush, the United States frequently attacked militants from Al Qaeda and the Taliban involved in cross-border attacks into Afghanistan, but had stopped short of raids aimed at Mr. Mehsud and his followers, who have played less of a direct role in attacks on American troops.

The strikes are another sign that President Obama is continuing, and in some cases extending, Bush administration policy in using American spy agencies against terrorism suspects in Pakistan, as he had promised to do during his presidential campaign.

Obushma

Obama Looks Like Bush on National Security Secrecy Argument

Bad news today for people who were hoping that Barack Obama would roll back some of the imperial executive which Bush, Cheney and their wacky legal theorists built over the last eight years. The new administration’s lawyers picked up a questionable legal theory from the old administration, that national security trumps due process of law.

The issue came up Monday in a court case where five former detainees are suing for Boeing helping with the Bush administration’s “extraordinary rendition” program. The Bush administration had argued that the case should be dismissed because, as today’s New York Times puts it, “even discussing it in court could threaten national security and relations with other nations.”

Candidate Obama was rather critical of extraordinary renditions. So the judges hearing the case on Monday were a bit taken aback when governmental lawyer Douglas Letter declined an opportunity to change the government’s argument in the case.

The charitable interpretation here is: Obama and his aides don’t want to appear dangerously hasty while dismantling the Bush national security apparatus. They’re doing their due diligence before rolling some of this stuff back.

But then there’s this, from the Times:

A Justice Department spokesman, Matt Miller, said the government did not comment on pending litigation, but he seemed to suggest that Mr. Obama would invoke the privilege more sparingly than its predecessor.

“It is the policy of this administration to invoke the state secrets privilege only when necessary and in the most appropriate cases,” he said, adding that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. had asked for a review of pending cases in which the government had previously asserted a state secret privilege.

Obushma

Obama Administration Maintains Bush Position on ‘Extraordinary Rendition’ Lawsuit

The Obama Administration today announced that it would keep the same position as the Bush Administration in the lawsuit Mohamed et al v Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc.

The case involves five men who claim to have been victims of extraordinary rendition — including current Guantanamo detainee Binyam Mohamed, another plaintiff in jail in Egypt, one in jail in Morocco, and two now free. They sued a San Jose Boeing subsidiary, Jeppesen Dataplan, accusing the flight-planning company of aiding the CIA in flying them to other countries and secret CIA camps where they were tortured.

A year ago the case was thrown out on the basis of national security, but today the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard the appeal, brought by the ACLU.

A source inside of the Ninth U.S. District Court tells ABC News that a representative of the Justice Department stood up to say that its position hasn’t changed, that new administration stands behind arguments that previous administration made, with no ambiguity at all. The DOJ lawyer said the entire subject matter remains a state secret.

This is not going to please civil libertarians and human rights activists who had hoped the Obama administration would allow the lawsuit to proceed.

Obushma

Tom Daschle is a tax cheat. He and his wife are at the center of everything corrupt and wrong about Washington DC.

Geithner is a tax cheat.

Richardson dropped out and is under a cloud.

Obama sets strong lobbying rules, and then waives them hire lobbyist William Lynn III for a plum defense post.

By the middle of his term, it will be clear that Obama is at least as “corrupt” as Bush, but only to those who are paying attention.

Obushma

Both far left and far right are going to hate this, but that doesn’t make it any less true. If even John Stewart catches this, then even the idiots at MooreOn.org can’t be far behind.