From protecting Bush officials who ordered torture from prosecution, to maintaining and expanding the American empire, to warrantless wiretapping of American citizens, all have remained and intensified under Obama
Paul Joseph Watson
Monday, April 20, 2009
As President Barack Obama approaches his first 100 days in office, the corporate media prepares a new round of fawning idolatry about the Obama administration’s “achievements,” yet a summary glance at what Obama has actually done in that short time with regard to expanding the Bush police state and the Neo-Con empire is worse than even we predicted.
The day after Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States in November last year, we challenged Obama supporters and the administration itself to follow through on the rhetoric of “change” by starting to dismantle the architecture of the Bush police state and beginning to roll back the unwieldy morass of the American empire. Obama has done neither, and in fact his every action has been about ensuring the Bush police state remains in place, that the people who put it in place are protected from prosecution, and that the empire continues to expand.
We presented Obama and his supporters with a series of issues on which to make progress. While we did not expect Obama to accomplish much in his first few months in office, we at least challenged the new President to take the first steps in reversing eight years of what was a de facto dictatorship and plotting the course for the “change” that was so consistently promised.
We asked the following questions of an Obama presidency;
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– Will Obama support Dennis Kucinich’s efforts to bring war crimes charges against Bush, Cheney and others for deceiving the country into a war or will he protect them against such charges like Nancy Pelosi has done?
In April 2008, Obama promised that as President he would ask his Attorney General to “immediately review” potential war crimes that occurred under the Bush White House. Obama or his Attorney General have done no such thing, and every noise they have made suggests that top Neo-Cons will be protected from deceiving America into a war.
Similarly we asked;
– Will Obama bring war crimes charges against Bush, Cheney and others for authorizing torture and will the torture of suspects under U.S. detention, a complete violation of both the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions, cease under an Obama administration?
As we found out last week, the answer was a resounding NO. Upon the release of the torture memos, Obama’s right-hand man, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, told ABC News that top Bush administration officials “should not be prosecuted either and that’s not the place that we go.” In addition, Obama’s statement that accompanied the release of the torture memos stated, “In releasing these memos, it is our intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice that they will not be subject to prosecution.”
So no retribution for the people who ordered the torture, and no retribution to the people who carried it out, thus setting the precedent that future administrations are free to order torture – safe in the knowledge that they will face no consequences whatsoever.
– Will Obama withdraw American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan without sending them away again to bomb another broken-backed third world country?
The answer again is a resounding NO. Upon taking office, Obama announced that he would be sending another 17,000, and eventually perhaps as many as 30,000, extra troops to Afghanistan.
Regarding Iraq, after the “withdrawal” of U.S. troops in 19 months, a timescale that has since been put back again, “Mr. Obama plans to leave behind a “residual force” of tens of thousands of troops to continue training Iraqi security forces, hunt down foreign terrorist cells and guard American institutions,” reported the New York Times.
In terms of bombing another broken-backed third world country, Obama has beefed the U.S. military role in Pakistan beyond that pursued by the Bush administration and “expanded the covert war run by the Central Intelligence Agency inside Pakistan,” according to the New York TImes, with an increase in missile attacks by drone aircraft.
Meanwhile, Obama’s war chest demands came to a total of around $800 billion in war funds and subsidiary costs just to cover the rest of 2009.
Does any of this sound like a move towards bringing the troops home and rolling back the American empire, as Obama promised before he was elected?
– Will Obama end the warrantless secret surveillance and phone-taps of American citizens?
You’ll be shocked the learn that the answer was a resounding NO. Earlier this month, “The Obama administration formally adopted the Bush administration’s position that the courts cannot judge the legality of the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) warrantless wiretapping program,” reported the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
“President Obama promised the American people a new era of transparency, accountability, and respect for civil liberties,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. “But with the Obama Justice Department continuing the Bush administration’s cover-up of the National Security Agency’s dragnet surveillance of millions of Americans, and insisting that the much-publicized warrantless wiretapping program is still a ‘secret’ that cannot be reviewed by the courts, it feels like deja vu all over again.”
– Will Obama cease his support for the Bush-administration backed banker bailouts, hated by the majority of Americans, and target the real cause of the problem – the Federal Reserve – or will he continue to give taxpayers’ money to banks who are merely hoarding it all for themselves?
Obama’s zealous push for more bailouts, along with increased power for the Federal Reserve and the implementation of global regulations that will effectively end any notion of a free market was perhaps the defining issue of his first 100 days as President. Obama has vigorously promoted the same financial policies that were introduced by the Bush administration in its final few months.
– Will Obama repeal Patriot Acts I and II as well as reversing Bush’s signing statement and acknowledging the repeal of the John Warner Defense Authorization Act? Will Obama seek to continue the militarization of America and preparations for martial law through Northcom and the secret government or will he dismantle the police state that has been constructed over the last eight years by the Bush administration?
Despite initial rhetoric about reversing Bush’s infamous signing statements, Obama himself stated that he will continue to use signing statements. The Patriot Act and its additions as well as the John Warner Defense Authorization Act, both core planks of the Bush police state, remain firmly in place, with no sign of any reversal.
Regarding militarization through Northcom, weeks after Obama’s election victory it was announced that, “The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe, according to Pentagon officials.” Militarization of law enforcement and troops being used domestically in preparation for martial law is continuing apace under the Obama administration.
– Will Obama follow through on his rhetorical support for the second amendment or will he seek to ban guns as he did in Illinois?
Despite Obama promising that he was not interested in going after the second amendment before his election, one of his first actions was to appoint the rabidly anti-gun Eric Holder as his Attorney General. Obama has also falsely blamed the drug war crisis in Mexico on American gun shops. The leaked Obama gun ban list would make millions of Americans criminals for owning weapons such certain types of rifles or pistols. Anti-gun legislation has found its way into stimulus and other unrelated bills as pork barrel. The first steps of the Obama administration with regard to gun control have resulted in record firearm and ammunition purchases across the country.
Upon Obama’s election we made a cynical but unfortunately accurate prediction of how the much vaunted promise of “change” would actually manifest itself. The fact is that the “change” began and ended on the day Obama won the election.
– Illegal warrantless surveillance and wiretapping of American citizens will continue under Obama.
– Top Bush administration officials who ordered torture and those that carried it out will be protected from prosecution under Obama.
– Top Bush administration officials who deceived America into a war will be protected from prosecution under Obama.
– The expansion of the military empire through continued occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and further military incursions into Pakistan will continue and expand under Obama.
– Banker bailouts, reckless spending, inflation of currency through overprinting and global regulations stifling the free market, all of which were initiated under Bush, will continue under Obama.
– The militarization of the United States and the architecture of the police state that was set up under Bush will be preserved and expanded under Obama.
– The attack on the second amendment right to bear arms will continue under Obama.
“The egregious spending will continue, government will balloon in size, American soldiers will be used as cannon fodder for more interventionist wars of the military-industrial complex, U.S. citizens will continue to have their phone calls tapped and their rights curtailed,” we forecast last year, “and the Federal Reserve will continue to rule the financial system with an iron fist while the middle class is squeezed out of existence.”
Who can deny that all those things have only intensified under the Obama administration?
The honeymoon is over – Barack Obama has proven himself to be nothing more than we predicted all along – another stooge for the global banking syndicate that has controlled every U.S. president since JFK, and nothing more than a black face on the new world order – sworn to continue and intensify the same agenda that the Bush-Clinton-Bush dynasty advanced before him.
This article was posted: Monday, April 20, 2009 at 5:22 am