A Lead Role in a Cage
Sam Stein weighs in on Obama's pre-approved, bipartisan-tested, generic excuse for not enforcing the law against BushCo criminals . . .
Asked for the first time to respond to the likelihood that Spanish prosecutors will target officials in the Bush administration for sanctioning torture at Guantanamo Bay, Barack Obama stressed, once again, that he prefers to look forward, not backward. “I’m a strong believer that it’s important to look forward and not backwards, and to remind ourselves that we do have very real security threats out there,” said Obama.
I think it’s important to remind ourselves, Mr. President, that war criminals are still running around loose all over Washington D.C. Their smug faces can still be seen on national television, they’re writing op-eds in the f***ing Wall Street Journal, they’re getting million dollar book deals and are still wined and dined at Georgetown cocktail parties, while the victims of their war crimes can't look forward to anything ever again because they’re dead, or are still in Gitmo, or have been shattered physically and psychologically by American torturers acting upon the orders of an American president and vice president, who paid American lawyers to tell them it was legal to violate the law, the Constitution, and the Geneva Conventions.
"Legal cover", bought and paid for . . .
with 30 pieces of silver.
You want to focus on the very real threats "out there", Mr. President? I’m just a nobody who worked his ass off to help get you elected, but I think you need to focus on the very real threats to the Constitution and American democracy that are staring us all in the face right here in the United States. Those very real threats are not "out there" in Afghanistan or Pakistan, they're right here in America, entrenched in the CIA, the NSA and the Pentagon, they're in those Wall Street banks you keep bailing out, they're in the leadership and rank and file of that mindless cult of subversion, racism, and corporate fraud that used to be the Republican Party.
Barack Obama tells us he has strong beliefs. That’s nice. Well progressives have strong beliefs too, but unlike Obama's “strong beliefs”, our strong beliefs are based on principles, we don’t toss them aside for political expediency and call it looking forward. That politician in the White House can turn his back on the victims of war crimes, he can betray them, he can betray their families, he can betray justice itself and call it looking forward, but that doesn't erase those war crimes, it stains him with complicity in those war crimes.
We contributed to his campaign, we knocked on doors for him, we phone banked and wrote LTE’s and got out the vote for him, but all we're getting in return is double talk while we have to witness this spectacle of Obama pandering to the Wall Street, Pentagon, NSA and CIA criminals who went on a crime rampage for eight years and are now being protected by him.
We don't need to remind ourselves of the "very real threats out there", we need to remember that for politicians like Obama, everything in the Constitution is optional. Their decisions are based on the f***ing political calculations they all make when it's time to enforce it, politics determines who is above the law and who isn’t, who is rewarded and who is punished, who has influence and who doesn’t, who they'll listen to and who they'll ignore.
Refusing to prosecute the perpetrators of war crimes is despicable enough, but now, as Valtin and others here have noted, Obama is going to actively defend them . . .
The Attorney General has informed the Central Intelligence Agency that the government would provide legal representation to any employee, at no cost to the employee, in any state or federal judicial or administrative proceeding brought against the employee based on such conduct and would take measures to respond to any proceeding initiated against the employee in any international or foreign tribunal, including appointing counsel to act on the employee’s behalf and asserting any available immunities and other defenses in the proceeding itself.
To the extent permissible under federal law, the government will also indemnify any employee for any monetary judgment or penalty ultimately imposed against him for such conduct and will provide representation in congressional investigations. "It would be unfair to prosecute dedicated men and women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in advance by the Justice Department," Holder said.
Well thank you, Eric Holder! That’s a very insightful interpretation of that “Good German” clause in the Constitution that sanctions war crimes if a hired hack lawyer tells an appointed hack president he can goose step all over the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions as long as he starts an illegal war and fights it with other people’s kids. John Mitchell couldn’t have said it better, Ed Meese would be proud of you, John Ashcroft must be belting out Let the Eagle Soar at the top of his lungs and guzzling Heinekens in between stanzas.
Complicity Base here, the Eagle has landed . . .
That's one small step for Obama, one giant leap for injustice.
Obama tells us he prefers to look forward. Clinton said the same thing after Iran-Contra, and America and the world have paid a heavy price for it. The same right wing lunatics responsible for war crimes in Central America took power again, cranked up their propaganda, ramped up their war machine, wreaked havoc in Iraq and Afghanistan, gang raped the middle class, gutted our economy, and torched our banking system to ashes.
Some progressives have outrage fatigue. Others want us to clap louder. I'm standing today where I've always stood, it's the only ground progressives with a conscience can stand on, it's the same ground FDR stood on when he fought back against the banksters of Wall Street, it's the same ground JFK stood on when he fought back against the racists of segregation and warmongers of the military-industrial complex, it's the same ground Dr. King stood on when he called for civil disobedience against oppression, it's the same ground every progressive must stand on no matter who is president, no matter who controls Congress. Progressive principles matter, human rights and human dignity matter, when they are trampled on, we have the moral obligation to speak out about it.
Did they get you to trade,
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
Did you exchange,
A walk on part and a wave . . .
For a lead role in a cage? . . .
(Crossposted at Docudharma)