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KevenSeven On June - 9 - 2009

obama-bush

I tired, almost two months ago, at the foolishness of my fellow liberals, working the meme “President Obama is playing three-dimensional chess” when discussing the pending (0r NOT!) investigations into the crimes of BushCo.

Particularly at a site that shall remain nameless (but some would call it FaRT) I found correspondents who insisted that not only was Santa bringing a pony, but that Obama was working the Progressive Forces to create a Public Outrage sufficient that he could say to the Reactionary Assholes “What can  I do?   It is the will of the people that the truth of BushCo’s crimes come out!”

I had an inkling that this was confirmed as nonsense when the president blocked the second court order under FOIA brought by the  ACLU for the release of a second batch of torute photos.

It is the president’s support of the clearly Straussian* Graham-Leiberman “You Can’t Handle The Truth” amendment that was just removed from the conference mark-up due to the pressure of liberals in the House, from the war funding bill, that has solidified in my mind the certainty that there will NEVER be any investigations, much less trials, of BushCo.

Oh, the weeping and gnashing of teeth as I dared to push that argument over at Happy Land Tree Fort.

The president has clearly turned away from his commitment to “transparency”, if he ever really meant it.   Certainly his vote in favor of Teleco Immunity did not reflect any real commitment to transparency.

We cannot allow the argument that an act of our government could be so hideous, so horrendous, that it is critical that we cover it up as well as we may.   That is the argument put forth: that the release of evidence of purest barbarism under BushCo. will endanger Americans.

That would have been a good discussion to have BEFORE invading another country, especially one of such a different culture as Iraq.   But there was too much discussion of how all the war opponents were traitors to be bothered to consider the consequences of invasion.

Graham-Leiberman, and Obama as well, are continuing the Cheney logic of You Don’t Need To Know, And If You Did Know, It Would Destroy America, that so poisonously predominated the political debate for the better part of a decade.

No.   I stand today and I say: No.

This is supposedly a democracy.   We the people are the government.   We need to know EVERYTHING that we possibly can know.

And “It would reflect poorly on America or and administration” is not sufficient reason, under FOIA, to repress information.   Two courts have said so.

Which would explain why Graham-Leiberman was authored: FOIA simply does not present any legally valid reason to withhold the photos in question.

I say, No.

* (Straussian: a term you MUST know by now!  it is a modern spin on Plutocracy.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straussian)

Categories: News & Politics

23 Responses so far.

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  1. AdLib says:

    The thing is, as you mentioned, once Obama backed immunity for the telecoms and spying on Americans, it became clear that he was not a down the line liberal.

    He does make political calculations, he did hire some of the same people who were a part of the financial meltdown to fix it and handed out billions in bailouts to companies without requiring the failed CEOs resign or that the taxpayers who way overpaid for these companies have control.

    I am glad we have President Obama in office but I am not happy about his trading justice and precedent away for Health Care. We can have all of them in this country.

    You do have to add the complications in though, any investigation to the Bush crime team will likely include Pelosi, Reid and other top Dems as conspirators in war crimes. They knew about torture, that’s why “impeachment was off the table”.

    Could Pres. Obama get his agenda accomplished with the heads of his party in Congress being tried along with Bush?

    There is a calculation here one can recognize and understand.

    However, there are various approaches. First, the majority in Congress should do their jobs and start hearings, presenting any potentially criminal findings to the DOJ.

    Second, let’s get health care passed ASAP then that excuse is gone and of course health care will be available for all.

    Pres. Obama will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into doing the right thing in this case because its not politically convenient and it would polarize him. Nevermind that the same 30% who are polarized against him now would be the only ones polarized against him if justice was to be served, he doesn’t want that brand.

    So, it’s all about Congress now. So WTF is their problem and why does it have to be bi-partisan or not at all?

    We need a fourth branch of government that only regular citizens can be elected to and have the power to kick the asses of the other three branches of government until they say “uncle” and carry out the responsibilities that they swore on a bible they would.

    • KevenSeven says:

      Rely on Congress?

      I’d rather invest the Social Security Trust Fund in the stock market.

      • KQuark says:

        I’m with you there.

      • AdLib says:

        That’s why I proposed a 4th branch of government…we need to kick their asses!

        There are some strong voices in Congress for this, it’s not likely but not impossible.

        What we need is to pass Health Care so that’s off the front burner then we need someone to come forward with some new eyewitness info, to get the topic back at the top of the pile.

        We can certainly keep the issue churning here.

  2. Kalima says:

    I understand the need of many American to have the photos of abuse at Abu Ghraib become public.As an outsider I just feel that for now it could do more harm than good, we’ve seen the previous horrific pictures and if the Telegraph reported correctly that they also included rape, what good would it do in the eyes of the world to bring it to the boil again right now when your President has tried so hard to improve relations around the world?

    There are so many things that need to be fixed before the rest of the world and the Muslims are subjected to another chance to suffer reopened wounds and your image once again spirals because of the impatience of getting Bush’s sins out there, even though I doubt that they will ever be prosecuted for their heinous crimes against humanity. I think that is why your President has been so cautious and I believe rightly so, this issue is much larger than just being confined to your borders.

    I’ve spoken to quite a few of my friends in Europe and for the time being, we seem to speak with one voice.

    We are very green today, I mean here at PlanetPOV, I think that I prefer the golden green from before. Smack me now!

    • AdLib says:

      I agree, it’s a difficult and a complex situation.

      I can understand the desire to delay the facts while they remain very recent history and could pour gasoline on fires in the Middle East but I can’t go all the way to condoning the withholding of the truth permanently.

      Soon, the crimes of Bush & Co. will be far enough in the past and Pres. Obama will have accomplished enough over years to have established that he is not Bush.

      At that time, the truth should come out (and the Bush Crime Gang should be put on trial…if not in the U.S. then elsewhere).

      And as for the color scheme here, I do still like the brown and yellow/green too. As I mentioned, I think going “green” may be more resonant and memorable for visitors to connect “green” and “planet”, marketing-wise it might be better.

      Still, these colors are not locked down, we could try something in between. Not terribly hard to change the whole or part of the color scheme.

      • Kalima says:

        No and I was not suggesting that it should be withheld, I’m just saying that with the Administration still so young, faced with so many things to fix, so many campaign promises to be fulfilled that now may not be the best time when so many people are out of work, have lost their homes and are afraid to become sick because they can’t afford to become sick.

    • KevenSeven says:

      No. Sorry. No such thing as too much information in a democratic society.

      • Kalima says:

        You are thinking about your country only. I’m thinking about the impact this would have around the world, especially in Muslim countries where this would be taken far more seriously by the majority as opposed to the number of people in America would feel of course the need to learn the truth while at the same time easing their conscience about the horrors committed in their name.

        Still I disagree that the time is now, especially after President Obama ‘s success in bridging the gap between Washington and the Middle East.

        If you remember not so long ago the furor over the Danish cartoon’s of Mohammed and the hatred this caused in the Muslim world, why stoke the dormant fires now, the photos will show up soon enough.

        We all would rather hope for things to happen sooner than later but should learn to be a little more patient and a little less demanding.

        Your President is just a man, he doesn’t walk on water, give him time. I’m sure that if you polled the majority of Americans their concerns are with Healthcare, finding a job and being able to feed their families not the photos of torture that we have seen plenty of in the past before.

        • KQuark says:

          I agree with you Kalima. It was not the president that wanted to stop the pictures it was the prime minister of Iraq because he knew they would spark violence. It was especially bad timing to release these pictures before the president’s Mideast trip.

          The pictures are already out and others will eventually come out so when they are released is the only question now.

        • KevenSeven says:

          I do not care how the Muslim world reacted to the Danish cartoonist, except to say that they are a bunch of pious assholes.

          And that people apologized for the violence committed in reaction to free speech sickens me.

          But then I hold all religion in very low regard.

          • Kalima says:

            Whether you view their religious beliefs make them pious assholes or not, there are approximately 1.200 billion of them around the world, about the same for Catholics too.We may not understand their beliefs but as human beings they deserve our respect, all except for the nutty few who misinterpret the Koran in the same way that your “Born again” misinterpret the Bible.

            Btw although I believe in the total separation of Church and State, your right not to believe in God without judging you, I would expect the same respect from you too.

            Anyone can mock religion but most of these people were born into families of believers, they have known nothing else. I have nothing against other faiths except the violence of some and the hypocrisy of others.

            We are all human and should be free to chose any path we want to in life without ridicule.

  3. KQuark says:

    Where’s your thumbnail graphic? I expected some morphed picture of Obama and Cheney. :snark:

  4. KQuark says:

    I never thought President Obama was going to prosecute Bush because he does not want to be prosecuted endlessly by Republicans after he is out of office. It simply is unprecedented and administrations have done worse things in the past they were never prosecuted for after they were in office. I don’t think it has anything to do with long term strategy but breaking precedent.

    As far as transparency goes I wish the president would be more transparent on the warranted wire tapping program and the bank bailouts even though when he has been transparent he’s been burned. But I understand the need for secrets with most national security information. Sorry but it was the Iraq government that insisted the president not release more torture photos. He was prepared to release them but Malaki begged the US not to release them because he was afraid he would lose control of his country again.

    The photos will come out eventually like every secret does.

    “We need to know EVERYTHING that we possibly can know.”

    That is complete naive nonsense. We can know but should not know many national security secrets, like operational details, missile codes and even what intelligence we get from proper interrogations etc etc…

    The real nonsense is saying President Obama is like Cheney when you see they are the opposite in so many ways. You saw Cheney argue for torture and keeping Gitmo open and the president argue the opposite. Presidents will and should always keep national security secretes for security reasons.

    I’m always right of most liberals on national security because I try to put myself in the president’s shoes. Having the safety of over 300,000,000 people has changed every person that has had that responsibility. I would have even been behind Bush if he did not start the war in Iraq, torture and treated prisoners using the rules of the Geneva Convention. Carter maybe the only Democratic president in recent history that was not at least right center on national security. Disappointment is always based on unmet expectations and while I expected Obama to be less of a hawk than Bush and Cheney, I knew he was not “weak” on national security like Republicans are still saying after his Cairo speech.

    The bottom line is I trust Obama not to start stupid wars like Bush did. In fact unlike Bush he is serious about being an honest broker in the Mideast and reducing nuclear proliferation including our own arsenal. The president’s whole view of foreign policy strategy is 180 degrees different than Bush’s.

    There are plenty of places you can go to continue the Obama is just like Bush (now Cheney with your assertions) meme like the Nation and Alternet. It don’t agree with hyperbole on either side.

    • KevenSeven says:

      The photos already are out. What they are fighting to prevent is the government admitting that a particular set of photos exist at all.

      Our security is secondary to our freedom. Ben Franklin told me so.

      • KQuark says:

        I respectfully disagree there is always a balance between security and freedom that every liberal democratic society must grapple with now and throughout history.

        I also think that Obama should be much more aggressive in returning our civil liberties on many fronts including things like the stupid drug war.

        Transparency is always just a matter of time in a democracy. The “other” photos will come out. Everything eventually comes out so I just don’t see the reason to be transparent when it’s counter to our own national security. When it comes to big decisions like going to war of course the debate should be open but realtime details about national security operations not so much.

        FDR war department “Loose Lips Sink Ships”.

        • KevenSeven says:

          No. Liberty trumps security every fucking time.

          The date time and location of D-day? No.

          Crimes committed years ago?

          Yes.

          FOIA is a law that defines all the ways the government can restrict our right to know.

          Two courts have reviewed the photos in question and determined that none of the rules of FOIA pertain.

          No. Now. Release the photos now.

    • KQuark says:

      Damn my vision is real bad today so I can’t see the text in the text box today that well so excuse any typos. I tried to edit my post after it was published but it did not show up yet.


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