Obama Stops Pretending 7

Any last pretence that Obama is substantively different from Bush was abandoned yesterday when Obama signed an executive order providing for indefinite detention without trial at Guantanamo, which will not close. He has also abandoned the idea of giving detainees a reasonable process in civilian courts, and instead is resuming the kangaroo “Military tribunals”. About the only improvement on Bush is that any detainees who happen to be multi-millionaires can have their own civilian counsel before these kangaroo courts, if they pay for it themselves.

Washington Post here

While Saudi Arabia has imposed a blanket ban on political demonstrations. There has been no condemnation from the UK or US of this outrageous denial of fundamental human rights. Funny that, isn’t it?

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7 thoughts on “Obama Stops Pretending

  • Suhaylsaadi

    Sad, but predictable.

    "Change we can deliver! Yes, we can! I had a dream, too, you know, I did so! Well, actually mine was more a nightmare… But when I'm free of these gilded, Presidential shackles, I shall write a sweet-smelling, bestselling book (translated into 50 languages and now a Major Motion Picture starring Denzel Washington and Oprah Winfrey!) with a big picture of Me on its front cover about my experiences and I will be on all the talk-shows with my tailored, shiny clothes. Then everyone will call me, 'astoundingly honest' and 'refreshingly candid' and through celebrity will I have attained redemption in the long face of history." Barack Obama

  • rockitboy

    If you were to invent a candidate/president designed to increase political cynicism and despair, you'd have to go some way to beat Obama.

  • Pathman

    Bravo Mr. Murray! You and Glenn Greenwald are on the same page. Now if we could only get others to see.

  • Michael.K

    Oh, yes! He's the great pretender… pretending that he's still around: whilst Clinton has assumed near total control of foreign policy. It's extraordinary how few press conferences, or questions from journalists, Obama has taken over the last couple of months, and this from a president who is characterized as a brilliant mind and superbly articulate. What exactly is he afraid of saying?

    In reality Obama is merely a figurehead on the ship of state, and that ship is a huge bitch of a supertanker that ploughs onwards regardless. Maybe Obama isn't as out of his depth as he seems, maybe he's just achieved enough for any man, and has no more ambitions to fulfill, becoming emperor has sated him. I suppose this is why I prefer my American emperors to come from the absolute top of the socio-economic pyramid, like Rooseveldt, who was so used to Power that he wasn't in awe of it, and knew how to get things done, something Obama is spectacularly bad at.

  • Duncan_McFarlan

    I'm sad to see this, but i can't disagree. Obama's foreign policy hasn't been much different from the Bush administration's. I don't think this is because of Obama's own views, but because he's caving to pressure from the right of his own party and the Republicans – and has decided domestic policy is what gets him re-elected, so he's attempting to trade off concessions on foreign policy for getting a little of his own way on domestic policy (e.g the health insurance reforms, as much of a compromise as they are). His administration's lawyers were already arguing in court that the US government should be able to kidnap people through extra-ordinary rendition and take them to Bagram as the new Guantanamo.

  • glenn_uk

    About Saudi Arabia – let me get this straight…

    We apparently had to invade Iraq back in 1990/91, because Iraq had invaded Kuwait. Leave aside all the ins-and-outs of that, let's just assume for the moment that's considered The Right Thing To Do. But now Bahrain is setting about getting the democracy we love to pontificate about, and Saudi is threatening to put down the protests themselves if the protesters look successful. And what do we do about it? Nothing! Absolutely nothing, and say not a word in protest either.

    Not just Obama, of course, the whole lot of us – UK, right across the board.


    But back to Obama… in fairness to him, the stinking, filthy Republicans wouldn't allow him to close Guantanamo. They filibustered every bit of legislation he tried to pass, and vetoed funding for the closing of the facility. Every Repug started crying and wailing about magic Arabs, terrified that they would break out of the most secure jails, particularly in their own districts. "We wouldn't be safe!" they bleated, so rejecting the transfer of prisoners to the US mainland on "security concerns". Even though enough small towns were very keen on the (highly profitable) prospect of housing such prisoners in their local high-security ("supermax") facilities.

    So it's not entirely down to Obama. He did try, just not hard enough. Clearly, he felt this was not the hill he had chosen to die on, to coin one of their phrases. It has to be remembered that Obama does not have the authority of a British PM. The adage, "The president proposes, Congress disposes" is worth remembering. The President does not lay down legislation to be voted on by his automatic majority, as would be the case for the PM in the UK.

  • Guest

    A little off topic, perhaps, but on the subject of political demonstrations; it seems that the police are planning a protest march in London over proposed job cutbacks and reductions in their extra sources of income, such as the supposedly performance related bonuses which, unaccountably, over 95%.of them receive. (Like the bankers, it seems they expect bonuses over and above their basic pay for simply turning up to work). I hope students and other people who have been on the wrong end of a police truncheon in recent months will attend the demonstrations to provide a bit of tit-for-tat kettling, take lots of intrusive photographs of the suspected ringleaders, and ensure that these bolshie policemen get what's coming to them if they should dare step out of line.

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