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Kreig writes: "President-Elect Obama's advisors feared in 2008 that authorities would revolt and that Republicans would block his policy agenda if he prosecuted Bush-era war crimes, according to a law school dean who served as one of Obama's top transition advisers."

Presidents Obama and Bush embrace on Inauguration Day as Vice President Cheney looks on, 01/20/09. (photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Presidents Obama and Bush embrace on Inauguration Day as Vice President Cheney looks on, 01/20/09. (photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Obama Team Feared Coup If He Prosecuted
War Crimes

By Andrew Kreig, Justice Integrity Project

09 September 11


resident-Elect Obama's advisors feared in 2008 that authorities would revolt and that Republicans would block his policy agenda if he prosecuted Bush-era war crimes, according to a law school dean who served as one of Obama's top transition advisers.

University of California at Berkeley Law School Dean Christopher Edley, Jr., ... the sixth highest-ranking member of the 2008 post-election transition team preparing Obama's administration, revealed the team's thinking on Sept. 2 in moderating a forum on 9/11 held by his law school (also known as Boalt Hall). Edley sought to justify Obama's "look forward" policy on Bush-era lawbreaking that the president-elect announced on a TV talk show in January 2009.

But Edley's rationale implies that Obama and his team fear the military/national security forces that he is supposed be commanding. It suggests also that Republicans have intimidated him right from the start of his presidency even though voters in 2008 rejected Republicans by the largest combined presidential-congressional mandate in recent U.S. history. Edley responded to our request for additional information by providing a description of the transition team's fears, which we present below as an exclusive email interview. Among his important points is that transition officials, not Obama, agreed that he faced the possibility of a "revolt."


As the nation approaches the third anniversary of Obama's election, many of his proposals have been thwarted by Republicans in Congress despite his cave-in on a wide variety of justice issues. His poll numbers have rapidly dropped this year, including results reported Sept. 6 by two polls putting his approval rating at 43 percent. To top it off, former Vice President Dick Cheney, who left office with a 13% approval rating in one national poll, is now staging a comeback. Cheney's return to the public arena includes his boasts during his book tour about the supposed legality of his never-investigated Bush-era initiatives. These have long been suspected as criminal under U.S. and international law, with potential execution for violators.

Longtime peace advocate Susan Harman, a Californian, elicited Edley's opinions during Q&A at the Boalt Hall forum, which was organized by the school's Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law. Boalt Hall's faculty includes Professor John C. Yoo. The former Justice Department attorney is nicknamed by war crimes critics as the "torture memo lawyer" for his legal justifications for interrogation techniques for those suspected of terror. Also, Harman believed last week that Yoo advised the Miller Institute based on a still current listing on Boalt Hall's website. But Edley responds that he co-directs the institute with no special status for Yoo. Edley is a former White House aide and otherwise a major player at high levels in legal and political circles. He was so high-ranking on the transition team that Janet Napolitano, Arizona's governor and now Homeland Security secretary, was listed six spots below him.

After the forum, Harman described the prepared remarks by Boalt Hall speakers calling for accountability, human rights and the rule of law as being so "surreal" in such circumstances that, "I felt dizzy, and could barely speak" during Q&A.

But she did ask questions. Edley responded that Obama's team feared that leadership in the U.S. armed forces, the CIA and NSA might "revolt" if the new Obama administration prosecuted war crimes by U.S. authorities and lower-ranking personnel. Also, Edley told Harman that his fellow decision-makers on Obama's team feared that a prosecution inquiry could lead to Republican efforts to thwart the Obama agenda in Congress.

Harman shared this account by email and Google Groups with our Justice Integrity Project and others. Among recipients was David Swanson, an antiwar activist who since last January has been organizing a grassroots effort to replace Obama on the Democratic 2012 ticket. Swanson published, Insider Tells Why Obama Chose Not to Prosecute Torture, the only such blog or news report I've found of Edley's explanation of how Obama decided justice issues. Swanson's blog recalled that accountability under the law was a top concern of Obama supporters, as illustrated by the incoming administration's own 2008 poll of supporter suggestions. Here is Swanson's description of the Obama transition:

They had questions from ordinary people for the President Elect submitted on their website and voted up or down. The top question at the end of the voting had come from Bob Fertik of and it was this: "Will you appoint a Special Prosecutor - ideally Patrick Fitzgerald - to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush Administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping?"

Not only was the answer no, but it had to be inferred because President Change U. Wish refused to answer the question. I've always assumed I could guess why: a president wouldn't want previous presidents subject to the rule of law, because then he would be too. Just this week I was suggesting that allowing the Justice Department to enforce laws against Cheney could save Obama's electoral prospects at the risk of seeing Obama, too, land in prison some day. I have no doubt that this really is a factor. However, we now have an account from someone involved in the decision process way back when.

In similar fashion, I published on Huffington Post an Inauguration Day scoop: Why the President 'Stepped Out' During His Inaugural Parade. The front-page column extolled the new president's "ability to mix action with powerful symbolism" as he emerged from his limo to walk on foot and thereby honor national traditions exemplified by the National Archives, Navy Memorial and Justice Department....

But that hopeful start gave way to a warning and then scandal. My next Huffington Post column, Probe the Past to Protect the Future, argued for the new administration and Congress to protect the nation's legal traditions by investigating suspected law-breaking under the Bush administration. That set the stage for an investigative report on how the Bush Justice Department framed Don Siegelman, the Democratic former governor of Alabama, on corruption charges with the connivance of the federal trial judge: Siegelman Deserves New Trial Because of Judge's 'Grudge', Evidence Shows.... $300 Million in Bush Military Contracts Awarded to Judge's Private Company. The Obama Justice Department has abetted the frame-up every step of the way, creating a huge mystery about its motives and alarming former Obama supporters across the nation.

Justice Accountability As 2012 Campaign Issue

Since then, justice and accountability issues have become important wedge-issues (along with jobs, the economy, war policies and environment) in dividing Democratic factions. To take one example, more than 1,200 environmental protesters against Obama policies have recently been arrested outside the White House. That's the forerunner of much larger protest demonstrations planned during the next two months near the White House on a variety of issues. Congressional Black Caucus leader and former House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Michigan) has encouraged those seeking to protect Social Security and Medicare to aim their protests at the Obama White House since, in his view, they are the prime actors in setting the scene for bipartisan agreement on cuts.

The issue of accountability for Bush-era lawbreaking resonates especially strongly in some quarters, with crossover appeal beyond party lines. The above-mentioned question in 2008 by Bob Fertik received some 22,000 votes on the Obama transition website, some 3,000 more than the next highest vote-getter in the Obama team's poll.

Similarly, a list-serve run by Alabama Democrat Pam Miles that reaches tens of thousands of Democratic voters around the nation was abuzz last weekend with grassroots opposition to Obama on a variety of issues. Miles is a tireless advocate for Democratic causes and candidates. She started her list because of the Bush frame-up on corruption charges of her state's most recent Democratic governor, Don Siegelman. One reader is the intrepid Alabama blogger Roger Shuler, who last week posted on his Legal Schnauzer site a citizen's guide to self-protection from anonymous threats of the kind frequently sent his way. Shuler's near-daily investigative commentaries include scores about the imprisonment of Mississippi trial attorney and Democratic donor Paul Minor on corruption charges, a victim of a cruel, Siegelman-style frame-up by the Bush administration. Over the weekend, Shuler posted this comment about the Obama administration's reaction to the many injustices in the legal system that Shuler has chronicled in the Deep South:

Obama's first betrayal came before he even took office, when he said he would "look forward, not backwards" on Bush-era crimes. That meant he was going to sell out the victims of torture and political prosecutions, the U.S. attorneys who were unlawfully fired, and so on. He's been selling out ever since. One of our political parties must believe in the rule of law; Republicans obviously do not, so it's up to Democrats.

Obama should be forced out and replaced with a Democrat who believes in the 14th Amendment protections of due process and equal protection. The erosion of those protections is what led to the Siegelman and Minor cases. Obama's refusal to examine such abuses indicates he is not fit to be president. He took an oath to uphold the constitution - and he has not done it from day one. I, for one, will not go to the polls in November 2012 if he is the Democratic nominee and there is no viable third-party option.

As a reaction to such comments, some of the Miles list-serve readers continue to post pro-Obama comments and denounce the president's critics as fools and ingrates. Another reaction was by Steve Walker, the Democratic National Committee Southern Regional Coordinator for the Obama re-election effort: He bluntly demanded this weekend that Miles remove him from her distribution list, saying he was not interested in postings by those who believe Obama has failed. She promptly complied and sent an apology, explaining that she was under the impression that he'd asked to be included. Loyal also to her readers, she posted the correspondence as a news item. That enables bloggers and Democratic grassroots sympathizers around the nation to observe first-hand how the Obama re-election campaign, like most such efforts, apparently relies on top-down messaging to voters, with scant interest in meaningful feedback.

Summing Up

With this context, last Friday's Boalt Hall forum provides important new insight on why the White House and Justice Department have, in effect, ignored countless news reports and what must be hundreds of thousands of reader phone calls, letters and emails seeking accountability for Bush-era injustices.

As a routine precaution, our non-partisan Justice Integrity Project wrote Edley to confirm Susan Harman's quotations, which he did.... Also, we invited Edley, Yoo and the DNC's Walker to provide any further comment. An addendum below includes the comments we have received. For now, read Harman's account below of her comments during the audience Q&A segment at Boalt Hall's forum Sept. 2:

I said was overwhelmed by the surreality of Yoo being on the law faculty.... when he was singlehandedly responsible for the three worst policies of the Bush Adm. They all burbled about academic freedom and the McCarthy era, and said it isn't their job to prosecute him. Duh.

Then Dean Chris Edley volunteered that he'd been party to very high level discussions during Obama's transition about prosecuting the criminals. He said they decided against it. I asked why. Two reasons: 1) it was thought that the CIA, NSA, and military would revolt, and 2) it was thought the Repugnants would retaliate by blocking every piece of legislation they tried to move (which, of course, they've done anyhow).

Afterwards I told him that CIA friends confirmed that Obama would have been in danger, but I added that he bent over backwards to protect the criminals, and gave as an example the DoJ's defense (state secrets) of Jeppesen (the rendition arm of Boeing) a few days after his inauguration. He shrugged and said they will never be prosecuted, and that sometimes politics trumps rule of law.

"It must not," I said.

"It shouldn't," he said, and walked off.

This is the Dean of the Berkeley School of Law.

The Justice Integrity Project is a research and education initiative established in 2010 by concerned citizens to improve oversight of abusive prosecutorial and judicial decisions in the federal justice system. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+108 # Inland Jim 2011-09-09 14:40
Well, thank jove they didn't block his agenda.
+39 # DLT888 2011-09-09 15:29
Quoting Inland Jim:
Well, thank jove they didn't block his agenda.

LOL! Yeah, uh, God forbid they did that, huh? Oh wait, they did anyway. Doh!
+25 # Billy Bob 2011-09-09 16:12
Inland Jim was being sarcastic. Then again, maybe you are too?!?!
+95 # Vardette 2011-09-09 15:12
I wonder what Bush is really saying to Obama in that picture above? You F with us and you will be sorry. I'm sure our mafia style shadow govt has a lot to do with all the constitutional and legal abuse that we are all sunject to. Obama is always walking on thin ice. The powers behind the scene want to make sure NO ONE messes with the status quo. One does wonder what really happened to Paul Stone and we all saw what happened to Valerie Plame. These guys will do anything at any cost to anybody if they are threatened in anyway - This is why people power and grass roots movements are the only waqy to effect any change at all. There was a docuemntary on HBO about Malcolm X. The CIA murdered a 1000 people. People of all colors and background who were associated with Mr X died and they showed their pictures. And one must not forget that there have not been any more million man marches. So we can make chanhe but it must be in big numbers.
+35 # Billy Bob 2011-09-09 15:43
How much change has occured recently as a result of grass roots organizing and marching in the streets?

Twit-party astro-turf doesn't count.

Elections DO matter. The trouble is that we have to pick leaders willing to stand up and be counted.
+67 # RagingLiberal 2011-09-09 18:19
I'm glad you still have faith in the Election process, Billy. I have to wonder why... Did you miss seeing "Hacking Democracy"? Did you also miss the 2000 spectacle, when Americans DID elect a man who was going to upset the status quo? Did you notice THEY kept him illegally out of office, and he quietly walked away? One MORE good Democrat who didn't choose to die for the job. No, I don't think elections actually exist any more, and none of the people who know this are willing to open their mouths for fear of a slow death in Gitmo (which is yet another broken promise by Obama). I've been fighting the grass roots fight for years, and agree that NOBODY gives a damn how many petitions we sign and letters we write. I believe the only way we will get HOPE or CHANGE is REVOLUTION, and lazy, chickensh*t Americans won't go there until we have lost everything and there is nothing left to lose.
+22 # Billy Bob 2011-09-09 20:44
Unfortunately for your idea of a "revolution", it won't work without the support of the military. In fact, you'd need weapons. How many liberals even own weapons? If a liberal revolution happens, you'll have to ask your local conservative gun dealer if he's willing to sell you some ammo.

The only kind of "revolution" liberals have at our disposal is the refusal to work. Sit-ins, walk-outs, and crap like that. Then again, that won't work either, unless everyone does it.
+2 # RLF 2011-09-10 14:17
+7 # rtrues54 2011-09-10 15:04
"The only kind of "revolution" liberals have at our disposal is the refusal to work. Sit-ins, walk-outs, and crap like that. Then again, that won't work either, unless everyone does it"

+1 # Billy Bob 2011-09-10 19:33
Actions speak louder than words.
-2 # Stoney13 2011-09-11 20:43
Uh..... ME! I believe in the right to bear arms, and I have a wide selection of quality firearms to chose from, and plenty of ammunition which I buy in bulk!

Don't waste your time trying to tell me how horrible I am for having all those dirty-bad-nasty guns, or how wonderful it would be if I gave them all to our fine policemen so they can better protect me.

I have no illusions concerning law enforcement, and I'll die on my feet, before I live on my knees!
+7 # Billy Bob 2011-09-11 23:15
How do you plan on using your arsenal? Could you take on the U.S. military?

If not, then, on behalf of the gun lobby and the gun industry, I'd like to thank you for increasing their profit margin.
+46 # RSJ 2011-09-09 17:28
Good post, Coriander, but one slight correction: it was Paul Wellstone, not Paul Stone, who was the progressive Dem Senator from MN, and I've read he was on the trail of some very embarrassing and possibly illegal stuff about the Bush Administration when he died.
+44 # Regina 2011-09-09 20:25
And Wellstone died under very weird circumstances that have never been fully explained (as far as I know -- but I haven't Googled lately).
+38 # historywriter 2011-09-10 12:57
I have always believed that he and his family and staff were assassinated. It was just too "timely" a killing that did indeed help the republicans--th e most honest and stand-up guy in Congress--and I believe Cheney was probably behind it.
+30 # Angel 2011-09-09 19:48
Do you remember the sour look Obama had on his face when he walked away from that 'hug'? it was like, 'if ONLYYYY I could stick my boot in your face, you slimy little baaasddderd.... HE LOOKED FURIOUS. I remember it like twas yesterday. could be right.
+75 # Doctoretty 2011-09-09 15:26
So he didn't, and they did anyway! What else is new? The Republicans have a history of not dealing in good faith. So why would anyone expect anything else? Funny, I sensed this naivete in Obama from his speech at the 2004 convention, which is why I supported Hilary Clinton. But when he got the nomination, I so hoped he would be a faster learner!
+47 # Billy Bob 2011-09-09 15:45
I agree. The problem is that Hillary Clinton would have done the same thing without all the fuss. She would have gleefully agreed with repugs all along.

She has a history too.
-40 # IODINE 2011-09-09 17:02
+20 # Glen 2011-09-09 18:03
Iodine, I have to say that there were efforts on the part of the Clintons when Bill was governor of Arkansas that were positive, such as improving standards of schools, saving wetlands, etc.

Nevertheless, they both understood the overall agenda of the most powerful in the country and carried on through them. Bill signed NAFTA, after all, and accumulated national wealth that George W. utilized for his attacks on the Middle East. They both are joined at the hip with AIPAC. Bill bombed Iraq. Bill bombed Somalia. Bill bombed the Balkans.

Read the PNAC and you will see the beginnings of what we have today, and that Bill and Hillary opened the back door for both Bush and Obama to carry on.

There is little in the news about the projects Obama is carrying on with, such as the military bases in Colombia. Now we are hearing that NASA (not the old NASA but the new and improved militaristic NASA) is going to drill the moon and sent a warhead into it last year for god knows what reason.

Don't trust anybody in government. ANYBODY.
+9 # Reductio Ad Absurdum 2011-09-09 18:08
Oh really? As Sec of State, Hillary went along with turning our diplomats into spies! Do you really think for a second that she wouldn't roll over on this issue as well? I like Bill Clinton for the most part, but Hillary Clinton is no Bill Clinton.
+29 # susienoodle 2011-09-09 23:27
Bill Clinton put the country first? He allowed the deregulation right before he left office that made Robert Rubin richer and brought down the financial industry, the country , and the world as a result. That was the main reason I didn't support Hillary. I couldn't take the chance Bill would be anywhere near the White House again. Both he and Obama abandoned the left as soon as they were elected and tried too hard to be liked by the right, who never, ever will. Give me Howard Dean over them both. He seems to have the guts not to care if the rethugs do not like him.
+1 # John Talbutt 2011-09-10 09:49
Well, Obama won't be caught with his pants down in the Oval Office.
+14 # Bill Clements 2011-09-10 10:21
Whatever attributes you wish to assign them, Bill and Hilary are moderates... no different than Obama. They may, in their youth, have been more progressive/lib eral, but all that "youthful folly" gave way over time to what they are today.
+10 # Bill Clements 2011-09-10 10:15
Hilary Clinton, like her husband (and, as it turns out, like Obama), is a New Democrat. They're all cut from the same cloth; they're all moderate Democrats, whatever people imagine at the end of the day.
+70 # Billy Bob 2011-09-09 15:50
Neville Chamberlain was afraid of consequences too. Hitler meant business. Luckily, Churchill was ready for a fight.

Obama wasn't elected to be "Chief Harry Reid Impersonator". He was elected by people ready for a fight, because they thought he was too.
+33 # wipster 2011-09-09 16:28
Quoting Billy Bob:
Neville Chamberlain was afraid of consequences too. Hitler meant business. Luckily, Churchill was ready for a fight.

Obama wasn't elected to be "Chief Harry Reid Impersonator". He was elected by people ready for a fight, because they thought he was too.

I think Obama was ready for a fight, he just wasn't ready to be a martyr. As shrub would have said, he misunderestimat ed the opposition, and when he found out what he was really facing, it became, as Peter Townsend so fittingly wrote, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." We've just got to figure out how we won't get fooled again...
-1 # tomo 2011-09-09 19:32
Wipster: As I think you're implying, one thing we can do is dump Obama real fast.
+22 # Billy Bob 2011-09-09 20:53
When people want to kill the President of the United States, the President of the United States needs to exert his authority.

When a Democrat is in the White House (ESPECIALLY when he's part black), there are thousands of repuglicans who want to kill him, and will actually do it if given half a chance.

If Obama didn't know what he was up against, maybe he should have taken U.S. history when he was in the 6th grade. Maybe he should have been paying attention to what's been going on over the past five or six decades.

How can he be so naïve and "brilliant" at the same time?
-3 # John Talbutt 2011-09-09 17:34
And Roosevelt's Ambassador Kennedy was at Chaberlain's side supporting him all the way.
+6 # Billy Bob 2011-09-09 20:48
Could it be that you have an axe to grind about my comment because Chamberlain was a conservative and many conservative Americans at the time thought hitler had some good ideas and we should leave him alone?
+3 # John Talbutt 2011-09-10 00:33
That dog won't hunt. Churchill was a conservative, too. He was the first leader to use poison gas against a civilian population. Did you know Kennedy persuaded Roosevelt not to support the Spainish Republlic saying that Franco had support among American Catholics?
-3 # John Talbutt 2011-09-10 01:01
No, just that Roosevelt wasn't ready for Great Britain to go to war. Otherwise he would not have made Kennedy, who was one of those conservative Americans you speak of, Ambassador. Had Roosevelt supported the Spainish Republic fascism would have been set back. Kennedy persuaded him not to by saying that Franco had considerable support among American Catholics.
+6 # Anarchist 23 2011-09-11 12:33
Quoting John Talbutt:
No, just that Roosevelt wasn't ready for Great Britain to go to war. Otherwise he would not have made Kennedy, who was one of those conservative Americans you speak of, Ambassador. Had Roosevelt supported the Spainish Republic fascism would have been set back. Kennedy persuaded him not to by saying that Franco had considerable support among American Catholics.

Not to forget that it would have been politically impossible for an American president, then or now, to support a side that was made up of anarchists and communists, as the Spanish Republicans were then. Only a minority of Americans supported the Lincoln brigades against the Fascist Franco and his ally Germany, which sent the Condor brigades to aid him, not to mention the bombing of Guernica! How many here now stand against our wars? On this day of all days, we should question the "Official History"
+28 # RSJ 2011-09-09 17:39
A quick note about Chamberlain: in 1938, England wasn't ready for a war with Germany, neither militarily -- their forces were spread thin all over the world -- nor in terms of public support. It's easy to say in the hindsight of history that Chamberlain should have stood up to Hitler, but that would have been insane -- he had no army with which to resist the Nazi juggernaut. Dunkirk in 1940 proved the British Army wasn't ready for a fight with the well-trained and well-equipped Wehrmacht and, if not for FDR's lend-lease program, the British would have had little to fight with. Chamberlain has gotten a bad rap for taking the only option open to him, which was to sign a peace treaty with Hitler and make the best of it. I think Churchill, despite his bellicosity, would have signed the same deal had he been PM at the time.
+9 # vitobonespur 2011-09-10 01:32
Quoting RSJ:
A quick note about Chamberlain: in 1938, England wasn't ready for a war with Germany, neither militarily -- their forces were spread thin all over the world -- nor in terms of public support. It's easy to say in the hindsight of history that Chamberlain should have stood up to Hitler, but that would have been insane -- he had no army with which to resist the Nazi juggernaut. Dunkirk in 1940 proved the British Army wasn't ready for a fight with the well-trained and well-equipped Wehrmacht and, if not for FDR's lend-lease program, the British would have had little to fight with. Chamberlain has gotten a bad rap for taking the only option open to him, which was to sign a peace treaty with Hitler and make the best of it. I think Churchill, despite his bellicosity, would have signed the same deal had he been PM at the time.

That is incredibly well written. If you haven' already, you should write books.
+2 # OldRedleg 2011-09-12 11:45
If you really study the history of the period, you will find that Hitler and Germany were also not really prepared for a major European war. Also, the British and French were probably a bit more prepared than you let on. Just like all bullies, Hitler put up the fierce front to intimidate and test his potential opponents' willingness to confront, and when he found it sorely lacking, he continued to bide his time and build his forces until he was ready to really confront them.

I believe that Hitler fully expected the Allies of Poland (mainly Britain and France) to attack him while he was busy conquering Poland, but instead the overarching fear of another bloody trench war kept the Allies in their defensive positions. The Allies greatly outnumbered the German defensive forces in their Siegfried Line defenses, but just waited out the demise of Poland, hence the term "Sitzkrieg" was born on the western front. Unfortunately, the Allies' complacency caused them to underestimate the build-up of German forces in the west once Poland was conquered and to ignore or misunderstand the new German Blitzkrieg tactics of highly mobile and attack-point concentrated warfare.

Churchill despised Hitler and would have called his bluff, even if it meant going to a war more or less unprepared.
+16 # Carolyn 2011-09-09 15:30
You're suggesting that we wait for the 2012 presidential election campaign to speak openly to the people about this corruption?
+74 # wipster 2011-09-09 15:33
Basically sums up what I've always thought, but never seen in print: Obama was/is afraid of being the next JFK, who was offed because of his coming decision to pull the US out of Vietnam, plus a lot of other things he did to piss off the Military Industrial Complex (watch 13 Days).

Maybe there needs to be a coup, but not by the people/groups stated in this article. I think that's why the truth about 9/11 has never really been sought... the Fed. Govt., no matter of which party is in charge, is too afraid of a real revolution, especially now when the nations of North Africa are showing that it actually can be done.
+18 # Billy Bob 2011-09-09 16:16
It can only be done in Africa with the covert help of the U.S. military and C.I.A.

The only person I can think of who could pull off an ANTI-military coup would be Gandhi. He's gone now, and any modern Gandhi had better at least own his own tv network.
+31 # wipster 2011-09-09 16:40
Quoting Billy Bob:
...any modern Gandhi had better at least own his own tv network.

Are you suggesting Gore? While I do wonder how different things would be now if he had paid off the Supremes, I don't think he's got either the will or the cojones to do it now. Maybe we can just split off to the United Coasts of America (Eastern and Western sides) and let Texas burn and the central states get blown away due to the global climate change that is just part of nature. Interesting how Texas is now crying for that Federal help they want to eliminate from the budget... sorry for the cynicism, but sometimes I just can't help it.
+37 # Billy Bob 2011-09-09 20:57
I wasn't suggesting Gore at all. I LOVE Gore, but he's no Gandhi. I don't know if anyone alive today IS.

About texas, Hell is HOT! What do you expect?

And you're absolutely right! NO federal disaster aid for red states! ESPECIALLY the home of ron paul, who doesn't even BELIEVE in disaster aid. Let texas "pull itself up by its bootstraps"!
+26 # susienoodle 2011-09-09 23:33
I'm all in favor, no federal $$ for red states, without strings attached at the very least, seems only fair.
+26 # jon 2011-09-09 15:42
Haryy Truman - a man with "true grit" - is probably spinning in his grave.
+28 # susienoodle 2011-09-09 23:35
what is so sad about America today is Harry Truman could not even get nominated, let alone elected because he wasn't rich. I respect his integrity which I am afraid is no longer a value those besides Bernie Sanders seem to hold.
+76 # Erdajean 2011-09-09 15:45
There was never a doubt in the minds of most Obama supporters that the Bush gang -- and the GOP at large -- would try to make Obama "pay dearly" for intruding on what these fiends from Hell have long considered "theirs" -- foul dominion over everything American. They had done it to Clinton, goodness knows -- but we THOUGHT Obama was made of sterner stuff.
Well, clearly we were wrong. Obama bent over backward to "keep the peace" with these crooks and vandals -- and thus fell into their trap. They consider any kind of human consideration a "weakness" -- and in dealing with them, they are right.
Two facts stand out, here: Obama is now spider-bitten and worthless and needs to withdraw. AND -- America, as a people, needs to DEMAND justice for Bush, Cheney and that whole maggot-infested pile that was the Bush administration. This country will never recover from the back-stabbing it has suffered, until the sword is forcibly removed from the wound. Let us demand Justice NOW.
+17 # RSJ 2011-09-09 17:41
Erdajean, take a stiff drink and consider what the country would look like now if Rick Perry had been elected president in 2008.
+20 # Regina 2011-09-09 20:31
Or what it will look like if Perry is elected next.
+23 # susienoodle 2011-09-09 23:37
yeah, with that crowd at the debate cheering at his electrocuting 234 people in Texas as governor. Can you imagine how many he'd kill as president?!!!
+30 # alan17b0 2011-09-09 15:46
I wish Obama,or Edley, had asked _me_.
For I, and a small crew of like-minded
D.C. area residents sold $17,000 of our
"Impeach Him" buttons during the years
2006-2008. The D.C. elite just didn't
believe the polls that appeared in 2005,
when a slim majority of USAns wanted #43

We used our button profits to buy yard
signs "Impeach Him". We later put stickers:
"Them Both" on one side of the signs.
We had hundreds of takers. To see pictures
of the signs, in an amusing video, look at

Best wishes,

Alan McConnell, in Silver Spring MD
+53 # artsci 2011-09-09 15:46
Obama's fears, sad to say, are justified. We should never underestimate the power and will of the CIA, NSA, and the other arms of "security" to commit the most heinous acts. And the Bush's and Cheney's of the world will be their eager accomplices. Often it's their own security they're protecting, not our nation's. Anyone who's read Family of Secrets will know what I'm talking about. History tells us time and again that men of power will stoop to any evil to protect their own interests.
+12 # Reductio Ad Absurdum 2011-09-09 18:12
I bet they left a metaphorical "noose" laying around somewhere.
+7 # rtrues54 2011-09-10 15:14
Quoting artsci:
Obama's fears, sad to say, are justified. We should never underestimate the power and will of the CIA, NSA, and the other arms of "security" to commit the most heinous acts. And the Bush's and Cheney's of the world will be their eager accomplices. Often it's their own security they're protecting, not our nation's. Anyone who's read Family of Secrets will know what I'm talking about. History tells us time and again that men of power will stoop to any evil to protect their own interests.

Whether Obama's fears were justified or not.... IT DOES NOT LET HIM OFF THE HOOK. It just shows that Obama will NOT FIGHT for what is Right... It shows OBAMA IS A MORAL COWARD. P.S....I campaigned for Obama for over 2 YEARS.
0 # ndkbookrighter 2011-09-12 00:19
Yes, EVERYONE SHOULD READ "FAMILY OF SECRETS" by Russ Baker. You won't believe your eyes, but it should be MANDATORY READING FOR ALL AMERICANS! The only way Democracy is going to survive is if we are courageous enought to fight for it--and I do mean fight! With pen or the vote or educating your fellow citizens or writing to Obama and the rest of the Democrats and Independents daily--I do not care. Just do it. Make the time and do it! Our very way of life is at stake! DID ANYONE NOTICE HOW GUILTY BUSH LOOKED IN THE TELECAST OF THE WORLD TRADE CENTER MEMORIAL TODAY AND THE RESULTING STILL PICTURES? HE LOOKED GUILTY AND SCARED, I THOUGHT. CHENEY CAN'T LIVE THAT MUCH LONGER, SO HOPEFULLY HE WILL BE OUT OF THE PICTURE SOON! HE'S GETTING OLD, HE LOOKS OLD, AND HIS HEART WILL GIVE OUT SOON, GOD WILLING! SCARY PEOPLE, THE BUSHES AND THEIR SYCOPHANTS!
+31 # jstick 2011-09-09 15:47
What happens when you cross the intelligence/mi litary/industri al complex? Read JFK and the Unthinkable by James W. Douglass. Orbis Books, 2008.
+20 # wipster 2011-09-09 16:46
Quoting jstick:
What happens when you cross the intelligence/military/industrial complex? Read JFK and the Unthinkable by James W. Douglass. Orbis Books, 2008.

Have it, read it... you are sadly correct sir, sadly correct. I wish Eisenhower would have said what he did in his farewell speech four years before in perhaps the State of the Union following his reelection, but then Nixon would have been President 12 years earlier.
+10 # urbanmeemaw 2011-09-09 17:57
Thank you. Though I wasn't surprised by anything Douglass wrote, the way he stated and supported his thesis was like a sucker punch. Quite powerful. Should be required reading.
+32 # drew 2011-09-09 15:48
We need a transcendant leader again - where is the next Dr. King? If they don't show up soon to rid us of this Repubican scourge, America is lost.
+16 # wipster 2011-09-09 16:50
Quoting drew:
We need a transcendant leader again - where is the next Dr. King? If they don't show up soon to rid us of this Repubican scourge, America is lost.

Dr. King, while a great man, would never survive long enough today, it's actually amazing he lived as long as he did... we need Iron Man, literally, otherwise they'll have a terrible accident when they become dangerous and refuse to sign off.
+31 # susienoodle 2011-09-09 23:42
I hate to sound corny, but it's got to be us. No one without Koch brother's money can do it. Look what Wisc has managed to do so far. We've got to recall Scott Walker next, only 4 months til that is possible, as well as Kasich in Ohio and that monster in Fla. It's got to be us I'm afraid, no leader is going to save us. They are all bought and paid for by special interests.
+35 # jcdav 2011-09-10 08:09
Yup, I'm 62yo, DAV, former 'Nam protester, my kids are grown and I have become ashamed of MY COUNTRY since W & DICK stole the helm.
Giving them a pass was the last straw. I unassed, hit the streets in protest, have always written letters to the editor etal now am spreading the word we gotta take our country back. Study history (most folks are historically ignorant) we are at the edge. The bananna republic of USA is being born. STOP IT OR BE A SURF.
October 2011 (6th) is a start- I heard rumblings of 17SEP11 occupation of Wall St. OK folks sheer numbers turning out in non violent protest is a start. We need uncorrupted candidates for local, state and federal office. WE GOT TO HAVE ELECTION REFORM - this system is too easily gamed by power & wealth. My soapbox is sagging, ponder the above.
+8 # Billy Bob 2011-09-10 19:37
Thank you for your sevice to your country. 62 is still young. Don't throw in the towel.
+31 # historyguy 2011-09-09 15:50
"Afterwards I told him that CIA friends confirmed that Obama would have been in danger." This is the most incredible part of the entire article; it raises suspicions of activities that go back, at least, to 1963 and many things since that time. What have we become? Where is the Zola of our time?
+22 # Erdajean 2011-09-09 18:56
Where is Zola? Where is King? Where is Iron Man? Where is Truman? Hey, Mighty Mouse!

Dither, dither, good friends. Will NO ONE come to our rescue? The total gross-out fact is that our country, as even the most outraged seem to see it, is hopelessly at the mercy of the excrement of the universe. WhatEVER shall we do?
It appears that if we are to have a savior, guess who it will have to be?
Just like in 1776. You and me.
+12 # John Talbutt 2011-09-10 09:59
Agree Zola was great but freeing an innocent man and prosecuting a former head of state are not the same thing. The men who sent Dreyfus to Devils Island went free. Twain's exposure of the torture and slaughter of civilians in the Phillipines was powerful but no one suggested prosecuting Teddy Roosevelt. Certainly if justice were done Cheney would be in jail,
+1 # Stoney13 2011-09-11 21:57
"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.", Dr. Martin Luther King

"You must be the change you want.", Gandhi
+28 # Billy Bob 2011-09-09 16:14
So, I guess Obama wasn't really up to the job. The job of being "Commander and Chief" involves COMMANDING. If he didn't think he was up for leading the country, he shouldn't have pretended he was.

The most comical quote of his presidency will always be, when he pleaded with repugs "not to call his bluff"...


You can bet a repug would rather fight than cower if he thought he had something on his Democratic predecessor.

The transition is over. The current military establishment was HAND-PICKED by Obama himself. He has NO excuses. I'm sorry.

If he's worried, what about people like Bradley MANning? What about people who take the oath to uphold THE CONSTITUTION seriously? Maybe Manning would be MAN enough to be President, if only Obama hadn't put him in jail for having the courage Obama lacks.
+34 # camus11 2011-09-09 16:24
So, instead of fulfilling his constitutional responsibility and at least having the justice department investigate them, our president, a former constitutional law professor, became the equivalent of an accessory after the fact to these same war crimes.....
+14 # cadan 2011-09-09 16:25
So, one explanation of President Obama's behaviour is that he really was afraid of a coup.

Is this plausible?

Well, suppose you are elected president, and the outgoing president whispers a threat in your ear.

What could you try to do?

Can you tell your wife? Can you talk to other world leaders?

Could you talk to the famous scientists and opera singers that come by the White House?

Or maybe, for example, you could talk to Julian Assange? Or Bernie Sanders?

You have more resources available, i think than Malcolm X or Che Guevara or Fidel Castro --- and Castro managed to stand up to the neighbourhood bully for decades.

I think there's another theory of Obama's behaviour that fits the same facts.

That is that he genuinely believes like Senator Diane Feinstein, like Madeleine Albright, like Bill Clinton, like Hillary Clinton, and others, that the crusades against the Moslems and Arabs are so righteous and so good that it justifies ignoring the crimes Cheney committed.

Maybe Obama is just one of them.
+21 # RagingLiberal 2011-09-09 18:50
I have wondered since about '09 if Obama was just their ringer, and is doing exactly what they want because this was "the plan" from day 1. I do believe the military industrials have our country by the balls, and think they tossed Obama into the fire to keep us distracted while they finalized the death of America. Apparently it worked quite well.
+2 # Anarchist 23 2011-09-11 12:55
Quoting cadan:
So, one explanation of President Obama's behaviour is that he really was afraid of a coup.

So is there an App for that? Seriously-the book 7 Days in May had almost exactly that plot-and many another since. Given the recent history of this country, it is quite likely. 911, 94: small plane crash on WH lawn beneath Clinton's bedroom, 1:49 AM; just this April18 & 22, two 'near misses' in one week of Michel Obama's plane by military C105 Cargo planes-what are the odds, Mr. Spock-the probability, Mr. Data? I would say this threatened 'coup' vector for interpreting Obama's performance as a popularly elected president with a majority in both houses has a vector probability of 3 to 1.
+6 # Hot Doggie 2011-09-09 16:28
Let's see....
1. How does all this fit in with the lack of birth certificate of alleged defacto President Obama? Isn't everything he's done moot?

2. It appears that the above article is saying that since the "leadership in the U.S. armed forces, the CIA and NSA might "revolt"" if prosecuted, then the "leadership in the U.S. armed forces, the CIA and NSA" are holding the USA hostage and rule of law is thwarted by them. Do I hear someone saying too big to prosecute?

3. If the big boys are not going to be prosecuted, but us little boys who commit some minor infraction are, isn't this article going to eventually provoke civil unrest? And the blame for this unrest laying squarely upon the shoulders of past presidents?

This is getting too scary for me. No wonder people are fleeing the USA.

4. Or is this just a propaganda article designed to incite Obama's defeat in the primaries?
+4 # allie 2011-09-09 16:47
In that inauguration photo, Bush is telling Obama “They’re coming to get you Barack”.
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2011-09-10 15:01
Not they're, We are!
+25 # DaveM 2011-09-09 17:01
President Obama's actions as President actually make more sense if you consider the possibility that he is acting under a threat. It's very difficult to "grow a spine" if someone has told you that doing so just might lead to you and/or your family becoming an al-Qaeda target. Don't for a moment think there are not people who could make it happen. And by no means are they limited to the ranks of government or the Republican party.
+29 # lobdillj 2011-09-09 17:15
You people don't get it. The coup is over. We have lost. This nation will not last another 4 years. Why? Because no empire has ever survived, and we re in the final death spiral right now.

Spin doesn't work against hard reality. And spin is all the fascists have.
+22 # RagingLiberal 2011-09-09 18:52
I agree, at least with the beginning statements. We have lost. But there are still millions of us here, and despite the death of any "democracy", there is still American soil under our feet. So what next? We know the military/religi ous right will fight to the death to be the next to rule. What are WE going to do to stop them? We can't just toss our country and our children under the bus!
+2 # Anarchist 23 2011-09-11 12:58
I suggest looking at other national movements and what they did-there are sure plenty to pick from- Russian revolution, Viet Nam, China-both of them-Chile, Argentina, France, UK, Germany, Spain, the late great USA and then try not to make the same mistakes! Revolutions are never won, they are only lost.
+6 # RLF 2011-09-10 14:20
Exactly lobdillj! This is just pre-election crap! Obama was at the height of his power right after he was elected and there was no danger of a coup! He is just trying to excuse his right wing bent here...spin is exactly right!
+9 # KittatinyHawk 2011-09-10 15:02
Time we get off our butts and prove otherwise. Stranger things have happened with a small group of people and I have witnessed it
+28 # John Talbutt 2011-09-09 17:28
Of course, Obama has had to stear clear of a coup. The question for him and us has always been would a coup be successful. We need a much more solid and committed people's movement that unites the overwhelming majority of citizens before we can ask any leader to take on the military industrial complex.

Admittedly, I thought that the election of Obama was a bigger step in the right direction. Now we have to decide if it is possible to rally around a viable alternative such as Denise Kucinich (I doubt there is) or try to build a movement despite having to support Obama in 2012. To continue to whine about Obama while a neofascist Republican becomes President is the worst thing we can do.
-2 # RLF 2011-09-10 14:23
I'm not sure it is the worst thing. It is obvious, when you have union members voting against their brothers and for Republicans, that things aren't bad enough to wake up the people and get them to start paying attention. Maybe things do need to get worse so they can get better.
+4 # Peacedragon 2011-09-09 17:44
Quoting IODINE:

See "theKoch's keystone clique exposed" on this site.
+14 # noitall 2011-09-09 17:58
That's being generous. I think he was more concerned about not limiting the tools in his kit. His head would be on the chopping block when the GOP get back in command (more than they are, I should say). If I was the one being "DONE", I would think the difference between what Bush did and what Obama is doing is subtle. If his misjudgement of the ugliness and tenacity of the GOP continues, I'd think that 'bama is still in line to be charged by the GOP for war crimes. Wouldn't that be interesting. "Good cop, Bad cop" they're all mass murderers and should face their maker. Just because Americans look at this whole mess like it were a football game and are ho-hum about it, doesn't make it right. "Americans", not the majority, just the minority who's opinion seems to be the template that our "leaders" prefer to follow, aren't all that sharp and aren't very worldly. If we don't see a baby, or a kitten, or a puppy getting its head crushed by the boots of one of our 'fighters for freedom', we're alright with it, go team! We still accept that comfortable excuse: our young men and women fighting for our freedom and way of life.
+18 # X Dane 2011-09-09 18:04
I didn't think Obama would get into the White House. I felt he would be assassinated, and when he walked at the inauguration parade, I was holding my breath.
It is sad, but I think ANY DEMOCRATIC president would be killed if he went up against the hidden forces in the country.

The republicans are not in danger for they LOVE WAR.

I also felt that the ALL the republicans, not JUST the military and cia would revolt if a special prosecutor was set to investigate the Bush regime.

I sure understood why Obama didn't want to go for it.
Are your memories SO BAD that you can't remember what a dangerous situation we were in???? We were on the brink of total financial collapse when Obama entered the White House.


That would sure have brought the country DOWN
+8 # CL38 2011-09-10 18:08
Everything you say is true. Yet, look at how the country has been been brought down by the right, since Obama's taken office.

The right murdered Kennedy and have slowly moved toward taking over the entire country, since then.

So which is better? For Obama and the American people to stand up for democracy, as many other dictatorships have recently done, or to allow ourselves to slowly be taken over, as Germany was by the NAZI's?
+5 # X Dane 2011-09-10 20:51
No CL38.
I sure think we have to do what we can and fight the right. I only think we do need to remember what Obama walked into.
And I AM convinced that ALL the republicans would have revolted.

And it is ALSO important to realize that
As jubilant as the million or so at the inauguration was........ABOU T 50% DID NOT VOTE FOR OBAMA.
I have a feeling that if he gets a second term he will fight hard, for there is nothing to least
I hope so.
+4 # CL38 2011-09-11 12:28
So they would have revolted.

I repeat. Is it better to passively allow them to take over the entire country, kill millions in wars, destroy millions of lives through loss of jobs, homes and retirement, as well as funding for programs to help people cope with the economy brought about by the right?

Is it better to sit back and allow them to dumb down, destroy, and remove funding for public education?

Is it better to sit back and allow them to do away with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid while they funnel the country's wealth into the pockets of the rich and to corporations that hide record profits to avoid paying taxes, outsource all the jobs and pay the lowest taxes in decades -- some are paying NO TAXES??

Is it better to sit back and allow them to strip every gain made over the past 60 years for women, women's reproductive health, for African-America ns, gays, etc.

I guess it depends on the kind of world we want to live in.

Being ruled by sociopaths is not what I would choose.
+1 # Billy Bob 2011-09-11 13:42
The trouble is that if repugs got their way, exclusively, it would take a lot more than another 60 years to fix it. In theory, you're correct. In theory, the same principle applied to the Roman Empire. But, if the Dark Ages that happened as a result had not happened, people often wonder if we'd have put a man on the moon by the time Columbus "discovered" America.

I like Isaac Asimov as much as the next guy, but that doesn't mean I want to wait a thousand years to fix a problem, simply because I thought it was easier than taking head on when it could have been fixed more efficiently.

Obama sucks. Repugs are worse. Until someone runs AGAINST Obama, I'm voting for him, because I'm stuck with him. I'll gladly do anything possible to help someone like Howard Dean primary him. The problem is that no one has shown any interest in doing that, and if any potential challengers don't move fast, they'll risk being called out as "johnny-come-la telies who aren't taking the job they want seriously".
-1 # Stoney13 2011-09-12 00:04
I love the way you use "In theory" concerning The Roman Empire. Odd that now, we find that The Romans were WAY ahead of what we thought they were!

My Dad told me a story about the the words "Theoretically" and "Realistically" when I was but a mere wisp of a lad. It went like this:

One day a boy went to his father and said "Father, what is the difference between theoretically, and realistically?".

"Go ask your mother, and your sister if they would have sex for a stranger for 1 million dollars,", said the father, "and I will explain it when you get back".

"They both said yes," said the boy.

"So there you have it!" said the father "Theoretically we have 2 million dollars! Realistically, we're living with a couple of whores!"
0 # Billy Bob 2011-09-12 07:38
Are you refering to the theory that science could have advanced further if the Dark Ages hadn't happened?

You're right. It's just a theory. Then again, do you think the Dark Ages helped?
0 # Stoney13 2011-09-13 00:01
No Billy, I'm not questioning that technology would be MILES ahead of what we have now if it hadn't been for the Dark Ages. Only now are we discovering just how far the Greeks and Romans had gone!

Think of where we could be if The Library of Alexandria hadn't been destroyed by a bunch of Religious Fanatics, or we actually knew how The Egyptians had built the Pyramids!

I was just sharing a joke my Dad told me when I was a kid. My father was one of those old timers that always had an amusing anecdote with a moral at the end that he would share with us kids. The one about "Theoretically" , and "Realistically" was one of my favorites. I thought I would share it.
+29 # reiverpacific 2011-09-09 18:05
Well, this doesn't surprise me a bit. Like 9-11, the facts, other than what is "suspected" and not just by conspiracy theorists but just plain ol' common-sense if one is observant, is leaking out at the seams because it just needs to be released.
I've oft thought that anybody who wantonly took on what the Bush-Shites left behind was either power-drunk, nuts, complicit or threatened already-and I suspected the latter in Ob's case.
Actions contrary to his promises are the proof, and it's becoming more and more obvious daily in a time when most of the Bush Cabal can not visit too many countries, and these may be asking why their "homeland" doesn't treat them as they deserve?!
I feel awful for Obama, I think at heart, a decent man who has run smack-splat into the REAL power structure, every bit as intractable as the worst of the "Cosa - Nostra" who at least had a certain loyalty and code of conduct towards each other, and as evilly hypocritical as the "Auto-da-Fé", which the Bush-nuts more readily resemble.
Our main hope for redress, is to haul the entire Bush crowd to the Hague and subject them to world-wide televised and radio-broadcast Nurenberg type trials, individually and collectively. The prisons they themselves helped to devise and fill at their every whim, are waiting for them.
-I mean, that's what INTERPOL and the UN are for, what???
+27 # rye 2011-09-09 18:17
As a veteran of the last war..(the 60's) My opinion is that there most certainly would have been a coup, or an assassination. Even knowing this, Obama was terribly naive. His naivete set the tone for the remainder of his administration. It is audacious to hope that your most dangerous enemy would cooperate with you, "for the good of the country"
+19 # John Talbutt 2011-09-10 01:12
On the other hand, Obama has exposed the Republcans or rather created a situation where they exposed themselves. Now it will be up to us to take advantage of the fact that million more see them clearly as agents of monstrous heartless greed.
+6 # CL38 2011-09-10 17:00
Don't forget that the right has been busy passing legislation to suppress the vote!!!
It's critical for those who don't have ID's to get them and for voters to show up in HUGE numbers again.
+16 # SundownLF 2011-09-10 01:34
Even knowing this, Obama was terribly naive. His naivete set the tone for the remainder of his administration. It is audacious to hope that your most dangerous enemy would cooperate with you, "for the good of the country"

If you watched his speech this week, then you know he is STILL trying to get that same cooperation from those same self-serving hypocrites. They will NEVER cooperate with him 'for the good of the country' - that would only make him a stronger candidate in 2012, and the Republican'ts focus remains fixed on that prize, as well as the purse-strings of their Wall Street and corporate masters.

I had hoped that Obama, being a Constitutional law professor, would have understood the necessity of following up with appropriate prosecution for the high crimes and treasonous acts committed by the Bush administration (read, Cheney administration) .

Things got off to a kick-in-the-gut s disappointment when Nancy Pelosi announced, almost immediately following Obama's inauguration, that prosecution of Bush/Cheney war crimes was 'off the table.'

Once again, fear trumps hope and change.
-6 # CL38 2011-09-10 17:01
I wonder if Hillary would have gone after them, if she'd been elected.
+2 # Billy Bob 2011-09-10 19:40
You don't go after people you basically agree with.
+4 # X Dane 2011-09-10 21:24
rye, I don't think Obama is naive. I DO think he had more confidence in himself than was warrented.

His campaign was so smart and well organized, and he did the unthincable.... he BEAT Hillary. She and everybody else thought the nomination was hers, Remember??? She had the money and "THE MACHINE"....The n he did the second ing black..(half)
and with a strange part, muslim name, he WON THE ELECTION.
All that probably made him too confident .......and then the right wing reality struck
-31 # forparity 2011-09-09 18:25
"As the nation approaches the 3rd anniversary of Obama's election, many of his proposals have been thwarted by Rep's in Congress"

Excuse me? This is a Democrat Admin; he had a Dem House & Senate for the entire 1st 2 yrs.

During those 1st 2 yrs, they - "they" - did not pass a fed budget - Imagine?. They pushed thru, against the wish of the public, their Stimulus Bill - with nothing by Dems & Dem lobbyist input, and passed via a legal loophole their healthcare reform bill, also w/o public support.

His budget this year got 0 votes in the Senate, 0.

It was Obama & the Democrats who ignored his own Deficit Reduction Commission. Still don't think he's mentioned it publicly. This is the main reason we got downgraded at this time by S & P.

It was Obama's decision to send in more troops to Afghanistan (and I support him for that).

He decided to keep Gitmo open.

He decided on the trials.

He decided to keep the policy of extraordinary rendition (Clinton's policy mostly not needed after Gitmo opened).

Ya know, politics is like this. Bush wanted to pass SS reform - had majority public support - but the Dems thwarted it.

Same for stopping the housing bubble early on.

Same for comprehensive immigration reform.

Obama is nothing more than an inexperienced child.
+18 # tomo 2011-09-09 21:40
I took away one of your thumbs down, forparity. I think your list is pretty sound. But I'm disturbed by your endorsement of our surge in Afghanistan. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area--perhaps especially in Fremont, but also elsewhere in the Bay Area-- many Afghans live; many are now American citizens. From my interest in Islam, I have been seeking them out for years now. I cannot recall that I have ever found any among them who thought what we are up to in Afghanistan is going to do anyone--Afghans , Americans, or anyone else any good. One Afghan elder for whom I have great respect goes further.
He's says the outcome is bound to leave everyone with misery, loss, and despondency.
+6 # forparity 2011-09-10 10:05

Leaving the $ cost off the table for the purpose for a larger look, this is a decades old internal discussion with me.

The US, under Carter started funding the opposition to the Soviet presence in Afghanistan in the late 1970's. When the Imperialist Soviet's finally invaded, militarily, Carter,with the push from Rep. Charlie Wilson, began more direct covert funding of the opposition, the Mujahideen.

After Reagan was elected, Charlie kept pushing - Reagan upped the aid. It was successful, and the Soviet's efforts to conquer Afghanistan was thwarted. What was left behind in Afghanistan, was a fatherless rubble of despair.

George H W Bush was then Pres, and while there was much wrangling for monies to provide aid and assist in the rebuilding, etc., in this dark void that the war had left behind, there was no stomach in Wash, from either side of the isle, nor from the WH. We did some limited effort.

Notice - I haven't mentioned the hapless United Nations yet. Nor, have I mentioned other world bodies or countries. I suspect it's safe to say that all turned their back on Afghanistan.

In the mid-90's, following years of internal civil conflict/war in that aftermath, the Taliban finally seized control of the country.

con't . .
+7 # forparity 2011-09-10 10:08
Con't. Estimates are that 60-100K died in the final conflict & aftermath during the Clinton era. Murder, horrific human rights violations and genocide followed.

There was no Libya, Kosovo, or Iraqi style effort pushed by the Clinton WH, the UN, nor other world bodies. Everyone looked the other way. While there were women's rights activists drawing attention to some of the horror, there certainly was never any "SaveDarfur.Org " sort of movement - nor awareness.

In this horrid environment which followed, Al Qaeda found an office to operate from in planning it's numerous attacks on the US, others, and in launching 9/11.

Now - other than this long and expensive road in chasing Al Qaeda, and subsequently their closet partners in horror, the Taliban, out of power in Afghanistan - the country is still mired in this horror of the past 30 years.

I don't know what is properly required in the moment, for at every step along the way the depth of this dark void of the rubble left behind and it's mark on humanity, continues to grow darker; however, I do believe - in my heart - that there as been a keen lack of imagination, of leadership, and of vision from the top down, from the UN and from other world bodies and world leaders, for these past 30 years, in coming together and engaging in an open discussion involving the entire saga.

+7 # forparity 2011-09-10 10:10
con't. .

At the center of this lack of vision, I would suggest is the media. They hated that we were helping defeat the Communists. They go silent on the suffering left behind. They remain silent as the country and it's once-proud people's are ransacked. They wince, when we go in following 9/11. And, they seldom, if never, say 'enough is enough - 30 years is too long. Let's all stand together and fix the damn problem.

The US (no-one else will) should lay it all out, and call on the world to chip in and bring this thing to a successful and final ending, once and for all.

Does Russia (daughter of USSR) carry just a wee bit of responsibility here?

The USSR did not go into Afghanistan with the intent of overturning some terrible dictator or dangerous regime; rather, they were simply on a march, looking for conquest to establish satellite countries on their path to a southern port.

+11 # tomo 2011-09-10 15:27
forparity: I hear the voice of a truth-seeker. Before we get to substance, let's take a quick look at: "They (the media) hated that we were helping defeat the Communists." I don't think I can help you with that one. Take a long look at it. Seek counseling.

I think the rest of your account is quite solid. We DID abandon Afghanistan after the Soviets were defeated there. We abandoned it because we did not give a damn about the Afghans; we just wanted to deny the Soviets movement southward.
Had we built on the Soviet defeat, we might have stayed and become a humane patron of Afghan opportunities. (The media lost interest for the same reasons Washington did: Afghanistan was no longer a field for our contest with the Soviets.)

Let me close with my favorite Afghan scholar. He told me a year and a half ago: "We are not a people of many accomplishments . But there's one thing in which we're the world champions: repulsing a foreign invader. I sometimes think guns are the only thing our young men understand. They
practice with them before they are teen-agers. And they are not afraid to die." More recently, he told me: "Afghan politics cannot be arranged from without. They are arranged by strong chiefs. Only if a strong chief with usually wide sympathies emerges, can Afghanistan emerge as a nation."
+1 # forparity 2011-09-10 17:33
Hey -- I don't need counseling for this one - ha.

Yes, we -- but, as I stressed, the world at large and the national media - then, 13-14 yrs ago, to now - have turned their back and sit on their hands in regards to coming to Afghanistan's aid. That's why they have the Taliban - horrors of all horrors. And, that why it continues.

On the thrust of your closing impressive argument (it ain't wasted on me), indeed; and that search found this intriguing account - "A mass expression of outrage against injustice.

Bernard Lewis lays out the same understanding. The first few questions should suck you in.

But, I still rest my case with the fact, that our national media has not, and will not present a hint of an intelligent discussion, nor need for one, on the history here, nor what should have been done, nor what a leader - a visionary leader - would present today.

That person would stand up in front of the US and the UN, and recount the history of the past 30 years, and challenge the world to fix it.

Your scholar would tell you (unless he is a radical outsider) that if we walk away, there is not a chance in hell of hope of Afghanistan emerging as a nation which resembles the vision of it's long lost past.
+8 # tomo 2011-09-10 20:04
forparity: I love you for hanging in there. There's a central point to what you say with which I agree whole- heartedly. Let me express it my way. We think of ourselves as a humanitarian nation with a generous interest in foreign aid. Many Americans truly wish we were such a nation. But our leaders have learned to dupe us with just this wish of ours. Time and again they sucker us into war on the pretext that all we want is to spread justice and liberty throughout the world. Yet from the Spanish-America n war onward, the intent of the leaders has been increased control of the resources, the markets, and the labor forces of the planet. That we turned away from the Afghans once we saw they would no longer be an asset to our chief rivals, is tragic--but altogether routine. The terrain is stark, the labor force negligible for our interests, the market meager. Of course this provided an opportunity for others in the ensuing confusion after the Soviet defeat. As you point out, we're paying for it bigtime now--and Afghanistan has become important now as a transhipment area for oil and gas. Where I think you're deeply wrong is in your view that Afghans have had a longtime hankering for national unity; Afghans have fierce tribal loyalties; most of them--from all I can see--have no tradition of a national vision and little desire to acquire one.
-2 # forparity 2011-09-10 22:10
Well, there are a lot of them. They did have varying opinion, in the past, and indeed in the present - and indeed they are a fiercely independent tribal mix of cultural identities.

They had a noble leader 30 years ago - a King - one, who was leading this tribal omelet of peoples in what I believe was a proper civilized direction. The Imperialist Soviet Empire screwed that beyond comprehension.

No - I'm not wrong. Neither are you.

Side bar: I never suggested, nor imagined the concept of national unity as being the glue. You did not read the opening conversation in the link I provided did you?

The question is the moment facing us in the moment. Will we protect them, so that they can deliver themselves?

Afgans never, and still do not, have a desire to acquire a future with the radical Islamic Taliban over their heads.
0 # Billy Bob 2011-09-10 23:42
I guess they'd prefer radical for profit blackwater over their heads, right?

As soon as the resources are extracted, Afghanistan's human rights will be just as important as they are in about 100 other nations, we couldn't care less about.

That's the HONEST truth.
+1 # forparity 2011-09-11 11:06
Well, speak for yourself.

Or . . perhaps you can carry my message - that we should care much.
0 # Billy Bob 2011-09-11 13:16
Feel free to speak for yourself. Rather than parroting repugnican tit-for-tat, what is YOUR solution?

Why do we care what Afghans supposedly "want" when we don't care what the people of Yemen, or Somalia, or Ethiopia want?

DO YOU care what Afghans "want"? What if they DON'T want what you want them to want?

You're speaking for the entire nation of Afghanistan.
-2 # forparity 2011-09-11 15:59
Like I said - you do not have a decent voice.

No wonder the world is always at war - with intolerant folks like you who only live to insult others - never to listen.
0 # BobGriffin 2011-09-12 18:07
For the history of Soviet invovlement in Afghanistan, look up Babrak Karmal, Hafizullah Amin (the Prime Minister of Afghanistan whom the Soviets killed, and of whom they claimed that perhaps 500 PDPA members had forfeited their lives), and Nur Mohammad Taraki.
-2 # KittatinyHawk 2011-09-10 15:07
Want to see back yup facts on all. Will agree on few but back up your statements.
-5 # forparity 2011-09-10 22:11
I don't need to back up common knowledge. Come on.
-1 # Billy Bob 2011-09-11 07:29

You don't need to back it up because that's not your style. Hit and run PARROTING of repug propaganda is more like it.

It's NOT "common knowledge" when most of us DON'T watch fox news.
+4 # Anarchist 23 2011-09-11 13:13
Quoting forparity:
I don't need to back up common knowledge. Come on.

Then is it common knowledge that the regime that we destabilized with our invention and support of the mujahedin in the 80's was an elected government? True it was communist but it was improving the lot of women and other things, but with Brzezinski's 'Grand Chessboard' book's strategy in mind, we started an insurrection that had the effect of bringing the Russians in with tanks and troops to aid their governmental allies. And so on. As to the present war there, if you believe in the 'Official History' of 911 than perhaps you should seriously consider the real danger of fighting people who can contravene the laws of physics as was so demonstrably on show on news film on 911. 'Harry Potter' is fiction-isn't Lord Voldemort as well?
-2 # forparity 2011-09-11 15:09

Well King Zahir Shah's efforts at opening up liberalization efforts had it's difficulties, including allowing opposing radical parties, like the pro-communists, to deveolp . . from that point on it was . .

coup, then "bloody coup," then Soviet invasion, in 1979 (or was it '78."

It was in '80, that Saddam invaded Iran. Carter's last couple of years were dandy times.
-1 # Billy Bob 2011-09-11 19:28
I could copy and paste your responses to any question. They all fit in to one of these categories:

Carter's fault;
Gore's fault;
Biden's fault;
Kennedy's fault;
Roosevelt's fault;
Clinton's fault

Did I leave any of your pat responses out?

It seems that you can apply the exact SAME PAT RESPONSES to any subject. It doesn't matter how many times you repeat them or how often they're rebutted a week. It doesn't matter how often you re-use the exact same worn out parroted accusations.

Do you notice any patterns in whose fault everything is? Do you notice who's never at fault? It's an interesting pattern.
-2 # forparity 2011-09-11 20:05
You a liar, Billy Bob. Pure and simple.

I gave Carter credit for aiding the freedom fighters in Afghanistan - I did not blame him.

Never blamed Roosevelt for anything on these boards.

I have blamed Bush for a lot of things, however.

Get lost.
+1 # Billy Bob 2011-09-11 22:55
Obviously, I've struck a nerve.

Still short on specifics. Could you be more specific about when you "gave Carter credit". Who were the "freedom fighters"? Because I ALWAYS read your posts and I don't remember EVER hearing anything but blame to Carter for helping out the people who eventually picked bin laden as their leader.

What have you blamed bush for that I wouldn't have heard from Jim DeMint or Paul Ryan (you know, that he was "too liberal"...)? I agree that you blamed him for adding a tiny portion to the "democratic" debt, then quickly followed up by saying that Gore would have done the same thing.

Is it possible for you to own up to anything?

I'm not going anywhere. Obviously you aren't either. You come to these threads for a reason. If it's to follow your agenda and expect the rest of us to roll over, sorry that some of us throw a wrench in your agenda.
-2 # John Talbutt 2011-09-11 20:01
Yea, the king leading them to democracy was a good one.
+22 # soularddave 2011-09-09 18:33
The truth about 9/11 must be made *more* public. Try the case in Europe and see what happens. Make it big enough and the media can't ignore it for us.

What is our percentage now, anyway?
+9 # KittatinyHawk 2011-09-10 15:10
It has been tried in other places and here. but the same idiots believe that we were victims. Corporate money will continue paying people to hypnotize that fact in.

Other Countries felt sorry but none would say what I did..we did it to our own. that opened some minds
+18 # John Gill 2011-09-09 18:36
I can't help but feel that the timing of this revelation is terribly convenient, so that heading up to the 2012 election the "disappointeds, " like me, can say to themselves, "ah well, gee whiz. Poor Barack, his heart really was in the right place. I knew he was a great guy."
Well, ya know what? F%%K that. If a military coup were truly a concern, why wasn't it voiced a year ago while some of us from his base were still hoping against hope that he was just giving the opposition enough rope to hang themselves? I believe it is a sweet little piece of "leaked" propaganda, nothing more.
+8 # Billy Bob 2011-09-09 21:14
I think the same thing.

Here's the thing: I bet I'm not alone in thinking I actually had MORE respect for him when he was just a trojan horse repuglican acting like a Democrat to get votes and casually slipping tiny bits of progressive ideas through.

Now, if this is true, he REALLY IS A DEMOCRAT. Which means he's COMPLETELY incompetent and has no business pretending to know what he's doing.

F.D.R. "WELCOMED THEIR HATRED". He had more balls in his puny run-down polio infected body than Obama has in his wildest dreams.

Oh! What I wouldn't give for A PRESIDENT to take office!
+17 # Miss American 2011-09-10 03:10
There you go with that American dream thing. How could we ever think that a true AMERICAN statesman, a bonafied LEADER who was honest, fair, brave, logical, and who would represent ALL the people, would want to jump into the most vile, corrupt, greedy, stench filled swamp of a system we have now? Where if you don't march to their drummer, you die. Why do you think we only have the dismal choices that are crammed down our throats? Only puppets are allowed, and the lesser of two evils is still evil. America has been toast since JFK, we just didn't realize it.
+10 # KittatinyHawk 2011-09-10 15:11
Eleanor was not slouch either
+10 # Billy Bob 2011-09-10 19:45
No she wasn't. That's why she was SO reviled. Every Democratic First Lady since her has been torn to pieces by the right, but none of them have had to go through what she has.

Truth be told, she did much of the work of the Presidency his last year in office due to his illness. Obviously, she was more up to the job than many Presidents we've had since.
+11 # Pikewich 2011-09-10 09:37
Agreed. If Obama was threatened with a revolt when his intention was to reestablish the rule of law, it should have been published immediately in every paper around the world. He probably would have ended up like Kennedy, but that is the job he took on. FDR was no coward, and I will not vote for a coward in 2012.
+4 # susienoodle 2011-09-10 09:57
Coward? Cheney is a Coward. W is a coward. Rove is a coward. There is much to criticize about Obama, but being a coward isn't one of them. He took responsibility for taking out bin Laden the hard way. Do you honestly believe Hillary would have made that decision? He's no coward.
+5 # forparity 2011-09-10 10:42
Of course Hillary would have made the same decision. So would have Gore, Clinton, Bush, etc.

That's the path that we've been on for many years - there is no disagreement amongst any of them.

The shoot on sight order may have been different under the last bunch, as they preferred to capture, rather than being cowards and preferring to kill - to prevent the messy legal stuff.
+8 # KittatinyHawk 2011-09-10 15:16
Bush was a No shoot...that family had ties with Bush and Corporate America...that is the ties that we need published
+4 # John Talbutt 2011-09-11 20:26
Bush did not pursue him. He and Cheney were in a symbiotic relationship to him. Their greatest gift to Al Queda was the invasion of Iraq
+6 # KittatinyHawk 2011-09-10 15:15
She was there, if we did kill him this year, then yes, she would have made that decision
If they were going to kill OB like the Terrorists are going to blow us up than let's get on with it. I get tired of Bullies always bullying, bragging and all they leave is puff of smoke. Believe if VP had to take charge, budget would have been handled better and quicker, jobs created. That is what he was an organizer, he got budgets done...instead everyone would rather bad mouth Biden instead of using him ...OB got them both backed into a corner and Biden would love to go into the Arena ... but no one lets him
+9 # CL38 2011-09-10 17:02
I agree. Biden is very smart about many things and is an asset that isn't used often enough.
-2 # forparity 2011-09-11 11:17
Well, he was the original co-author off the original Patriot Act - and following 9/11 bragged about how his dear friend John Ashcroft called him up and asked him to dust off the parts of the 1st anti-terrorism bill that had been removed so that they could get it right this time. Biden said he was proud to do just that.
-2 # Billy Bob 2011-09-11 13:19
Do you like Biden or dislike him? It's hard to guess. You hate anything not repuglican, but he's not repuglican. You are obviously FOR the so called "patriot act", yet you claim the idea comes from a Democrat.

Rather than making this an ad hominem tit-for-tat, why don't you tell us what you believe and why?

If you're for the "patriot act", then THANK BIDEN, since you believe he was behind it.

If you're against it, then admit that bush and cheney and the rest of the repug party were responsible for cramming something so anti-constituti onal down our throats.

Which is it?
-4 # forparity 2011-09-11 15:14
I used to like Biden a bit - in the 90's, etc. Then I found out about what he did to the unfortunate man involved in the car accident that killed his first wife and one of his children.

Many people make mistakes in life under extreme stress, but like Ted Kennedy, getting a pass from the media for serious human offenses, simply because you're on the same side of the isle as the press, and so everything is tightly held to protect them - instead of vetting them, and airing it out in public - then you wonder.

Then Biden did the drunk embarrassing bit on stage with Obama during the campaign - and they protected him again.

But along the way, maybe it's his drinking - or his past, he seems almost berserk half the time.
+6 # Anarchist 23 2011-09-11 13:18
Dead men tell no tales. How convenient. OBL is eliminated before he can say anything-just like LHO with Ruby, just like Giuliani carting away the evidence of 911 before any forensic tests could be made.Ever see a bullfight? that bull just keeps charging the red cape, never seeing the killing blade hidden behind it. So do the People and so goes their 'democracy'.
+2 # John Talbutt 2011-09-11 20:20
John Gill, don't get me wrong. I signed petitions to try Bush and Cheney and it should be done IF WE HAD SUFFICIENT DOMETIC SUPPORT TO OVERCOME THE REACTION. Can you name one former head of a modern state who has been tried? Why do you think people with deep ties to the CIA and military industrial complex (and if that was a corporation the Bush Administration was the chief executive officers and board) would not resist being tried for capitol offences? I can't join you and Billy Bob, as much I am in general agreement with him, on criticizing Obama on this point. At least Allende had some possibility of success.
+30 # MainStreetMentor 2011-09-09 18:40
Wanting to be a “reasonable” man engaged in “reasonable” negotiations/di scussions works, if the other party(s) within the negotiations/di scussions are also reasonable, honest and negotiate in good faith. A “revolt” is what Obama’s election was. He was already proclaimed as the leader of that revolt by those who elected him. Obama has constantly and consistently surrounded himself with persons he placed in positions of authority who are fundamentally against the principles of his political party. Many of them have the feet permanently encased in conservative concrete. The advice and counsel he received was obvious, at least to those who contribute to this forum, as being pro-conservativ e and anti-liberal. Those persons we believe to be guilty of war crimes STILL need to be prosecuted!
+10 # tomo 2011-09-09 21:25
I couldn't agree more, MainStreetMento r.
We've passsed from the Bush/Cheney Presidency to the Obama/Cheney Presidency.
+12 # susienoodle 2011-09-10 09:58
I wish he'd have listened to Stieglitz and Dean Baker and of course Paul Krugman.
-1 # forparity 2011-09-10 14:31
But would you listen to Dean Baker?

Baker was clear; "by far" the main cause of the disappearance of the Clinton era surpluses and the quick return to huge deficits was the economic fallout from the collapse of the Clinton era bubble, in March 2000.
+2 # susienoodle 2011-09-11 06:36
huh? the disappearance of the Clinton surplus was: 2 unfunded wars, tax cuts for the rich, and an unfunded drug benefit. I'm no expert on Dean Baker, but whenever I've heard him speak, he makes sense.
-2 # forparity 2011-09-11 14:01
Yes Bush's policies over the years, added to the deficits, and thus, increased the nat'l debt. I'd bet Gore's would have too.

The disappearance of the nice little deficits, which were generated by the (Enron) bubble during the late 90's, was because of the econ fallout from the crash in March, 2000 & the econ fallout caused by that event.

It didn't matter whether it'd been Gore or Bush in 2001 - the surpluses were all toast. This is not rocket science.

Do a little math in your head. By end of 2003, the shift (the sum) from projected surpluses (3 years) to realized deficits totaled approximately $1.3 Trillion.

Total cost of Bush stimulus (mostly tax cuts - including $60bil in tax rebates, 2001-03, pushed by the Dems) for those 3 yrs was approx. $325bil. This doesn't consider any stimulus effect of the tax cuts, & certainly (as with Obama's stimulus/ tax cuts, some of it comes back from the rebound).

Note that 82% of the tax cuts did not to the rich (those making over $200K ($250K joint) - Obama's definition - 18% went to those.

Thru the end of '03, the costs for the Iraq War was $54 billion - (just started in March, 2003).

At the end of 2003, the fed deficit stood at $378 billion.

9/11 added costs too. Gore would have done at least $300 billion in stimulus in 2001-2003.
+22 # Pud_420 2011-09-09 19:14
The undercurrent to many of the statements, or more accurately excuses, coming from the Obama camp seems to be that his hands were tied and that is why he has failed to deliver the change he promised.
I don't buy it.
He has never even tried to mobilize his supporters once during his first term with the exception of seeking contributions to his next capaign.
+24 # tomo 2011-09-09 19:27
For years I sent Christopher Edley, Jr., letters asking how John Yoo was qualified to teach American Law at Boalt Hall. He never answered. Then I saw him on TV and I could see how full of himself he was--caught up in visions of his own greatness and completely incapable of vision.

That this man should be in charge of Boalt Hall! I have little doubt that Edley counseled Obama to acquiesce in the collapse of the American legal system. And when Democrats in deep denial say, "We've got to back Obama so the Repulicans don't take over," I replay in amazement: "What planet are you on?" Obama has absolutely betrayed his oath of office and taken a dive. He would rather be allowed to go through the motions of President than live up to his responsibilitie s to the people of America.

I will admit it's hard these days for Democrats to to face reality. Whereas Democrats continue to remonstrate with Republicans, it has become the custom of Republicans to assassinate Democratic leaders--and then find some squalid Democrat--LBJ or Barack Obama--to cover up the corpses.
+23 # angelfish 2011-09-09 19:27
HELLO???They've blocked him at EVERY turn, none the less! Prosecute the Fatherless Bast**dS once and for all and let our Country begin to HEAL! STOP appeasing the UNappeasable, Barry, and start kicking some A**! You ARE the President! WHERE are your Cojones? Your "reasonableness " is bordering on the Pathological! The Whole World has been watching and waiting for TEN LONG Years! Just DO it!
+16 # Angel 2011-09-09 19:40
Until there is higher intelligence, i.e., frontal lobe activity in the brains of politicians--ev en with all our technology--his tory will repeat itself. Read about the lunatics who ran Rome--all from the same pod, UNLESS we use
technology we now weed out the charismatic closet sociopaths and psychopaths who, with the stroke of pens either destroy or enhance our liberties, freedoms and pursuit of happiness.
+10 # Glen 2011-09-10 07:15
I'm not certain why you got thumbs down, Angel. You were pointing out the obvious.

The organization referred to as our government is, however, not the same as it once was. Many years ago there was a structure that was adhered to, in spite of the emotion or anger of fellow leaders or the populace. No longer. What there is, is a behind-the-scen es "leadership" and the one we actually see and listen to the yak yak. Obama and all the rest merely represent those truly in power.

The U.S. is no longer being led; it is being pushed.
+27 # futhark 2011-09-09 20:06
The only past U.S. president to be threatened by the possibility of a coup was Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934. Roosevelt did not back down from any of his New Deal programs to placate those involved in the "Business Plot" conspiracy. Look it up on Wikipedia. The person who "outed" the conspirators was the distinguished and decorated Marine General Smedley Darlington Butler, proving himself true to his oath that he would "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic". FDR was able to enact almost the whole of his agenda to relieve the distress of the American people without much fear of being displaced from office by the military.

I would hope that such loyalty, honor, and courage as shown by General Butler and President Roosevelt are not extinct in the executive offices of the federal government. The fact that this kind of treason was even suspected does not speak well of the political or military leaders at the end of the Cheney/Bush II administration.
+13 # tomo 2011-09-09 21:23
futhark: I think you're quite right on FDR.

What I wonder about is your "the only past U.S. President to be threatened...." I've found Russ Baker's FAMILY OF SECRETS a wonderfully thoughtful effort to assess the sinister pressures American Presidents have been under from the time of Kennedy up into the Bush/Cheney Administration.
JFK felt forebodings. LBJ, participating actively in the coverup that followed the government's murder of JFK, must have understood all-too-keenly that he might be found similarly expendable. Nixon was amazed the CIA would not let him have the file on JFK; I think he wanted it so he could arm himself against a similar fate. And so on.
+3 # John Talbutt 2011-09-11 23:10
Eisenhower certainly felt the weight building and note that he did not issue his warning until he was leaving office.
+18 # susienoodle 2011-09-10 10:03
Ya want to talk about treason, let's start with McCrystal. He should be in jail. And Rove for exposing Valerie Plame. How'd he get away with that?!!!! I always thought American Justice was an oxymoron.
-15 # forparity 2011-09-10 14:38
Carl Rove did not expose Valerie Plame. Other then her and her husbands sloppy work - it was the much loved by the media, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage who leaked her name to Bob Woodward and to Robert Novak.

This is not really debated by anyone.

Rove is not even in the loop.
+5 # Billy Bob 2011-09-10 19:49
You're right. It wasn't rove. It was cheney and libby. That's why libby was convicted.
-8 # forparity 2011-09-10 22:19
Libby was not convicted, nor charged with that.

What Gore's counsel in Bush V Gore had to say about the charges:

"That's exactly the problem. People can't remember everything. Now, people have got to tell the truth in front of a grand jury. That's very important. And if you are conducting an investigation where you really need to get people's testimony, and they lie, they need to be prosecuted, even if you ultimately conclude there was no underlying crime. That's not really the situation here, as I see it. Because from the outside it looks like the prosecutor knew, before some of this testimony was taken, that there was not an underlying crime. And then to go forward and try to get people maybe to slip up, make a mistake, so you can bring a perjury or obstruction charge, I think that's what's troubling here."

..The problem is I don't see any evidence that that's right. That is I don't see any evidence that they needed Libby's testimony to determine whether there was a crime or not. They knew who leaked it. Ok? They knew who leaked it."

That would be Armitage.

Wilson & Plame were the only ones up to mischief from the beginning. Everyone in Wash. knew what was going on. Armitage, made a silly mistake. Since everyone loves him, he was never an issue; rather, the mistake was used to attempt to destroy others. Simply baseless.
+1 # Billy Bob 2011-09-10 23:40
Libby was charged with and convicted of perjury, for protecting cheney and telling inconsistent lies.

The problem with your "parity" is that you're incapable of displaying any. You never seem to see anything wrong with repugnicans. Why is that?
0 # forparity 2011-09-11 11:12
Let's see Billy.

Up above - you attack me, in your usual attack and run manner - accusing me of just that. And, up there, I don't know exactly what it is that I need to back up - none of it is a stretch.

Then here, you blurt out that it was Libby and Cheney who exposed Valerie Plame.

Gee - you going to back that up?

No! So when I back up my position with a statement from the very well respected David Boies (former Gore counsel and lead in the effort to overturn the gay marriage ban in CA) - you change your entire story.

This is the way, you've always engaged in any discussion.

Billy - you have no voice. It's worthless.
+3 # Billy Bob 2011-09-11 13:29

According to REPUG Powell, Cheney is afraid of war crimes. According to cheney, powell is the one responsible for the act of TREASON that outed Valerie Plame.

Who do YOU think committed treason by outing Valerie Plame as revenge for going against the bush administration?

They KNEW who leaked it. It was LIBBY'S BOSS - CHENEY. Libby was a fall guy. That's why he couldn't get his story straight. That's why he was convicted of perjury. That's why cheney just came out with a book covering his sorry ass, and blaming it on someone else.

Just once, I'd like you to offer some evidence that you don't worship at the alter of the repuglickan party.
0 # Billy Bob 2011-09-11 13:31
By the way, I think it's pretty comical for you to come to an obviously left-wing web site, spouting off the EXACT same nonsense over and over, week after week, no matter how many times it's proven to be nonsense, with the obvious intention of trolling...

yet, you whine about being "attacked".
0 # forparity 2011-09-11 16:04
Billy - I love intelligent caring people, left, right, center -- those who are willing to work together to learn and to understand each other and the needs of each other.

Needless to say, you don't fit in there.
+10 # Anarchist 23 2011-09-11 13:24
Quoting forparity:

Wilson & Plame were the only ones up to mischief from the beginning. .

Did you forget how Joe Wilson 'outed' the yellow cake forgery ; the one item in the speech that was used to justify the invasion of Iraq? a false fact for a false war in which real people kill and are killed. That mischief?
-3 # forparity 2011-09-11 14:37
. . the one item? Well, Bill Clinton came out and pretty much defended Bush on the that one. Most of us wanted Saddam taken out because between 1 1/2 and 2 million people had already died because of him.

Yes - the intelligence Bush inherited, and some that they gathered during his term, was flawed.

Well . . yes, i know all about the story. First of all, everyone knows that Wilson was on political mission. He came close to getting charged with perjury, himself - for lying in committee.

Politics is hardball - both sides of the isle. Sick.

And, for Billy again, it was Richard Armitrage who leaked Plame's name to both Bob Woodward and to Robert Novak.

And, it's all interesting:

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2008 – Defense personnel have completed the transfer of 550 metric tons of Iraqi uranium ore to Canada, Defense officials said here today.
+1 # Billy Bob 2011-09-11 19:49
What was the point of that link?

Did Woodward reveal the leak? As far as I know he didn't. Novak was the one to make it public, wasn't he? If it was Novak who released it to the world, why bring up that Woodward also knew about it, but kept his mouth shut? I wonder...

Who did Armitage work for? Why does cheney say it was Powell who leaked the info? Who was libby protecting? Why does Powell say cheney is blaming him to take the spotlight off of himself? I wonder...

Is it possible that ALL of these people were involved? Did they have an axe to grind? Um, YEAH they did!

Why is it that you're unwilling to accept the reality that repuglicans are to blame for something without trying to spread the blame to Democrats as well?

Who was to blame for Watergate?

This should be GOOD! (hint: I bet it was a Democrat)
-3 # forparity 2011-09-11 20:07

loose gasket, there Bill boy carter.
+6 # Bill Clements 2011-09-10 11:05
futhark, yes, all true, but FDR was pre-JFK, a very different reality than the one we've been living in since the Kennedys' assassinations.
+13 # Wink 2011-09-09 21:40
The story goes that the new Premier of the Soviet Union was given two sealed letters by his predecessor, immediately prior to the predecessor's execution. The predecessor told him to not to open the first letter unless he experienced a major failure as Premier. He was also told to retain the second letter as advice, should he experience a second major crisis.

Not many months later, there did occur a major crisis, and as instructed, the new Premier opened the first letter. It read: "Blame everything that has happened on your predecessor." The Premier did so, and was praised for his honesty and leadership. He continued to function as Premier, newly buoyed by the tremendous accolades and his reassured success.

Unfortunately, only a year later, there occurred yet another crisis. Again as instructed, the Premier opened his desk drawer and opened the second letter. It read: "Prepare two envelopes, and write two notes..."
+4 # Anarchist 23 2011-09-11 13:29
So the Premier of Russia goes to bed and he dreams he is talking with Stalin., so he asks him what to do in that crises. Stalin replies: two things, round up all the intellectuals and kill them and paint the Kremlin blue.' The Primier ask "why should I paint the Kremlin blue?" Stalin replies: "See you didn't bother to ask about the first thing."

Cossacks and tyrants are alas international and appear in many guises-their tactics don't change-the answer to what happens lies in who is being arrested!
+15 # susienoodle 2011-09-10 00:00
Seems to me we should find a way to take back the house and increase the senate majority beyond 60 so rethugs cannot block appointments and then see how much Obama can accomplish.
I recognize he's disappointed us, but the alternative is downright dangerous to life as we know it here. A rethug president will destroy public schools, EPA, medicare, social security, bomb Iran, destroy unions, bring back Jim Crowe, you name it.
We've go to support opposition to all tea party obstructionists in every state starting with Eric C from Va. And if it's Perry, abolish separation between church and state. Even tho we are second rate these days, it can still get far worse. Just watch.
+15 # Pat Tibbs 2011-09-10 00:28
One would think POTUS would have gotten the message right away that they were going to thwart his policy agenda, regardless of whether he prosecuted.
+11 # John Talbutt 2011-09-10 09:41
We didn't prosecute Tyler for expanding slavery into Texas through war, Jefferson Davis and Lee went free, our troop tortured and slaughtered civilians in the Phillipines but no one was held to account, wilson got us into WWI on false premises and violated the constitution by secretly send naval and land forces into Russia to fight the Bolsheviks, the Tonkin resolution was based on a deliberate falsification, etc.
+3 # CL38 2011-09-10 16:09
Your point being? That these guys should get away with everything too??
+2 # John Talbutt 2011-09-11 20:39
Obviously not! Robert E Lee and Jefferson Davis should have been prosecuted and reconstruction should not have been abandoned. It would have been less bloody than prosecuting Bush.
+14 # wfalco 2011-09-10 10:29
To the dismay of my liberal and progressive friends I have been saying that Obama is just one man. His hands are tightly tied in what he will be ALLOWED to do. Someone mentioned he has/had no intention of becoming a martyr.
I always keep in mind and am almost reminded on a daily basis from various acquaintances here in Florida (I won't consider them friends) that their anger(meaning the right wing)is so much more pronounced than our's. These people hate us. We are the socialists always tryng to ruin their way of life. It's that whole "rugged individualist" crap and is why they love their right wing Republicans. They talk the right game for these imbeciles(that' s right I said it.)
We are the logical/rationa l thinkers. We don't act on pure emotion like the imbeciles. We are philosophcally opposed to violence. We do not have the ear of the military/indust rial complex who shall remain the arm of the "shadowy" figures who run things behind the scenes.
If Obama intended to really investigate-and who knows what that might uncover(obvious ly the close knit society held by the Bushies and Saudis.)
Do any of you think Obama (our first Black President )would only endure the character assassinations that Clinton and Elliot Spitzer(another investigator)we re victimized by? First and foremost he is a father and most dads I know want to say alive for their kids' sake.
+7 # tomo 2011-09-10 20:09
None of the above seems like any kind of defense of Obama--it seems like a condemnation, richly deserved. If the man did not have the guts for the office, he had no business seeking it or making the promises he did. Obama is either a craven coward--defende d as such by his friends, or--what I find more plausible--a fully conscious criminal.
+3 # John Talbutt 2011-09-11 21:04
Tomo, I appreciate your insights. Anyone who thinks Bush and Cheney would not have attempted a coup, if threatened with prosecution for capital crimes, is missing something. Anyone who think such a coup would be summarily crushed is very optimistic.

The fact that very smart people such as yourself miss this means we have a long way to go to get to where we could prosecute such crimes.
+10 # CL38 2011-09-10 11:33
We've already been through a coup when Kennedy was assassinated. Allowing the military and and far right to get away with Kennedy's murder, was the first step in the destruction of our Democracy. (Read James Douglass' JFK and the Unspeakable about the assassination).

Not standing up to the right, when Obama's admin. had the full support of the country, has resulted in the right gaining even more of a stranglehold on us the point where the right openly blackmails and threatens the entire country if Obama doesn't do their bidding (debt ceiling debacle).
+1 # John Talbutt 2011-09-11 21:10
He never had the full support of the country for prosecuting Cheney and Bush. I signed petition to prosecute them but never saw anything like a majority willing to make it a fighting issue.
+6 # CL38 2011-09-10 11:49
To those who are considering not voting for Obama, please consider what you'd be doing. If Obama is the Democratic candidate and people don't vote him in, we'll be living under the thumb of Rick Perry (I enjoy executing innocent people) or Michelle Bachman (I'll bring the "rapture").

If you think things are bad now, just watch with Perry as President with a GOP Senate & House. They'll be free to: dismantle Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid; do away with the minimum wage; stop funding for every program that benefits the middle class or poor; keep directing wealth into the deep pockets of corporations (who hide profits -- and won't pay ANY TAXES); keep unemployment & wages low to control 'the masses'; make it impossible to live on what people earn; dismantle health care reform so we pay more & get less coverage; continue destroying 50 years of gains to protect women, gays and blacks. Just to name a FEW!

Do you REALLY want the satisfaction of not voting for Obama to make a statement-- knowing this will mean a Rick Perry as President??? See: FOCUS: Perry Tales
+4 # josephhill 2011-09-10 15:54
CL38.....Go ahead...keep caving in to the extortion of the DNC--The 'Lesser Evil Strategy' that the Democrats have counted on for the past several decades.

Take away the Fear factor and we can elect a genuine progressive, instead of succumbing to the DNC's Fear Machine. What kind of democracy do we have if we continue to be offered only "2" (corporate) parties to choose between?

It's people like yourself who cause the Dems to keep giving us nominees whom voters have to hold their noses to vote for...lest the sky fall from a Rep victory. Take the LONG VIEW...bite the bullet and vote for a candidate who shares genuinely progressive values! We survived 8 years of the worst president in my lifetime. With Obama in the Oval Office, American policy (foreign AND domestic) still sucks and continues to go the same route Bush set us out upon.

Use your own damned head and consider this country's future instead of your own "comfort"!
+1 # Billy Bob 2011-09-10 23:38
I agree. Who do you have in mind? Who is running on the left?
0 # CL38 2011-09-11 12:40
+5 # CL38 2011-09-11 12:37
I'm not caving into anything or anyone. I'm not happy with many of the things Obama's done -- would prefer a progressive running for President. But last time I looked, that wasn't happening. Is there something YOU can do to make that a possibility? Then please, by all means, wave your magic wand and make it happen!

If you can't, then if you don't mind, I choose to vote against the outright insanity of the right and vote FOR a Democrat. Yes, the two party system sucks in may ways, so work to change that.

Maybe you're young. If you vote against Obama to make a point, you help elect Rick Perry (or one of the other right wing nut-jobs) who WILL finish the destruction boy George started.

That's what many did by voting for Nader in 2000 and this, along with the theft of the election by the Supreme Court, prevented Al Gore from becoming President.
+4 # Billy Bob 2011-09-11 13:32
I agree. Not voting is caving in - by definition.
0 # tomo 2011-09-11 00:15
CL38: I want the satisfaction of not voting for Obama in order to keep Obama from having any more time in the White House. Cheney was/is so obviously evil and his side-kick W. was/is so obviously mentally challenged that their deeds, however much havoc they might wreak, could never become institutionaliz ed through their power into the American tradition;it has taken Obama to do that.
He is the most dangerous man in America. His is "Evil with a Smile."

His is the new and improved face of evil. Drone executions with grace and style; assassination of people in foreign countries with wit and skill; imprisonment and persecution of Bradley Manning with the look of one who gravely regrets that he must try to squash this young American, though try to squash him he must. How smoothly the man moves.

Obama is busily making evil into the New Cool. I doubt there's a single candidate among the Republicans who can pull that off. If you re-elect Obama, you will have ratified evil in your own heart, and will have contributed heavily
and effectively to the destruction of what is left of America's decency.
+3 # CL38 2011-09-11 12:31
And so you'd rather have a Rick (I kill innocent people because I can) Perry as President???

Because if you don't vote for Obama (if he's the candidate), you will be voting for Rick Perry or some other right wing tyrant.
+5 # charsjcca 2011-09-10 12:20
Coriander: You are so right. I fully understand that Barack Obama NEVER understood why Ralph Nader was a better choice for Secretary of Defense than was Robert Gates. he retained Gates because he NEVER understood what his supporters were saying. I now know that he was NEVER a comrade-in-arms struggling against the status quo. In the world he peopled the lie was always much better than the truth. I only wish the Tea Party faithfuls understood the flawed nature of Barack Hussein Obama. They would join Obama's core group to rid America of this crime against humanity.
+1 # Marge Innovera 2011-09-10 13:30
What did Bush really whisper to Obama? Take Al-Qaeda and give the points. It's a lock
+2 # RLF 2011-09-10 14:26
This guy's bog or site or whatever should be called Justice Spin Project!
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2011-09-10 15:01
Bush telling OB, if you even think about it, we will target the USA as a whole and there will be nothing but ashes. Remember 9/11....we are ready for bigger assault.

A fly on OB's jacket who has been a good source on info, said this was the exact statement. Congress, TP remind him daily.
+6 # fredboy 2011-09-10 15:10
After Dr. Frankenstein shouted "It's alive!" he peered with horror at his creation...
+10 # sdo347 2011-09-10 15:31
We can all suppose many things.
The President is not King. Congress has just as much power as the President and they have shown us that they can use it. The Supreme Court has as much Power also and they have shown us that they can use it.
Another thing this article does not mention and that is that the Republicans have another Army on our soil. Have we forgotten Blackwater?
+2 # susienoodle 2011-09-11 06:45
I agree, plus let us not forget that all that money (Koch bros anyone?) buys the outcome (Scott Walker for instance). Sometimes I wonder how much clout any president really has these days. Not enough when it's a good guy like Obama. Too much when it's a bad guy like Cheney. Hey, at least he saved GM.
+6 # ckosuda 2011-09-11 13:57
apparently, Obama is not such a "good guy" after all -

a "good guy" is not that much of a coward -

does he realize he is the President -

and that he was elected by people who wanted these prosecutions and expected them, and were told they would get them?
+6 # Billy Bob 2011-09-10 19:51
As a side note:

Is it just me, or does cheney look EVEN MORE EVIL THAN USUAL in that picture?
+2 # Billy Bob 2011-09-10 19:52
I think I know what it is. Doesn't he look like one of the Nazi supervillains in Raiders of the Lost Arc?
+3 # ckosuda 2011-09-11 10:24
so he is the coward and fraud that some of us have sensed for years / so when he talks to us, he is lying - no fooling - we suspected that also.
Does he really think that this is what folks voted for?
How stupid/arrogant /totally without excuse.
truly a tragedy
+2 # susienoodle 2011-09-11 12:38
Everyone pls watch Tom Hartman videos on you tube. They are so enlightening, with facts, not hyperbole. He actually describes what happened at the tea party in 1773, reading from a book written by someone who was there.
+1 # lin96 2011-09-12 15:05
I too listen to Thom Hartman. He's extremely informed. Too bad his words and actions don't match. He has the information, yet he doesn't act on it. He waits for someone else to do what he says needs to be done, but won't come out of his box to aid in the implementation of what he believes should be done. I wish he would run to lead.
0 # John Talbutt 2011-09-11 23:23
I believe that the prosecution of Bush and Cheney could not have been sustained against the reaction of their forces and the forces of all those who would field threatened by such prosecution. It would have been possible if progressive forces had been stronger.

The last person who had the power to resist being prosecuted for a capital crime and did not was Jesus and neither Bush of Cheney bears any resemblance.
+3 # lin96 2011-09-12 14:58
Obama and his administration feared the Republicans would revolt and that they would block Obama's agenda. What they feared came true, and they compromised doing the right thing in vane. We don't need cowards in the highest office of the country. If they fear doing the right thing... they shouldn't run. Now these men and their crimes still hangs over our heads because we didn't bring these criminals to justice. JFK WAS our last President. They showed every president thereafter what would happen if they didn't listen to the financiers who are really running this country. I hope Jackie Kennedy's interviews, who are in the hands of her daughter, and not the media, will have heads exploding all over Washington (unlike what Cheney's book was suppose to do). There are 7 interviews and the first one airs tomorrow night. I hope they are filled with the truth no matter what it is. We need to do the right thing NOW more than ever, if we are ever to be the great country we once were.
0 # spenel334 2011-09-12 19:08
You all have contributed great, intelligent, and informed commentary. Now I'd like to read suggestions about what to do. Did anyone read Robert Reich's speech to a group in Minnesota today? He described his point of view, and said only that the like minded of us must stand together. It appears that some sort of gathering, of protesting, not once but over and over, all over the country, is the only method open to us. I'm anxious to learn of other suggestions. To sit back and give up is not an option. We may disagree among ouselves, but have enough common ground to get moving.
0 # Pasquino 2011-09-13 15:54
This is a very plausible allegation or fear. But it's unfair to characterize as cowardice the choice to go for accomplishments rather than prosecutions. Prosecutions of political rivals tend to ruin any chance at cooperation––an d when Obama took office, who imagined that Republicans would keep up the intense and poisonous partisanship of the campaign? I guess we know now. Democrats tend to put partisanship aside to get things done. You will notice there are investigations in hand now, over Wall Street crimes and other crimes. But we need to focus on who our opponents are, and who are our allies and our champions. Our president would have achieved more this year if Democrats hadn't sat home in 2010. His agenda would be bolder if he had a more Democratic Congress. In other words, protest the GOP louder than you protest the Democrats who are trying to get things done. Give our side a stronger majority if you want things done. More persuasion and more organizing might marginalize the GOP extremists that most Americans disagree with.
0 # 31nst31n 2012-05-15 20:20
Do you job OBAMA!?! or I may actually get a hold of troops, my navy is on it's way, and I have 250 Top of the line Fighter Jets. Keep pushing your luck by letting the Secret Service protect these kinds of people that need prosecuting get away. Keep it up....

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