Riders On The Storm Open Thread

Riders On The Storm

Glenn Greenwald this morning: Our political class in a nutshell

Agence France Press, yesterday:

The Bush administration repeatedly sought to block investigations into alleged killings of up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners by a US-backed Afghan warlord in 2001, The New York Times reported Friday.

Top US officials discouraged separate probes by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the State Department and the Pentagon into the mass killings because it was conducted by the forces of General Abdul Rashid Dostam, a warlord then on the Central Intelligence Agency’s payroll, the Times said on its website. . . .

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Richard Holbrooke, the special US envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, have told Karzai they objected to the recent reinstatement of Dostam as military chief of staff, the Times said, citing a senior State Department official.

“We believe that anyone suspected of war crimes should be thoroughly investigated,” the official added, hinting the Obama administration is open to an inquiry.


The New York Times, April 23, 2009:

Senate Democratic leaders, joining forces with the Obama White House, said they would resist efforts by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other prominent Democrats to create a special commission to investigate the harsh interrogation methods that the Bush administration approved for terrorism suspects.

At a meeting of top Democrats at the White House Wednesday night, President Obama told Congressional leaders that he did not want a special inquiry, which he said would potentially steal time and energy from his ambitious policy priorities, and could mushroom into a wider distraction by looking back at other aspects of the Bush years.


The New York Times, February 9, 2009:

In a closely watched case involving rendition and torture, a lawyer for the Obama administration seemed to surprise a panel of federal appeals judges on Monday by pressing ahead with an argument for preserving state secrets originally developed by the Bush administration.

In the case, Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian native, and four other detainees filed suit against a subsidiary of Boeing for arranging flights for the Bush administration’s “extraordinary rendition” program, in which terrorism suspects were secretly taken to other countries, where they say they were tortured. The Bush administration argued that the case should be dismissed because even discussing it in court could threaten national security and relations with other nations.

During the campaign, Mr. Obama harshly criticized the Bush administration’s treatment of detainees, and he has broken with that administration on questions like whether to keep open the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. But a government lawyer, Douglas N. Letter, made the same state-secrets argument on Monday, startling several judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


That about sums everything up:  War Crimes are heinous and intolerable acts that all decent people reject; “anyone suspected of war crimes should be thoroughly investigated”; and War Criminals must not be allowed in any positions of authority . . . . except when the War Crimes in question are committed by Americans, in which case all investigations and accountability must be blocked and those who defended and even approved them are perfectly welcomed in our highest positions of authority (including, ironically, overseeing our war in Afghanistan).  See also, quite relatedly:  this post from earlier today on how we continue to shield from any accountability the clear and serious crimes committed by Bush officials in how they spied on Americans.  Let’s just repeat the sermon from the anonymous Obama official in demanding an investigation into crimes by this Afghan warlord:  “We believe that anyone suspected of war crimes should be thoroughly investigated.”  It doesn’t appear that they know what the word “anyone” means.


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    • Edger on July 11, 2009 at 17:50

    We don’t investigate war crimes on Saturdays, dontcha know…

  1. Valtin wrote about it over at the orange as well.

    This just isn’t about Obama personally but about whoever is the President of the United States.  We’d be having this exact conversation had Hillary won or even, god forbid, McCain.  Just shows the dearth of opportunities for the voters.

    It’s just plain up to we the people.  There’s no way on earth the powers that be are going to risk getting on the wrong side of the intelligence agencies and DoD without us at their backs pushing every goddamned step of the way.

    Somehow we have to move this out of the political and into the real.  Valtin’s diary showed his own anguish at how this has piled up, not just in the past 8 years but in the past several decades.  The chickens have finally come home to roost.

    I’d feel sorry for Obama having to deal with this but damn it, no one drafted him.  He wanted this job.  I’ll save my sympathy for those who have been killed unjustly and who are suffering as I write this.


  2. I wrote a 20 page short story in one night at college based on this song.

    Cheers for a good reminder of what lies behind us, and what we can do to effect what is to come.

  3. I wrote a 20 page short story in one night at college based on this song.

    Cheers for a good reminder of what lies behind us, and what we can do to effect what is to come.

  4. yesterday evening (early) I was thinking we could just about start a new weekly series entitled “The Friday 4:53PM Dump”.

    Im skimming but I do not have time to read in depth all these today. Dammit. And I actually CARE. Point being… most people (I need anew phrase substitute for that one) dont care and dont have ti me.


    so hows the reception to valtin, and the PHR guy?

    I agree with valtin:

    If this community cannot rise up and protest this cover-up of mass atrocity, if this is not outrage enough, then outrage is dead, and Cheneyism’s dismal spread across this land will have made its greatest conquest: the hearts and energies of the progressive community.

    • Inky99 on July 11, 2009 at 21:18

    and it’s because of this bullshit.

    Where I come from, where I grew up, if you helped someone commit a crime, you were an accessory.

    Obama is now an accessory to EVERY crime of the Bush administration.

    And he’s a fucking liar to boot.

    And now with the renaming of the mountaintop removal mining, so they can pretend it goes away?   That’s just one of those “you must think we’re really fucking stupid” moments that should not be tolerated.

    Fuck Obama.  He’s nothing but a Repub who tricked everyone into thinking he’s a (D).   He’s a liar and a con man.  

    I hate his fucking guts now.  

  5. and found this one.

    It may be necessary temporarily to accept a lesser evil, but one must never label a necessary evil as good.

    ~ Margaret Mead

  6. “How are you going to like it when a Dem. President has all the executive powers Bush has seized?”

    Pandora’s Box has been opened.

    Obama had a chance to send a message about American values not only to the international community, but also to future presidents.

    He blew it.

  7. ‘a pol is a pol’ Obama is a really talented pol. He’s brilliant at strategy (or his team is) better then even Rove. I worked for his campaign in the primaries and was impressed with the diversity of the people who volunteered, they all despite their divergent places on the political spectrum, believed in the need for ‘change’ and seemed fully aware of the fierce urgency of now. The one thing they had in common was the belief that the Bushies had stolen their country and they wanted it back. They were looking for a way to stop the horror show.  

    Some days, when I’m in a CT mood I believe that he was groomed by both parties for this, The Bushies were the rogue element of the Republicans and basically a coup of the extreme right. They went to far and were to overt with their sadistic cabal. The powers that be needed to provide a change that was believable. He entered the arena at the 04 convention and did his magic. His nomination siphoned all the discontent and unrest in the ‘center’ and left, away from  full out rebellion and he appealed to the Republican side with half a brain.

    The thing is whether or not this is crackpot or true we can learn from this. The movement that empowered him the grassroot, netroot and saw him as a vessel for ‘we the people..’ That is still there. The tricky part is getting people to see that they were bamboozled and that their power was real even if they did get fooled again. How long will they be patient?

    They are now seeing how much damage has been done to not just ‘other’ but their own American Dream. The wars, the economy, the environmental damage, even their health remain in the hands of the same people with the same agenda. They for now believe that what he promised is coming and that somehow he has no access to the power they gave him. So how do we yell loudly and smartly like he did. how do we convince the people who got involved that they are who holds the power and not the pols? Because he was right about one thing the pols are just a vessel for the people. I don’t hate Obama he is just a pol, focusing on him as the remedy we need or hating him for not being anything but a slimy pol, is in his words a distraction.  


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