Barack Obama: Torture is OK Up Date: Crowley Resigns

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Up Date below.

Barack says it’s OK to torture an American soldier who is being held in isolation on an American military base on American soil just miles from the White House. Why? Because the Pentagon said it is. Sound familiar? It should because, just a very short 26 months ago, the other guy who said torture was OK left the White House. It appears he was replaced with his ideological clone, and now, fellow war criminal, Barack who has taken torture, detention and rendition even further than Dick even could have imagined.

State Department spokesperson, P. J. Crowley, who was speaking to a small group at MIT discussing “the new media and the foreign policy”, he let was queried by a young man about Wikileaks:

Charlie deTar: There’s an elephant in the room during this discussion: Wikileaks. The US government is torturing a whistleblower in prison right now. How do we resolve a conversation about the future of new media in diplomacy with the government’s actions regarding Wikileaks?

PJC: “I spent 26 years in the air force. What is happening to Manning is ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid, and I don’t know why the DoD is doing it.

Then today at a press conference on the disaster in Japan, ABC News White House correspondent pulled his cajones out of the lock box in his boss’s office, asking Barack about P.J.’s condemnation of Bradley’s treatment. Barack’s response:

With respect to Private Manning, I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards. They assure me that they are. I can’t go into details about some of their concerns, but some of this has to do with Private Manning’s safety as well. [my emphasis]

So, let me get this straight, the basic standard of treatment of an innocent man who has yet to be formerly charges for eight months is to apply the standards that were condemned at Abu Grab and Guantanamo in 2002?  

As Glen Greenwald at Salon so precisely stated in his article today on Amnesty International’s call for protests of Manning’s treatment:

Oh, that’s very reassuring — and such a very thorough and diligent effort by the President to ensure that detainees under his command aren’t being abused.  He asked the Pentagon and they said everything was great — what more is there to know?  Everyone knows that on questions of whether the military is abusing detainees, the authoritative source is . . . the military.  You just ask them if they’re doing anything improper, and once they tell you that they’re not, that’s the end of the matter.  

I have no doubt that George Bush asked the DoD whether everything was being run professionally at Guantanamo and they assured him that they were.  Perhaps the reason there haven’t been any Wall Street prosecutions is because Obama asked Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein if there was any fraud and those banking executives assured the President that there wasn’t.

Glen also highlighted, Dylan Ratigan, MSNBC host, condemnation of Democrats and the so-called left wing, progressive, pragmatic apologists for

remaining silent in the face of civil liberties and other abuses by Obama which would provoke, vociferous and constant objections if carried out by George Bush.  At the end of the segment, Ratigan acknowledges that some have been consistent and have vocally objected to Obama’s civil liberties abuses generally and the treatment of Manning specifically — he refers to me and FDL as examples — and then clarifies that his criticisms are aimed at Democratic politicians and their loyalists, who opportunistically pretended to care about such things when doing so produced partisan advantage (when there was a GOP President), but now ignore them because they no longer do (because there’s a Democratic President).

This is being  done in our names as it was under Bush. It was not acceptable then it is not acceptable now. Not in my name.

Up Date 3.13.11 1428 EDT: P.J. Crowley Resigning As State Department Spokesman: Report

P.J. Crowley is resigning as spokesman for the State Department, CNN reports.

Michael van Poppel at BNO News noted on Twitter after the story broke, “Crowley released a statement on Yemen just 2 hours ago. Seems really abrupt.” Shortly after he added, “Clinton: It is with regret that I have accepted the resignation of Philip J. Crowley as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs.”

Politico confirmed reports of Crowley’s resignation on Sunday.

I expected this. You cannot work  for the man if you tell the truth.


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    • TMC on March 13, 2011 at 4:41 am
  1. Apart from the volumes of US and international law which the brutalization of Bradley Manning contravenes, maybe it’s also worth remembering a principle of common and customary law from the Middle Ages: Twice makes a custom, as described by Jacob Freeze, “the prophetic wonder-man of political blogging,” in April, 2008, in the comments under this essay at Common Dreams, before they banned me for criticizing Barack Obama.

    If the Constitutional prohibition against “cruel and unusual punsihment” is interpreted as logical conjunction, meaning that a punishment has to be both cruel and unusual to fit the specification, then anything that slips into common practice avoids the prohibition.

    This is an echo of the medieval principle that “twice makes a custom,” and it kept medieval barons busy making sure they didn’t miss collecting a tax or duty two years running.

    Human rights activists should be equally vigilant about developing “customs,” but since challenges to abuse of prisoners typically move very slowly through the courts, the Constituional prohibition is intrinsically unreliable in periods of debased public morality, where juries cannot be trusted to reject abuses in the first instance.

    By the time a challenge to abuse is argued in the Supreme Court, a dozen similar challenges may have failed already in lower courts because of technical insufficiencies in the appeals process, and in the meantime a new form of abuse has ceased to be “unusual.”

    (And fuck that useless site, where the cheerleading for Barack Obama never stopped, until it was too late to matter.)

    Once is a precedent, twice makes a custom, and all of us could still pretend that the United States was still a nation ruled by law instead of brute force while George W. Bush was still just an aberration, but now that Obama confirms and repeats the precedent, it’s who we are.  

    • Xanthe on March 13, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    perhaps I missed it on another diary here.

  2. But instead it is ruled by superstition and ritual no different from any nation or empire in Western history.

    The constitution is nothing now but antiquated parchment, picked apart, parsed and meaninglessly praised. Concepts of military justice and “state secrets” are barbaric remnants from ancient history. And they have returned with a vengeance. To call ourselves a Republic is a sham; a Democracy, a farce. The aristocratic impulse has been the dominant one for our entire history. Manning rocked the boat. Exercised his first amendment rights. Made the wrong people look bad. Obama is now just a happy member of the Aristocracy like the Bush’s and Clintons. Whoopdeedo—


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