Thursday, May 14, 2009

President Obama Is Morphing Into His Predecessor.

I simply don't accept Obama's claim that "a small number of individuals" were behind the scenes we witnessed at Abu Ghraib. The very fact that Obama is withholding hundreds of similar photographs makes me wonder who is in these other photographs. If it's not Lynddie England and Charles Graner, then this fatally undermines the "small number of individuals" argument.

I honestly have never believed this for a second. This has always appeared to me be a systematic torture regime, which the Bush administration imposed from the top down, and the fact is that all the memos which have been released bear that fact out.

Perhaps Obama is likely to be withholding them for that very reason but, as Jonathan Turley points out here, it's unlikely that this argument will be upheld by any court as embarrassing the United States is hardly a good reason to claim national security is at stake.

Nor is the first time that Obama has made this kind of argument. He recently threatened to stop sharing intelligence with the British government - his country's greatest ally in the war on a noun - should a British court reveal details of the torture Binyam Mohamed suffered whilst in US custody.

Binyam Mohamed's lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, has expressed his astonishment at the Obama administration's stance:

On the other hand, it is clear that there has now been a threat, and indeed the judges say eight times in the latest opinion, that the British government was threatened with sanctions if they were to release evidence of torture. And this needs to be put into perspective. Actually covering up evidence of torture is a criminal offense for which you can go to prison here in Britain, and I imagine in the US but I'm not quite sure about that. And the idea that the British government would conspire with the US or be threatened by the US to do this is again an independent violation of the law. . . .
I have no idea whether or not covering up evidence of torture is an offence in the US as it is in Britain, but, whether it is illegal or not, it is certainly immoral.

And yet, this is now being done, not by the Bush administration, but by the man who promised us transparency and who said embarrassment would not be a good enough reason for the US government to withhold material. And yet, he is now employing the diametrically opposite argument to the one which he used to make.


Can anyone work out what the Hell Gibbs is talking about? It just sounds like so much gobbledegook to me.


Steel Phoenix said...

Yeah, I think I get it.

The argument about protecting our troops oversees is complete crap someone tacked on at the last minute in a hope of preventing outrage. This might have worked for Bush, but it isn't remotely working for Obama, so remove all mention of such from the concepts he is trying to convey.

Think left. This is a cost benefit analysis.

Obama figures if he releases the photos, he gains points with moderate foreigners for appearing to change policy. He gains points against Republicans, but both of these are with diminishing returns.

On the negative side, if he releases all of the photos, then he sends the message that any time a photo is taken, it will be released, which isn't going to encourage a lot of people to want to be involved with photography, and may serve to reduce cooperation with investigations. How do you think the military people in those photos feel about them? What will they do the next time they see a camera? As the photos continue, they are going to get worse. The next batch would be things like the sodomizing of minors and genital mutilation. I don't think he is looking for this to be dominating his headlines right now. I think at some point he cracked. It also sounds as if he will release more later, but is cutting off the flow of info for a bit.

I think this was mostly just poorly handled. They shouldn't have made a big deal out of it. They should have just started putting holds on various things pending further investigations.

Anonymous said...

I believe he is waiting until after he returns from his summit in the Middle East with Arab leaders. There is also a part of me (as much as I don't want to believe this)that believes he is protecting someone.

Anonymous said...

Obombaton is BUSH. I see no difference in his foreign policy of hegemonic wars of empire and oil stealing. I see no change in the open-ness of government, everything this fucker does is SECRET, just like the last fascist murdering bastard.

no rollback of ANY, and I mean, ANY, of the Bush bastard transgressions against the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights, none, nada, zip point zero net change there either.

So, I deduce this fucker is BUSH THREE, the only difference between him and the last fascist bastard is that this one lies right in your face with a big toothy grin and talks ELOQUENT DOUBLE TALK AND BULLSHIT, instead of the clicks and whistles of his brain dead predecessor, George W.

This fuck in the Whore House needs to get an honorary invite to Crawford, TX., for all the obfuscating and evidence destroying he's doing for those murdering and torturing scum. Same goes for his boy, Eric 'I covered up WACO' Holder, too!

You all got sold another lemmon, so I hope you all SUCK ON IT!

Steel Phoenix said...

Such is the price of high expectations I suppose.

He's only been in office a few months. I'll give him some time before I go all rabid and anonymous. Sometimes when life gives you lemons, you just have to shut up and eat your damn lemons while you figure out what to do next.

Kel said...

SP, I feel he has been affected by the claims that he is endangering the military by releasing these pictures.

But that argument is a very slippery slope. Is it therefore always right to conceal wrongdoing so as not to "endanger the troops"? Mai Lai?

Surely it would be far better to embrace the transparency Obama campaigned on and prosecute those who put the troops in this heinous position?

Anonymous said...

Obombaton promised transparency in government. He also promised a whole lot of undoing of the bullshit the Bush bastard put into place, and he's not done shit about that.

As for 'give him time' that's a crock of shit. He could have hit the ground with his feet moving and issued a string of executive orders to undo the Bush bastard's destructon of the U.S. Constitution, but instead, he's focused on kissing Israel's ass.

anyone in this blog that thinks we need to give this liar more time is a fucking idiot. He's had plenty of time. Really he has. All he is doing now is fucking up.

these torture photos, which I've seen, were already leaked in 2006, in their entirety, so his 'excuse' is more of him bowing to A.I.P.A.C. pressure, and the letter by the A.I.P.A.C. lobby, imploring him not to make those public, that's all.

Israel knows the blowback for this, as well as their complicity in Sept. 11, 2001 murder of U.S. citizens, is going to be awfully tough for them to endure or withstand.

these mossad scum that run this government by remote control need to be fully expurgated from the Government, and their hands removed from puppet boy Obombaton's asshole...and their strings to his lips cut.

this Israeli control of the U.S. must goddamned end. IT MUST END! Fuck you jerks that think Obombaton needs more time, he's had plenty of time to stop being a fucking Israeli puppet for the Knesset and the MOSSAD.

Kel said...


I agree that he has been a disappointment on a couple of issues recently, especially the military commissions, the photographs and the threats to the British government concerning Binyam Mohamed. I'd score him B Minus at this stage.

However, I feel he's not as tied to the Likud party line as you appear to think. Netanyahu is scheming because I think he knows that Obama is serious about a state of Palestine. There's an interesting few weeks ahead.