“I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war.” – Barack Obama
In 2008, Barack Obama ran on a platform that very vehemently denounced the war and torture that our elected officials were involved in. At that time, the United States was running major military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since then, we are still in Afghanistan but they claim we are done with Iraq. This is of course bullshit, as we have plenty of troops in Iraq regardless of the Obama Administration claiming that the war is “over”. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that this has been propagandized in such a way that makes Obama look good going into the 2012 election. In addition to that, Obama led us into battle with Libya and is pretty damn close to pushing us into military “interventions” against Syria and Iran. Additionally, who knows what the hell else the Obama Administration has up their sleeves that isn’t publicly out on the table.
However, all this warmongering hypocrisy is now widely known. I shouldn’t be stating anything new here. There are vigilant liberals and anti-war activists currently pissed off at Obama but truthfully, you certainly don’t see gigantic protests calling for the guy’s blood like you saw for Bush when he was president. The problem with this, is that the big Anti-War Movement was nothing more than an Anti-Bush Movement. You can certainly argue against this, sure. Although what is the casual observer supposed to think when they see that protesters were so enraged at the Republican Bush but not so enraged as the Democrat Obama has expanded our militarism to new heights beyond even the Bush Administration’s? To those still angry and voicing that anger, I salute you. To those of you turning a blind eye because it is your guy doing it, you’re nothing more than fucking parasites.
It doesn’t end with just war though, nope. This carries over into what Obama’s stance was in 2008, while incredibly critical of the Bush Administration’s stance on Gitmo and the strong belief that they were practicing torture there. Candidate Obama promised to walk into the Oval Office and use his executive power to order the terrorist prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to shut its doors within a year. Hell, I was excited and was relieved that someone was going to come in and look to establish peace and take a higher road when dealing with the scumbag evildoers. I was glad that we seemingly had a potential leader that wasn’t going to be just as evil and twisted as those we fight and defend ourselves from for being evil and twisted.
Barack Obama got my vote over John McCain in 2008 because I knew with McCain, we would get Bush version 3.0. With Obama, we would get something different, at least in the realm of our militaristic actions. I was a fucking moron blind on hope and hype, I can admit it, but I also wasn’t as involved in the issues as I am now and honestly, I can thank Obama for being a complete hypocrite as one of the reasons why I decided to involve myself. Other reasons are because Ron Paul made a lot of sense and I really started reading up on economics. Also, in 2008, I still thought that I had to make one of two choices and I saw John McCain as a giant warmongering piece of shit – I still do by the way.
Once candidate Obama became President Obama, he seemed to still be interested in closing Gitmo – “seemed” being the operative word here. Early into his term he said:
We have spoken to the European Union about the possibilities of working with us and helping us in managing the closure of Guantanamo. Chancellor Merkel has been very open to discussions with us … I don’t anticipate that it’s going to be resolved anytime in the next two or three months. I think it’s going to be a longer process of evaluation.
Um.. okay? What happened to that executive order he was going to throw down? I mean, I guess this seems reasonable and now that he was POTUS, maybe he learned some new information that he didn’t have access to as a presidential candidate and there was a lot of red tape that had to be worked through. However, he’s over three and a half years into his term now and he still hasn’t done a goddamned thing! Actually, I take that back, he has done something and that something that he has done is enough to make a rational peace-loving person sick.
To start, the Obama Administration’s Justice Department just ruled out prosecutions over potential CIA-caused prison deaths to detained terrorists. Also, the Department of Justice granted final immunity to the Bush Administration’s CIA torturers. In a nutshell, the Obama Administration, who’s leader ran on a platform that denounced this inhumane behavior, has now protected those who have committed it. Not only does this make Obama a liar but it makes him guilty of the same atrocities he was throwing in Bush’s face just a few years earlier.
Looking at two cases of CIA torture, neither at Gitmo in this case, but one at a similar CIA prison near Kabul, Afghanistan and another that took place in Abu Ghraib, Iraq – Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder said that he was closing both cases without any charges. The incident near Kabul involved the death of an Afghan detainee in a secret prison and the incident in Abu Ghraib involved the death of an Iraqi citizen who was in CIA custody.
In response to this, Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian said:
The Obama administration’s aggressive, full-scale whitewashing of the “war on terror” crimes committed by Bush officials is now complete.
The New York TImes said that this decision:
..eliminat[es] the last possibility that any criminal charges will be brought as a result of the brutal interrogations carried out by the CIA.
Looking back however, the Obama Administration has been pretty adamant at trying to keep these incidents shrouded. While running on the platform that “torture is wrong” and vowing to “immediately review” any potential cases of wrong-doing, his real agenda wasn’t yet made clear. Obama in 2008 sated that, “nobody is above the law” but after winning the election – before inauguration even, he showed his true colors – making it clear that he wasn’t going to follow through on his promises. He admitted that he wasn’t going to live up to his own words and was actually against any investigations into torture, as he stated on the subject, “..we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards”.
In fact, the Obama Administration was out in full force in support of Obama’s lack of giving a shit in regards to investigating CIA torture. Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs would sidestep questions on the issue and when really pressed would talk about looking forward and moving on. Obama himself said this in 2009:
Nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past … we must resist the forces that divide us, and instead come together on behalf of our common future.
This was uttered to the press the day he started taking steps towards granting full immunity to any government officials. Officials that took part in torturous activities via “permission slips” provided by the Bush Administration’s Department of Justice. You see, Bush’s DOJ would allow certain interrogation techniques in certain situations. You remember all the “enhanced interrogation” talk, right? Oh well, I guess some people ARE above the law.
Now in 2012, Eric Holder has shut the door. Justice will not be served and those who have committed vicious acts, will be allowed to walk freely and probably continue to commit those acts in the future. Now I am not saying that all situations are the same and that torture is always involved, it’s not. The fucked up thing though, is that we will just never know for sure how frequent it happened and those behind it will never face the music. It has happened though. The evidence is there. Those in power have admitted to it.
So what are supposed to learn from all this? When our government tortures, it’s okay. If you or I did it, regardless of the circumstances, we would go to jail. Government is not held accountable for their own actions within their own laws.
Looking back, the astonishing allegations of Gen. Barry McCaffrey back in 2009 will go on ignored. His allegations were broadcasted on MSNBC where he said:
We should never, as a policy, maltreat people under our control, detainees. We tortured people unmercifully. We probably murdered dozens of them during the course of that, both the armed forces and the CIA.
In response to the Obama Administration’s Justice Department decision the ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer said:
That the justice department will hold no one accountable for the killing of prisoners in CIA custody is nothing short of a scandal … the decision not to file charges against individuals who tortured prisoners to death is yet another entry in what is already a shameful record.
Obama has made promises and he has lied. To not be outraged, if you were angry at Bush, is absolute bullshit and goes to show that you may indeed be a partisan hack. If you considered what the Bush era CIA was doing to terrorists to be war crimes that needed to be brought to justice, you can’t just ignore that now! Apparently though, people are turning a blind eye to all of this because it is their guy running the show now. Both parties and both leaders are guilty of the same shit but the fact that the loud angry voices I heard four years ago have turned into nothing more than a whimper when Obama took office, proves to me how disgusting, blind and partisan the human race can be. And THAT is why we will never find common ground and peace between people because too many of us have blind faith in hype and rhetoric and refuse to challenge ourselves, self-educate ourselves and ask real questions.