Wednesday October 23, 2013, 8:29 am
"At the time President Obama took office, many of his supporters expected a radical change in course on national security policy. This did not happen. For sure, limitations on some of the worst excesses were put in place, but there was no broad reversal. The secret programs of surveillance expanded and the other policies discussed above, on indefinite detention, treatment of whistleblowers, and executive prerogatives relative to Congress stayed in place or broke even more radically with tradition."
In no area of performance am I more disappointed in the President than in this. It has been my contention since I was a young poli sci major that the PEOPLE'S business should be ALWAYS conducted in public. I should note I started college in January, 1971, the Nixon administration where Kissinger as Secretary of State conducted foreign policy as if he and Dick were kings. All behind closed doors. Most of which would NEVER have been supported by the people and a lot of which involved supporting dictatorships which massacred their own people. My feeling then was that all this "if you can't talk privately, no one will talk" was bullsquat. If you can't conduct your business in the open air, it is business you should NOT be conducting.
By that, I mean, drone attacks that kill innocents - Malala was RIGHT to ask the President to stop doing that as it creates more terrorists and more sympathizers toward them - I mean conducting surveillance on American citizens without probable cause, I mean secret courts, I mean the policy that allows the killing of American citizens without due process - yes, that means some who have turned to the darkside must be captured and tried rather than killed by a drone. I don't care if that is more difficult. It is RIGHT. We have let fear take away our most precious freedoms, including the right to freedom of speech. That should never happen. it is a basic constitutional right that NO president ought be able to sweep away with an executive order.
If you can't talk diplomacy in public, then you are talking about things you wouldn't want your mother to know you did and that is NOT the mark of a free society. We are better than this. Or we should be. The President would have lost my vote over this had I known. Not that Romney would have gotten it, I simply would have voted for a candidate who shares my values, Jill Stein. I really want the 2016 Democratic candidate to commit to freedom of speech and protecting the constitutional rights we have specifically. Apparently if you do not ask this, or require it, Presidents feel free to trample them. And I don't agree with that.
Wednesday October 23, 2013, 9:17 am
Of course they're all involved. They all take money from the Big Six. People demonize Cheney but Rumsfeld should be right up there with him. Joe Biden isn't the nice grandfatherly type either,.
Then there is Kissinger and Rockefeller who are responsible for genocide. Is that plain enough for y'all?
Wednesday October 23, 2013, 2:10 pm
When we used planes to bomb our enemies did people say we should use 100,000 troops instead ? When we use DRONES should we instead sacrifice more American kids on the ground.... and are you going to volunteer for that job.
All this HYPE about the NSA is B.S. created for another diversion. Either we chose privacy or security and I'll chose security ALL the time. We haven't had another 911 and I don't want another 911.....and 50+ attacks that we even know of have been diverted since then. Give it UP people already let security do it's job. !!!
Wednesday October 23, 2013, 2:14 pm
Before DRONES..... were there NO creating of terrorists and more sympathizers toward them ?
I WISH ....but it didn't HAPPEN !!! To think they'll love us more if we don't go after them with all we have without sacrificing more of our OWN kids.....is B S all the way.
Use common sense.....
Wednesday October 23, 2013, 3:18 pm
Janice - it isn't because the NSA and Homeland Security are on top of things, snooping everywhere, that we haven't had another 9/11...it's because the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing, since neither wants to tell anybody anything, specially We, the People. There hasn't been another 9/11 because nobody in all these secret spy groups knows where there are any terrorists in America. They've lost so many over the years that they have to spy on everybody to find even a few of so-called possible terrorists, or the supposed cells active in the USA.
I actually feel a whole lot less secure Not knowing what the H is going on in our government. They can take all those ridiculous colored light safety levels and throw them in the polluted oceans, along with all of their paranoid beliefs. Drones aren't targeting individuals, but are sent to where some idiots Think there Might be terrorists...instead the drones are killing innocent women, children, pets, wildlife, families...make you feel safer if those drones were targeting We, the People?? A distinct possibility the way things stand in our government.
We don't need to sacrifice any of our kids, because there's no need to step into civil wars, in between terrorist groups, or to help dictators, despots, tyrants, drug dealers, mass murderers, keep their strangle hold on their countries. Our history isn't so great when it comes to the leaders we choose to back. We Need to stay out of these conflicts. Instead send our aid, not for military, but for medical, compassionate aid, helping the people to live, not to be killed by their own leaders - or us.
Wednesday October 23, 2013, 4:20 pm
Noted. Thanks for posting, Cal.
Ditto what Gene and Sheila said. The article commented about Cheney's doctrine of the "unitary executive," which holds that the Pres. controls the entire executive branch, and is the ultimate statement of the imperial presidency. It seems this has only been solidified under Obama, when so many of us hoped for drastic change. It also seems we continue to live under the Bush Doctrine, since I haven't heard or read of an Obama Doctrine, which could've been the antithesis.
How many remember when Obama stated at a press conference several months ago that he hoped Congress would eliminate the AUMF (Authorization for Using Military Force)? I believe Congress did vote on it, but it didn't pass, and Obama still retains that right. Geez, he even ASKED Congress to end it. He also took the Fourth Estate to task, if I recall correctly, in the State of the Union. He said he was doing his job better than they were doing theirs. Although, we did get Snowden as a whistleblower a couple months later, I don't think the Fourth Estate has changed much. We lost Michael Hastings, too.
But, I am glad to note that Alternet is going to have some in-depth articles on this, and will look forward to seeing what they've found. We absolutely have to get the "Corporatists-For-Warfare" out of Congress. This massive industry has overtaken our country.....and is destroying it from within. The Tea Party can't even do half the damage to America that corporate cash is doing. In fact, I've heard that the sequester & subsequent shutdown has led to many findings of fraud, waste & abuse within the military-corporate structure.
Here in AZ, 21 members of the Nat'l Guard were found to have "stolen" over $1 million dollars by cheating the gov't when filling out their payment forms. They will be indicted in court soon here. And, that's just one instance in a field of many more.
Wednesday October 23, 2013, 8:39 pm
I guess I missed the commercialism in this article or how companies are profiting explicitly from the personal information the government gleans is sold to corporations.
I am against the excessive invasiveness and always believe that a warrant issued by a judge should be a necessary preliminary before any type of eaves dropping.
Its just the title of this article is very misleading.
Thursday October 24, 2013, 1:23 pm
Cheney, Rumsfeld, Kissinger, Nixon: all inictable!
History shows that no president has given up the questionable gift he received from previous presidents, though I guess Obama did ask congress to take that one back.
No, I do not want us to be attacked again,, either, but there is a feeling that , in a way, when we get crazy about surveillance, the terrorists have already won.
Thursday October 24, 2013, 9:20 pm
At least look up Wikipedia, "At the Pennsylvania ratifying convention in 1787, James Wilson emphasized the advantages of a single chief executive, including greater accountability, vigor, decisiveness, and responsibility:
[T]he executive authority is one. By this means we obtain very important advantages. We may discover from history, from reason, and from experience, the security which this furnishes. The executive power is better to be trusted when it has no screen. Sir, we have a responsibility in the person of our President; he cannot act improperly, and hide either his negligence or inattention; he cannot roll upon any other person the weight of his criminality; no appointment can take place without his nomination; and he is responsible for every nomination he makes. We secure vigor. We well know what numerous executives are. We know there is neither vigor, decision, nor responsibility, in them. Add to all this, that officer is placed high, and is possessed of power far from being contemptible; yet not a single privilege is annexed to his character; far from being above the laws, he is amenable to them in his private character as a citizen, and in his public character by impeachment."
Hard to believe anything in the article if the most basic assumption is wrong.
Friday October 25, 2013, 8:18 pm
Ask those who were alive during the anti-communist 1950's. The government even had agents marry suspected communists. So back off and think this is been with every country and by comparison it is benign. As the NSA was not looking for local or state or even federal laws broken. The commercial industry has more on you and data mining is so prevalent that the government is the least of a citizens worry.