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September 26th, 2010 | Author:

How date we question Obama’s right to assassinate American citizens?

How dare we suggest that evidence of wrong-doing and a trial might be required?

How dare the courts try to intervene?

The Obama Administration is fighting tooth and nail to kill a lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of New Mexico cleric Anwar Awlaki, arguing that even though Awlaki isn’t charged with any crimes it “strains credulity” to argue that the US government needs to present evidence before assassinating the US citizen.

In fact the papers filed by the Justice Department attempting to quash the case argue that the court system should have absolutely no oversight over the administration’s sudden, bizarre claim that it can assassinate any American citizen it wants on the basis of nation security, arguing that such issues are “for the executive branch of the government to decide rather than the courts.”

Read the rest here, if you can stomach it.

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September 14th, 2010 | Author:

then …

Nearly 40 years before the Obama White House denounced the WikiLeaks website for publishing classified documents, another president, Richard Nixon, was even more obsessed with the same phenomenon.

Only Nixon and his top aides went to far greater lengths to deal with the problem: They launched an extraordinary campaign to smear and discredit the journalist who, more than anyone else, was bedeviling them by publishing government secrets: newspaper columnist Jack Anderson.

The White House obsession with Anderson — whose “Washington Merry Go-Round” column was the WikiLeaks of its day — is detailed in a new book being published this month, “Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson and the Rise of Washington’s Scandal Culture,” by journalism professor Mark Feldstein. The book relies in part on newly unearthed tapes from the National Archives that document how Nixon’s aides plotted to destroy Anderson by planting forged evidence with him and spreading false rumors about his sex life and that of one of his associates.

Nixon plot against newspaper columnist detailed
Michael Isikoff, national investigative correspondent, msnbc.com

and now …

In a nondescript suite of government offices not far from the Pentagon, nearly 120 intelligence analysts, FBI agents, and others are at work—24 hours a day, seven days a week—on the frontlines of the government’s secret war against WikiLeaks.

The General Gunning for Wikileaks
Philip Shenon, The Daily Beast

Four months before WikiLeaks rocketed to international notoriety, the Robin Hoods of the Internet quietly published a confidential CIA document labeled “NOFORN” (for “no foreign nationals”)—meaning that it should not be shared even with US allies. That’s because the March “Red Cell Special Memorandum” was a call to arms for a propaganda war to influence public opinion in allied nations. The CIA report describes a crisis in European support for the Afghanistan war, noting that 80 percent of German and French citizens are against increasing their countries’ military involvement. The report suggests that “Afghan women could serve as ideal messengers in humanizing the [International Security Assistance Force] role in combating the Taliban because of women’s ability to speak personally and credibly about their experiences under the Taliban, their aspirations for the future, and their fears of a Taliban victory.”

On July 25 WikiLeaks published its massive cache of classified documents on the war in Afghanistan. Four days later, Time magazine posted on its website its August 9 cover story, featuring a horrifying image of a beautiful young Afghan woman named Aisha with a gaping hole where her nose once was, under the headline “What Happens if We Leave Afghanistan”—echoing the strategy laid out in the Red Cell report [see Ann Jones, "Our Afghan Demons," page 4].

These two media events unfolded in starkly different ways. While Time has been praised for telling Aisha’s story, WikiLeaks has been characterized as a criminal syndicate with blood on its hands. Former Bush administration speechwriter Marc Thiessen called for the United States to use whatever means necessary to snatch WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, including rendering him from abroad. Others have called for the United States to shut down WikiLeaks and prosecute its members. Michigan Republican Congressman Mike Rogers has called for the alleged leaker, 22-year-old Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, to be executed if he is convicted.

Wikileaks and War Crimes
Jeremy Scahill, The Nation

The government’s response to exposure, then and now, is a reflection of an immature culture that thinks the means justify the ends, admitting you’re wrong is a sign of weakness, and we should always shoot the messenger.

What a sad statement about our presidents, past and present.

What a sad statement about America.

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September 13th, 2010 | Author:

When Obama visited Egypt last year, he said the pyramids were “awe-inspiring.” Apparently he liked the idea of having laborers move millions of tons of rocks and arrange them in big piles to honor their rulers, the pharaohs.

-Jim Powell, Cato Institute


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September 11th, 2010 | Author:

When asked about the impact of threatening to burn qurans in his recent press conference, Obama said this:

There’s no doubt that when someone goes out of their way to be provocative in ways that we know can inflame the passions of over a billion Muslims around the world at a time when we’ve got our troops in a lot of Muslim countries, that’s a problem.

Instead of sending the FBI to intimidate the misguided Florida pastor, removing our troops from “a lot of Muslim countries” would seem to offer them better protection.  It might even “deflame” their hatred for the U.S. because it would be harder for us to kill their civilians from a distance.

This move would probably help the democrats in November, too, although I know you would never make a decision based on politics.

I’m just sayin’ and I know you have other very important things on your mind, but that’s my two cents, Mr. President.

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June 18th, 2010 | Author:

Crucial offers to help clean up BP’s oil spill came “from Belgian, Dutch, and Norwegian firms that . . . possess some of the world’s most advanced oil skimming ships.” But the Obama administration didn’t accept their help, because doing so would require it to do something past presidents have routinely done: waive rules imposed by the Jones Act, a law backed by unions.

“The BP clean-up effort in the Gulf of Mexico is hampered by the Jones Act. This is a piece of 1920s protectionist legislation, that requires all vessels working in U.S. waters to be American-built, and American-crewed. So” the U.S. Coast Guard ”can’t accept, and therefore don’t ask for, the assistance of high-tech European vessels specifically designed for the task in hand.”

The law itself permits the president to waive these requirements, and such waivers were “granted, promptly, by the Bush administration,” in the aftermath of hurricanes and other emergencies. But Obama refused to do so after the spill, notes David Warren in the Ottawa Citizen.  Instead, Obama rejected a Dutch offer to help clean up the spill, noted Voice of America News:

“The Obama administration declined the Dutch offer partly because of the Jones Act, which restricts foreign ships from certain activities in U.S. waters.  During the Hurricane Katrina crisis five years ago, the Bush administration waived the Jones Act in order to facilitate some foreign assistance, but such a waiver was not given in this case.”

Gotta protect the unions, now.  Read the rest of Hans Bader’s report on this nonsensical crap here.

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