We’ve had a year of the new boss, and it sure seems like he’s just about the same as the old one. In fact, the case could be made that Obama is worse than Bush…
When we were collectively suffering under the reign of George W., the left at least put on an anti-war face; the argument to bring the troops home and end foreign occupation got airplay. Under Obama the focus has shifted from foreign policy to health care, so much so that while our foreign entanglements were escalating, D.C. was using all the political capital available to make sure a Democrat filled Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat. And, unbelievably, failing at the task.
Martha Coakely should have been a shoe-in, since Democrats have virtually owned that seat (for all but six years since 1924). Massachusetts is a state run by Democrats, so what on earth does it mean when they choose a pro-waterboarding Republican over the person the Democratic Party explicitly told them to vote for? Something is wrong with the Democrats’ strategy. Perhaps, interestingly, the people of Massachusetts gave the seat to the Republican because they were sick of the fact that Obama and his top brass were content to spend all of their Political capital making sure that a Democrat filled that seat.
Now that Coakley’s fate is sealed, what exactly has been going on during the last few months while our full attention (and that of the president) has been on assuring that Democrats held 60 Senate seats? What have we missed? A lot.
The ever-vigilant Glenn Greenwald has a wonderful article here about new revelations concerning interrogation techniques (torture) and deaths during those interrogations (murder). The whole article is worth reading, but here’s a choice bit:
There have been at least 100 deaths of detainees in American custody who died during or as the result of interrogation. Gen. Barry McCaffrey said: “We tortured people unmercifully. We probably murdered dozens of them during the course of that, both the armed forces and the C.I.A.”
…not only has President Obama insisted that these crimes not be prosecuted, and not only has his Justice Department made clear that — at most — they will pursue a handful of low-level scapegoats, but far worse, the Obama administration has used every weapon it possesses to keep these crimes concealed, prevent any accountability for them, and even venerated them as important “state secrets,” thus actively preserving the architecture of lawlessness and torture that gave rise to these crimes in the first place.
Keep in mind that these people were not tried (meaning that in all probability many were innocent), and they died extremely gruesome deaths. According to this report, many died from having rags stuffed down their throats. This behavior is actively being protected by the current White House, and is certainly winning us no friends worldwide.
Interestingly, Obama’s even losing Paul Krugman
But I have to say, I’m pretty close to giving up on Mr. Obama, who seems determined to confirm every doubt I and others ever had about whether he was ready to fight for what his supporters believed in.
But at least our economy is fixed, right? Right?