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Ten Years After 9/11 Attacks, Is The American Majority More Similar to Cheney Than To FDR & JFK ?

Guest Tom Scully

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Guest Tom Scully

Monday, April 14, 2008

Obama would ask his AG to "immediately review" potential of crimes in Bush White House

...I mentioned the report in my question, and said "I know you've talked about reconciliation and moving on, but there's also the issue of justice, and a lot of people -- certainly around the world and certainly within this country -- feel that crimes were possibly committed" regarding torture, rendition, and illegal wiretapping. I wanted to know how whether his Justice Department "would aggressively go after and investigate whether crimes have been committed."

Here's his answer, in its entirety:

What I would want to do is to have my Justice Department and my Attorney General immediately review the information that's already there and to find out are there inquiries that need to be pursued. I can't prejudge that because we don't have access to all the material right now. I think that you are right, if crimes have been committed, they should be investigated. You're also right that I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt because I think we've got too many problems we've got to solve.

So this is an area where I would want to exercise judgment -- I would want to find out directly from my Attorney General -- having pursued, having looked at what's out there right now -- are there possibilities of genuine crimes as opposed to really bad policies. And I think it's important-- one of the things we've got to figure out in our political culture generally is distinguishing betyween really dumb policies and policies that rise to the level of criminal activity. You know, I often get questions about impeachment at town hall meetings and I've said that is not something I think would be fruitful to pursue because I think that impeachment is something that should be reserved for exceptional circumstances. Now, if I found out that there were high officials who knowingly, consciously broke existing laws, engaged in coverups of those crimes with knowledge forefront, then I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law -- and I think that's roughly how I would look at it.

The bottom line is that: Obama sent a clear signal that -- unlike impeachment, which he's ruled out and which now seems a practical impossibility -- he is at the least open to the possibility of investigating potential high crimes in the Bush White House. To many, the information that waterboarding -- which the United States has considered torture and a violation of law in the past -- was openly planned out in the seat of American government is evidence enough to at least start asking some tough questions in January 2009.



Sine qua non

124 Fans

7 hours ago (11:40 AM)

Since 9/11, the devolution of America is complete.

We love war. Our military and it's budget are held sacred -- more important than alleviatin­g the suffering

of our own people who are unemployed­, losing their homes, and in need of medical care.

We flaunt greed and worship the wealthy.

We elevate heartlessn­ess to the pinnacle of political philosophy­. We blame the poor, the aged, and the

infirm for every problem.

We remain dependent on oil, no matter how many wars it takes, or how many ecosystems destroyed, or the

dangers of global warming.

We demonize Muslims, often from the pulpits of our Christian churches (proving that we know even less about

Christiani­ty than we do Islam).

We willingly trade Constituti­onal rights for any false promise of security.

Propaganda passes for journalism­.

Ignorance is taught.

Government is the servant of corporate power.

The Department of Justice refuses to investigat­e the greatest crimes of our time.

Bribery (aka campaign contributi­ons) of elected officials is expected.

We rendition, torture, and deprive due process. As a people, we have crossed a moral line of no return.

America, in all it's post-9/11 glory, is now poised and readied for any action on either the world stage or

within her borders -- no matter how heinous.

If provoked again, is there anything America will not do to exterminat­e the next enemy?

As a people, we are all more like Dick Cheney now than we were ever like Jefferson, FDR, or Kennedy.

Why is it permissible to look backwards, not forwards, today, but not when it came time for Obama to live up to the promises he made during his campaign?


Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 07:26 ET

When presidential sermons collide

President Obama gave an interview earlier this week to an Indonesian television station in lieu of the scheduled trip to that country which was canceled due to the health care vote. In 2008, Indonesia empowered a national commission to investigate human rights abuses committed by its own government under the U.S.-backed Suharto regime "in an attempt to finally bring the perpetrators to justice," and Obama was asked in this interview: "Is your administration satisfied with the resolution of the past human rights abuses in Indonesia?" He replied:

We have to acknowledge that those past human rights abuses existed. We can't go forward without looking backwards . . . .

When asked last year about whether the United States should use similar tribunals to investigate its own human rights abuses, as well his view of other countries' efforts (such as Spain) to investigate those abuses, Obama said:

I'm a strong believer that it's important to look forward and not backwards, and to remind ourselves that we do have very real security threats out there.

That "Look-Forward/Not-Backward" formulation is one which Obama and his top aides have frequently repeated to argue against any investigations in the U.S. Why, as Obama sermonized, must Indonesians first look backward before being able to move forward, whereas exactly the opposite is true of Americans? ....

...The New Yorker's Jane Mayer -- in the last paragraph of her new article documenting the multiple lies told by former Bush speechwriter and current Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen in his pro-torture book -- offered the best summary yet as to why Obama's "Look Forward/Not Backward" mentality is so destructive:

The publication of "Courting Disaster" suggests that Obama’s avowed determination "to look forward, not back" has laid the recent past open to partisan reinterpretation. By holding no one accountable for past abuse, and by convening no commission on what did and didn’t protect the country, President Obama has left the telling of this dark chapter in American history to those who most want to whitewash it.


Published on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 by TruthDig.com

Cheney, Rumsfeld and the Dark Art of Propaganda

by Amy Goodman

...in his new book, “In My Time.” Cheney remains staunch in his convictions on issues from the invasion of Iraq to the use of torture. Telling NBC News in an interview that “there are gonna be heads exploding all over Washington” as a result of the revelations in the book, Cheney’s memoir follows one by his colleague and friend Donald Rumsfeld. As each promotes his own version of history, there are people challenging and confronting them.

Rumsfeld’s book title, “Known and Unknown,” is drawn from a notorious response he gave in one of his Pentagon press briefings as secretary of defense. In Feb. 12, 2002, attempting to explain the lack of evidence linking Iraq to weapons of mass destruction, Rumsfeld said: “[T]here are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” [ Gage Skidmore)] Former Vice President Dick Cheney at the conservative CPAC conference, where he presented former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with the ironically named “Defender of the Constitution Award.” (photo: Gage Skidmore)

Rumsfeld’s cryptic statement gained fame, emblematic of his disdain for reporters. It stands as a symbol of the lies and manipulations that propelled the U.S. into the disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq....

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