Monday, November 5, 2012

The Case Against Obama (Yes, You Read That Right)

Last week I used some space to make a not-so-subtle plea to our Resident Aquarist to vote Obama.  Understand that he's no Republican, but he is, to put it mildly, disillusioned with the President.  So I, and several of our friends, attempted to work him over from the "lesser of two evils angle."  See, our aquarist lives in Ohio, where Romney and Obama have more or less established permanent residences.  He was unmoved.  His reasons why* bear repeating.  I maintain that a "not Romney" vote is a good one, but I find myself agreeing with much of what is written below, and look forward to the day that we toss out this worm-ridden 2 party system of ours.

nwb

I've thought long and hard about it and I will not be voting for Obama.  At what point is "the lesser evil" so repugnant that it can't be supported?  For me it breaks down to several actions Obama took in both international and domestic policy.

1. The Drone Strikes.  So far, the US has launched close to 400 drone strikes in Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan that have killed an estimated 3500 people, give or take a few hundred.  Drone strikes are notoriously inaccurate, and some stats I've seen talk about a 1 successful kill to 49 innocents killed ratio.  That's not a good thing especially considering we are not at war with Yemen, we are not at war with Somalia, and we are not at war with Pakistan.  I haven't even brought up his strikes in Libya, which were not only done without Congressional approval, but done in the face of Congressional disapproval.  I believe these conflicts were an unconstitutional overreach by the President and if so, this makes him a historic-level mass murderer. 

2. Disposition Matrix.  Let's call a spade a spade.  This is Obama's personal kill list that contains women, children, and U.S. citizens that he is attempting to codify to make it a permanent fixture in our foreign policy arena. Normally when military action seemingly goes awry you can make an argument that the President didn't have direct involvement.  That is not true in this case.  Obama personally approves every target on the list.  I have serious problems with summary executions being carried out without due process.  Can you imagine if this was Dick Cheney and not Obama with a personal kill list? (does it matter whose list it is?)

3. Lack of Transparency Part I.  What is the President's argument that all of the above is legal?  Nothing.  He has made no argument at all.  In fact, he refuses to turn over the legal memos justifying any of it despite the demands of Congress.  This whole episode has a Nixonian, "if the president does it, then it's legal" stench to it.  At least Bush marched out that legal hack John Yoo to make a case for waterboarding.  Secrecy is a worrisome trend with this administration.

4. Lack of Transparency Part II. This Administration has declared war on whistleblowers like none other before it.  Obama dusted off the Espionage Act of 1917 to prosecute double the number of whistleblowers than ALL prior presidents combined.  It's ironic because during his inauguration speech he talked about having the most open and transparent Administration ever.  He has gone on to use this tactic to threaten and intimidate journalists who's job it is to look into government affairs.  

Perhaps more concerning than those he prosecutes for whistle-blowing are the ones he doesn't prosecute.  Last I checked, Bradley Manning, of WikiLeaks fame, is still being tortured in some CIA black site and will be until he meets his demise without formal charges ever being filed.  The President can do that I hear because of the 2011 NDAA which authorizes indefinite detainment of citizens without judicial review.  When Obama signed it, he did so vehemently disagreeing with that provision in the NDAA, but from that moment has fought vigorously to hold onto that power.

I read an article in the Guardian about the worst civil liberty presidents in US history, and they did an interesting balancing test comparing the horrible actions taken, (for example Abraham Lincoln suspending habeas corpus rights for deserters and seditious elements in the population) with the justification used for those offenses.  In the Lincoln example, the entire nation was engulfed in an internal all-out war where half the country was fully devoted to the total destruction of the other half. The existence of the nation was in doubt and people were dying by the tens of thousands practically daily.  

Obama's justification is the war on terror.  You have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than being killed by a terrorist.  The infringements on civil liberties are a delusional overreaction to the threat of terror.  Needless to say, Obama didn't score well in that article's view.  The fact that Obama argues it is lawful to be able to unilaterally snatch up a U.S. citizen and detain them forever with no trial or even charges is downright chilling.  Obama is no doubt a talented lawyer and it is dismaying to see him use that talent to be as big a creep as possible.

5. Lack of Transparency Part III. I'll make this one short.  The government is trying to pass a law where it is lawful for them to lie about the existence of records requested by the public under the Freedom of Information Act when in reality those records exist.  

Long story short, I just can't overlook this stuff.  I must sound like a pro-life person that just can't get over the whole abortion thing despite agreeing with a candidate on 50 other things. Seriously though, look at this shit.  He is killing thousands of innocent people in a war-crime-like fashion while suppressing dissent in the most horrific ways possible.  Lesser evil is pretty damned evil.  Fuck Obama.  He is the reason that a "not Mitt Romney" vote for the Democrats isn't viable.  Such a low hurdle too.

-ra

3 comments:

McBone said...

Insightful commentary. However it seems strange that you seem so certain of the facts and statistics that just rattled off, even though you also just mentioned how secretive this administration has been. How are we to believe or knowI that your statements are factual, where did that information come from? Politics has become so corrupt how are we ever to know what is fact and what is nothing more than political posturing for the sake of discrediting an opponent or getting a member of your party elected?

Here is what I know. Mitt Romney has decided that is I ever have a gay child I will have to explain to them why they can't love who they want and why they can't marry whoever the hell they want. And if some sick fuck decides to rape my daughter and she gets pregnant, she can't and shouldn't be able to get an abortion. If she needs help from a program like planned parenthood that will no longer be an option.

Politics have become so distorted I don't know how we can ever really know what is happening with issues like foreign policy, the environment, etc. What we can clearly see is the moral values and beliefs of a candidate. We can see if a candidate believes if we were all truly created equal or if women and minorities should be trreated differently.

So excuse me but fuck Romney and fuck the political party system. All it is doing is dividing our country.

Jab

McBone said...

And sorry difficult to be grammatically correct when writing from a droid while watching my Cavaliers get stomped early.

RA said...

It's good to question the sources. Question everything you see and read. Some of the sources I found on topic are:
Congressional Disapproval of US attacks in Libya -
http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/07/news/la-pn-defense-spending-20110707

Obama vs. Whistleblowers -
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/05/obama-campaign-brags-about-whistleblower-persecutions
http://www.salon.com/2012/02/09/obamas_unprecedented_war_on_whistleblowers/

NDAA 2011 -
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002357684

Freedom of Information Act -
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/10/feds-embrace-foia-lying/
http://dailycaller.com/2011/10/24/justice-dept-proposes-lying-hiding-existence-of-records-under-new-foia-rule/

Guardian Article re: civil liberties -
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/02/obama-civil-liberties-history

Secret US memos:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/world/middleeast/secret-us-memo-made-legal-case-to-kill-a-citizen.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Disposition Matrix -
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/24/obama-terrorism-kill-list