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The Audacity of Obama

Before he took office, President Obama wrote a book called The Audacity of Hope. He might well have named it the audacity of Barack Obama. Take a look at this clip from All In with Chris Hayes about the search for Edward Snowden. Pay particular attention to what the president says around the 5:00 mark, that we are seeking the return of Snowden to face trial “to make sure that the rule of law is observed.”

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We may need to place his picture next to the world chutzpah in the dictionary. Seriously, Obama is going to invoke the rule of law, something he has actively undermined every single day since taking office? If he gave a damn about the rule of law, he would have prosecuted Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and other Bush administration officials for their ordering of torture, something that is absolutely required by the UN Convention Against Torture that we are not only a signatory to, but which we helped push through the UN under President Reagan. That treaty, which the constitution explicitly includes as part of the “supreme law of the land” requires prosecution of anyone who orders or participates in torture and takes that requirement so seriously that it provides for universal jurisdiction, so that if one country fails to prosecute their own citizens for it, any country may bring charges against them (and several countries have done so against Bush). It also makes clear that no exigency whatsoever may be used to justify the use of torture.

If he gave a damn about the rule of law, he would not have spent the last five years making sure that no one who has been the target of illegal surveillance could ever have their day in court to challenge the constitutionality of the government’s actions justified as part of the war on terror. If he gave a damn about the rule of law, he would not have signed off on and would not continue to defend the NSA’s many data mining projects which blatantly violate the 4th Amendment.

The rule of law? Under Obama, it’s been disembowled, soaked in acid, run through a shredder, set on fire and shot into outer space (as it was under Bush, of course, but that hardly excuses Obama).

Comments

  1. Skip White says

    “Where in the world is Edward Snowden?”

    Maybe somebody could make a computer game to teach kids about geography and non-extradition treaties.

  2. mikeyb says

    Reminds me of what Nixon said (or something like this): “when the President does it, it’s not against the law.”

    Unfortunately Obama has been trying to out Cheney-Cheney in national security state paranoia, and he’s doing a pretty damn good job at that.

  3. says

    Well, to all the people back in ’08 who were ready to appoint Obama messiah for life, I don’t want to say “i told you so”… but i’m not really sure how else to finish that sentence.

  4. cheeto says

    Podkayne, I agree! Every single person who wanted Obama appointed messiah for life should be taken out and shot.

    Of course, I’m not actually advocating for any real violence as no one outside of your and glen becks fever dreams actually wanted that

  5. doublereed says

    The rule of law? Under Obama, it’s been disembowled, soaked in acid, run through a shredder, set on fire and shot into outer space (as it was under Bush, of course, but that hardly excuses Obama).

    Gosh, Ed. Tell me how you really feel.

  6. Chiroptera says

    cheeto, #5: Every single person who wanted Obama appointed messiah for life should be taken out and shot.

    Heh. Along with everyone who only voted for Obama because he’s black!

  7. anubisprime says

    Randomfactor @ 1

    The law is for the little people.

    Sort of it is more for where they can enforce it with a minimum of superior force…it was never ever meant for the big boys, in fact it was nominally the big boys that influenced the construction of the law to make sure they were never in the frame…for anything!

    If you really want to hear audacity at its highest level consider the words that will inevitably pour out of the gob of our prime minister if Nelson Mandela actually passes away during the next two years…

    The story goes that in 1985 Cameron was one of the movers and shakers of the Federation of Conservative Students and these brave little soldiers for Toryism actually decided to protest against the ANC and Mandela.
    To that end they produced a poster that had the text…

    “Hang Nelson Mandela and all the ANC terrorists…They are Butchers”

    It was widely considered at the time that was the policy and attitude of the Tory government…hence the idea that Thatcher endorsed those sentiments.
    Which her actions seemed to indicate was accurate assessment.
    There was no admonishment for the students involved in that prank, from the government of the day!

    In 1989 Cameron worked in the Tory Policy Unit at central office, the conservative headquarters, and he embarked on anti-sanction fact finding missions sponsored by a pro-apartheid lobby company and PW Botha.
    Thatcher subsequently refused to back sanctions against South Africa thus aiding the Botha regime.
    In fact she famously called world icon Nelson Mandela a “terrorist”, while referring to herself as a “candid friend” of apartheid stalwart PW Botha.
    Her actions actually prolonged the agony and ultimate death toll in SA and extended the utter disgrace that is apartheid and it is so written in the history books.

    But Cameron was right and centre on the attitude at the time…if you want to see and hear true audacity await the inevitable platitudes that will tumble from his gob when Mandela finally passes away, whether now or indeed later…let us all hope just a little later would be fine if not entirely natural!

  8. mikeyb says

    Obama=messiah – very funny. Another right wing meme that just won’t die. I’ve never once heard a liberal refer to Obama as the messiah.

    Most liberals voted for Obama for the same two reasons I did :McCain/Palin and Romney/Ryan; i.e. there really was no choice available.

  9. sumdum says

    Plus, nobody could have predicted Obama would act like this. In fact, people would have called you insane if you said he’d do even half of this crap.

  10. D. C. Sessions says

    How do we hold Obama’s feet to the fire?

    Vote against his re-election.

    It’s either that or elect enough Republicans next year to ensure his impeachment and removal from office.

  11. says

    It’s either that or elect enough Republicans next year to ensure his impeachment and removal from office.

    Yeah, they’ll impeach him for not arresting Ted Nugent.

  12. slc1 says

    I posted this link on Singham’s blog this morning. It appears that another whistle blower has been identified, a 4 star general no less. Apparently, General Cartwright is accused of spilling the beans about the Stuxnet computer virus infecting computers in Iran’s nuclear weapons laboratory. Let’s see if the lamestream media gives him the same treatment as they are giving Snowden.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/justice-dept-targets-general-in-leak-probe/2013/06/27/9ad8bc4e-df7c-11e2-b2d4-ea6d8f477a01_story.html

  13. francesc says

    @2 “Maybe somebody could make a computer game to teach kids about geography and non-extradition treaties.”
    Then the NSA could gather the data of the guys playing the game and write their names in the list of “potential future terrorists”

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