Obama Abandons Transparency, Again


The Obama administration objected yesterday to the release of certain Bush-era documents that detail the videotaped interrogations of CIA detainees at secret prisons, arguing to a federal judge that doing so would endanger national security and benefit al-Qaeda's recruitment efforts.

. . . Although Panetta's statement is in keeping with his previous opposition to the disclosure of other information about the CIA's interrogation policies and practices during George W. Bush's presidency, it represents a new assertion by the Obama administration that the CIA should be allowed to keep such information secret. Bush's critics have long hoped that disclosure would pinpoint responsibility for actions they contend were abusive or illegal.

I guess that whole Brandeis sunshine/disinfectant thing is not operative in the Obama Administration. But pols are pols . . . See also Greenwald.

Speaking for me only

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    It's chilling what promotion of (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 07:36:14 AM EST
    the Bush era torture mindset brings into our lives.  People in the military were scarred by witnessing and participating in torture.  It is highly addictive and highly traumatizing.  Then they brought it home to their families, friends, it lives in our culture.  Torture is just a hush now......don't speak of it, we will not hear this.  How sad that the value of a human life unless it is a fetus is not open for debate in any degree greater in the Obama administration than it was in the Bush administration.  There is a glorious brightspot though, all sorts of upset people speaking their disgust got the photo suppression ammendment yanked.  A little hope, a little light.....we will not become a torture friendly nation easily.

    Your comment brings out (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by sallywally on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 08:39:55 AM EST
    the widespread and profound effects of torture on our society even beyond the hideous effects on those who were (are?) involved in it. I really appreciate this - it's a story that needs to be told.

    But the Obama Administration has decided to prevent that from happening. Another sickening disappointment. Maybe it's ok for now, I can build a rationale for this, but it still makes my stomach uneasy, as he overturns yet another of his principles. Maybe anyone in the White House would be doing this.

    But it bugged me a lot when Obama, in his Cairo speech, urged the Middle Eastern folks to be transparent with each other when he has come down so decisively against transparency in his own (White) house. Why should they be transparent when he is not?

    I hope this isn't terribly off topic, but there's a great article and comments in Salon today about underestimating Hillary and the victory of the right-wing noise machine (and the mainstream media, the entire staff of MSNBC, and the "liberal" blogosphere) in creating her loss in the primaries.

    All these broken promises by Obama create a situation in which I can't help but wonder how she would be handling this transparency issue, among others.

    I don't really know how Obama is doing since I don't understand 11-dimensional chess. I support him. But it's become a constant watch to see what promise he is going to abandon today.

    I support him now but in four years or eight years I will vote for Hillary again if the opportunity arises.

    I believe her policies would be more direct, clearer and truer to liberal and practical principles than his seem to be, both in security issues and those of the economic breakdown. Certainly we would have been giving a lot of support for homeowners who face(d) foreclosure.

    Her position as Secretary of State certainly honors her savvy in foreign policy, including terrorism, torture, etc. And Obama put her there.


    "Hillary. . . (none / 0) (#3)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:15:53 AM EST
    . . . and the victory of the right-wing"

    interesting.  but bit late in the scheme of things.


    What a difference a day makes (none / 0) (#23)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:23:32 AM EST
    People in the military were scarred by witnessing and participating in torture.  It is highly addictive and highly traumatizing.

    How hypocritical is it to defend the people who carried out the brutality of torture? In fact, turn them into victims. Oh wait, you are military. Not quite like being Middle Eastern, I guess.


    I understand. But the thing is (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by Cream City on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 02:44:47 PM EST
    I think, that most of the traumatized Middle Easterners will remain in the Middle East.  We can fervently hope that they will recover from the horrors we have inflicted to rebuild their culture, countries, and lives there, once we get the h*ll out.

    I think what MTracy is pointing out is what we saw post-Vietnam as well, which is that our own troops come back traumatized, too.  It is a sort of justice that we also will deal with some of what we have inflicted on others overseas, but that doesn't negate the reality of what has occurred to many of our own troops.  And not just regular army, more prepared for this, but primarily National Guard, many of them kids who did not sign up for this, either.  


    Who defended the people (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 03:02:24 PM EST
    who carried out the torture?  Not me, you must be thinking of someone else.  Nice try though.  I can be part of the military structure and still demand accountability for illegal and horrible things that military personnel have done and do.  Why am I upset about McChrystal running things?  Why did my husband refuse to shoot looters in Iraq in the Sunni triangle and for a moment there almost stand alone while the soldiers around him woke up to what he was saying.  Once again it is about human rights for me and you are missing something very profound in your onesided discussions with me.

    Your compassion for the torturers (none / 0) (#51)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 08:55:50 AM EST
    is evident and passionate, MT. You most certainly did show support and sympathy for those who use brutality without hesitation when the suggestion to do so is made.

    I will never become complacent about what the MILITARY of this country does in the name of being the world's peacekeepers the way you have.

    I could easily go back to previous threads and throw your own accusations right back at you.


    My compassion for the torturers? (none / 0) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 10:28:33 AM EST
    We are online. I don't expect you to know my past expressed opinion about the torturers but I will go hunt it up because we had a sort of discussion of late concerning compassion for the Abu Ghraib torturers who were caught. There are many people who blog here who would like to see the Abu Ghraib bad apples pardoned in light of torture being military sanctioned.  I understand their take on things, yet I am not for pardoning them.  Here's a link to my opinion on military torturers and my compassion.  I suppose I do have empathy for them but they are accountable for what they did in my book.  link

    Small victory (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:17:56 AM EST
    The odious Graham-Lieberman amendment to the supplemental to suppress the photos has been axed by the House.  Greenwald here.

    excellent (n/t) (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:33:00 AM EST
    Barney Frank said that was a done deal (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:36:20 AM EST
    So whose victory is that, exactly?

    What was a done deal? (none / 0) (#13)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:48:48 AM EST
    Did Barney say taking out the amendment was a "done deal"?  If so, then he won, along with the rest of us.

    Don't understand your question.

    It wasn't a "done deal" until it was, er, done.  Now it's done, at least on the House side.


    I doubt it hurt (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:00:31 AM EST
    I do not understand the hostility towards Jane;s efforts from some of you.

    I'm not being particularly hostile, I don't think (none / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:03:18 AM EST
    I just don't think we're getting even half a loaf (like, say, a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq).

    Sure (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:09:23 AM EST
    But Jane is fighting. Hell, she did a lot more than any of us did.

    She gets plenty of credit from me (none / 0) (#21)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:15:04 AM EST
    for what she's been doing for almost 5 years.

    I question this sentence (none / 0) (#11)
    by dk on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:43:57 AM EST
    from Greenwald's post, though:

    Readers here and those of various blogs who bombarded House members with opposition calls on Friday obviously played an important role in forcing the withdrawal of this pernicious amendment.

    Why "obviously"?  Jane Hamsher reported on Friday that Barney Frank had called her to tell her that he had already informed the White House that the Graham-Lieberman amendment would not be in the final bill (specifically, he said he had informed the White House that the IMF funding and the Graham-Lieberman amendment would not both be in the final bill, and by that point it was obvious that the IMF funding would stay in the bill).  In other words, it was already a done deal, because the Democratic House Leadership had already decided it was so.  Thus, the opposition calls, etc. were not relevant.

    Remember, Jane Hamsher and some on the left want the entire bill to go down, because they oppose funding wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Unfortunately, there are many in the Democratic Leadership (and many left wing bloggers) who seem to support the continued funding in Iraq and Afghanistan, and will get there way this week.


    Man (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by lilburro on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:37:54 AM EST
    Panetta really was always full of sh*t wasn't he?  I wrote a diary way back when Panetta was initially offering cooperation on this issue, or rather, when he was beginning to renege on his offer of cooperation.  Here was our starting point.

    "The CIA intends to produce all of the information requested to the Court and to produce as much information as possible on the public record to the Plaintiffs."


    "The CIA will provide these lists to the Court for in camera review on March 26, 2009."

    and here we are now.

    What I think is most sick is that we know who was on the tapes, and yet the CIA wants the detainees to remain an abstraction.  Pretty horrifying.

    It amazes me daily... (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Dadler on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:38:31 AM EST
    ...that Obama is such a sniveling little coward.  That he has such blithe disrespect for logic and morality.

    While I never fell for his schtick like others and was ambivalent about his campaign, I have to say his performance as President so far has now placed him number one on my list of most diappointing presidents in history.  His cowardice is unmatched.  He is nothing.  Empty.


    His 19 "present" votes in the (none / 0) (#49)
    by suzieg on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 01:58:55 AM EST
    Illinois Legislature on abortion bills confirmed to me that he would never show any kind of courage when it came to political sensitive matters. He hasn't disappointed me, he's acting exactly as I knew he would do!

    Obama (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:22:43 AM EST
    is more "centrist" than you thought he was.

    How about center-right?

    How depressing is it that only (5.00 / 9) (#24)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:34:05 AM EST
    4 1/2 months into the Obama administration, I am coming to expect each week to bring another assortment of broken promises and let's-keep-more-stuff-secret decisions, and more evidence of an inability to stand up for much of anything.

    I don't see how this is supposed to be lifting us up out of the muck of the last eight years; yes, America wanted change and they wanted to hope again, but now that we have the product, the brand, that was sold to us in true infomercial tradition, non-stop, it's proving to be unable to live up to expectations.

    The stripping of that odious Lieberman/Graham amendment is a bright spot, but I won't rest easy until I know that it is really and truly dead.  The question is, will Obama warm up the executive order pen to accomplish the same thing?

    While I did not vote for Obama (or McCain - I just left the top of the ballot blank), I harbored a secret hope that he would end up surrounded by people who would help him lift us out of this toxic soup we'd been marinating in, but instead, it seems we have just added more secrets and lies to it, increasing the toxicity and the stench and making it look less and less like help is on the way - and worse, it is becoming impossible to claim that what happened in the Bush years was a mistake if we're going to have a Democratic president who will perpetuate and extend what Bush started.

    Where is the leadership?

    A little Vague... (1.50 / 2) (#38)
    by WeaponX on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 01:56:21 PM EST
    As the POTUS your two primary duties are to protect the country and to protect the citizens. The releasing of the photos would have been counter to both of those goals as it would have provided a propaganda tool for our enemies (yes, this is black and white they are our enemies) and put our troops and our citizens travelling abroad in more danger.

    I know it will not be a popular opinion here but a good deal of what we are considering torture is not even close. Heck, most would go through worse in a fraternity hazing. We have to remember this is a war not a popularity contest, you don't send men with guns somewhere to win hearts and minds you send them to committ acts of attrition until your enemy is all dead or reduced so greatly they no longer pose a threat. War is an ugly thing and it requires ugly acts rather we like it or not is irrelevant.

    Actually (5.00 / 5) (#39)
    by jbindc on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 02:15:42 PM EST
    POTUS has one primary duty - that is to protect and defend the Constitution.  Nowhere in the oath does it talk about protecting the country (of course, if he didn't, he would be booted out of office, but that's another argument).

    Correct...but... (2.00 / 1) (#47)
    by WeaponX on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 03:54:03 PM EST
    You are correct in the oath to uphold the Constitution of the US but also I believe in the oath is to protect the US and it's citizens from all enemies both foreign and domestic. Also I think that would fall under the category of an assumed duty because you are right a President failing to protect the US and it's citizens would probably only have "short term employment".

    My point of the whole thing was we have to remember we're in a fight and we aren't fighting to lose. I know you're going to vomit when I say this but Bush was right to supress those pictures and so was Obama. Here is the basic error many people are making in this war, we are trying to keep our humanity in it. War by it's very definition is the abandonment of all humanity in a primal quest for survival and victory. None of us are naive enough to think these loons are going to like us or accept that we just don't agree, they want to kill us and nothing we do is going to change that except beating them to the punch. Trying to maintain your humanity in a war is like trying to maintain your virtue in a brothel.


    The entire oath (none / 0) (#50)
    by Romberry on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 04:52:56 AM EST
    "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

    That's it. In total. See for yourself.

    As a veteran, I can tell you that the oath that requires one to pledge to protect the United States Constitution (NOT "the US and its citizens") is the oath of enlistment. There is a similar phrase in the oath of citizenship taken by newly naturalized citizens, but again the oath says "I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

    It isn't what we know that hurts us, it's what we know that isn't so. And now you know you know that some of what you know isn't so.


    If it is no worse... (none / 0) (#44)
    by Dadler on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 03:46:52 PM EST
    ...than fraternity hazing, why would they not be released?  You contradict yourself more than a bit here.  Fear will do that.

    Here is what we did, here is how bad it was, here is how we are going to punish those who committed and/or ordered these acts, here is how we are a free country unlike any other.

    THAT should be our attitude, but instead we choose the path of anything BUT a democratic nation: lying to ourselves and others, and trying to hide the truth (which will only come out later and hurt us more) in the hope that it will somehow just go away.


    I disagree. (2.00 / 1) (#48)
    by WeaponX on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 05:01:14 PM EST
    It's not a contradiction because I realize, as does the President, that is serves no purpose in releasing the pictures except to provide some propaganda for our enemies. It is not fear, it is realism.

    We have imprisoned several soldiers already for torture at Abu Gharib, no country goes to greater lengths to adhere to law than we do. Our enemies do not even acknowledge these laws we are willing to lose to uphold. It's self defeating to even pursue the issue and President Obama knows it.


    Releasing photos' (1.00 / 1) (#40)
    by jdeldin on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 02:18:33 PM EST
    Why in the heck would anyone care or want to see thses, Let them torture them to get valuable information, you are weak?  Too bad.  Dont ever get captured by the radical muslims, or you would think waterboarding is a game.  How about losing your head???
    What a bunch of wimps.

    how would you feel (none / 0) (#45)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 03:51:41 PM EST
    about waterboarding the murder of Dr Tiller the late term abortion doctor to find out what he meant by "there are several more similar attacks planned"?

    Strange... (none / 0) (#52)
    by WeaponX on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 11:40:33 AM EST
    You will find I don't cloud issues with ideaology and it looks like you're assuming I'm against abortion also.

    First, all indications are this guy was a lone nut suffering from extreme paranoia and he probably said there were more attacks coming right before he complained about the probe the aliens put in his rectum. Going with a hypothetical of him being part of some giant domestic terrorism cell with intel on imminent attacks, I have zero objection to doing all necessary to get that info out of him.

    I do find it interesting how much more press the abortion doc has gotten than the murder of a US soldier in Arkansas by an Islamic terrorist. Our priorities are a bit screwy if you ask me.


    make up your own mind .... I did (none / 0) (#57)
    by Iamme on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 02:31:29 PM EST
     was off yesterday, June 4 and personally went by three different mosque's. The first was in Fort Worth, number two in Arlington, and number three in Dallas. The mosque's in Fort Worth and Dallas would not let me in nor talk to me. The mosque in Arlington was very open to talk and actually let me in the front door but only to a hallway. I was not allowed anywhere else because I was not Muslim and, therefore, not holy. (Their statement, not mine). The cleric there flat looked me in the eye and told me that B.O. was the emissary of God and that this is the start of the Muslim Revolution in the United States (his words not mine). He, the cleric, also told me that even moderate and "peaceful" Muslims believe in totality that Islam is the only true religion and it is their destiny to once again be the "light if the world." (His words not mine). He also said that while he did not advocate violence, it was sometimes necessary to use it to achieve a common purpose. (His words, not mine). NOW, SOMEONE TELL ME THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MODERATE AND PEACEFUL MUSLIM. So, my interpretation of this is that everything is on the table to achieve total Islam. They may not like some of the violence but understand and are even tolerant of it. I asked the following specific question: Would you, as a cleric, denounce the extreme violence of the Taliban and Hamas and other factions, intended to suppress a more central movement in the Islamic faith? His answer: As a cleric, and a leader of one of God's mosques, I cannot denounce what is just.

    My interpretation: Islam is hostile.


    well, (none / 0) (#9)
    by bocajeff on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:38:32 AM EST
    if you know something has happened, everyone knows something has happened, nobody really disputes something has happened, what difference does anything else do?

    Let's flip it a minute: Do you believe that videos of "beheadings", "stoning" and "honor killing of women"  should be shown on network and cable television? What would be happen then? Would you be okay with the response?

    I think newspapers and TV networks (5.00 / 8) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:42:54 AM EST
    should have the right to decide for themselves if they will show them.

    It is not for the government to decide.

    While the First Amendment is implicated here, I think the larger implications go to FOIA and Obama's claims of transparency.

    I do not support the policy he has announced. I think it is clearly contrary to FOIA.

    It is also an obvious flip flop on Obama's part.


    agree (none / 0) (#27)
    by bocajeff on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:09:41 AM EST
    with the promise of transparency, but you give pols more credit than I do.

    As for FOIA - I would be more sympathetic to your argument if the information was either not known or barely known. In cases of war I tend to err on the side of the government when it comes to questions of national security (again, since we already know the info)


    We have no idea how much (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:26:21 AM EST
    we barely know or do not know. I don't want to take the government's word for it.

    There is limited national security interest. The information regarding torture is not going to give anyone secrets they can use to kill more Americans, in or out of uniform.  Other acts we continue to commit do the same job of pumping up the motivation and propaganda points for the terrorists.

    I can understand the government just not wanting the headache of the bad PR and damage control. Not a good enough reason to withhold information, IMO.


    Greenwals said it better (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:35:19 AM EST
    than I (of course)

    A much more critical issue here is whether the President should have the power to conceal evidence about the Government's actions on the ground that what the Government did was so bad, so wrong, so inflammatory, so lawless, that to allow disclosure and transparency would reflect poorly on our country, thereby increase anti-American sentiment, and thus jeopardize The Troops.  Once you accept that rationale -- the more extreme the Government's abuses are, the more compelling is the need for suppression -- then open government, one of the central planks of the Obama campaign and the linchpin of a healthy democracy, becomes an illusion.

    thats an interesting question (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:08:31 AM EST
    if those were if those were shown on network and cable television would it cause a backlash and help stop them or only further desensitize us?

    saying "we know something happened" seems sort of a cop out to me.  people are very good at ignoring things they wish to ignore.  visuals make that a lot harder.


    I disagree (none / 0) (#28)
    by bocajeff on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:13:35 AM EST
    People tend to compartmentalize(?) things. People don't like waterboarding in general. To KSM, they become ambivalent. Sort of like knowing what goes into sausage but not wanting to really know how it's made.

    Show the tapes of KSM being waterboarded alongside pictures of people jumping out of the World Trade Center and some of the beheadings - which side do you think most Americans would lean toward...?


    when the same americans (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 01:11:14 PM EST
    who excuse torture of muslims get on board with waterboarding that guy who shot Dr Tiller to find out exactly what he means by "lots more similar attacks are planned" at least the will have some credibility.

    This is not about the pictures, (5.00 / 5) (#37)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 01:28:55 PM EST
    per se, it's about whether we are going to gut FOIA and set precedent for the government to just hide anything it thinks is too inflammatory and would lower our stature in the world.

    Our government tortured people believing they could justify it, that if they could say it was legal, it was okay.  Imagine if they didn't have to justify anything - if they could operate from the position that there is nothing so terrible it could do that it couldn't just hide.  I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I don't want a government that gets any more latitude to ignore us than it already has.

    Maybe we don't actually "need" to see the pictures, but we do need a government that has to be responsive to requests for information, that cannot simply say "nope" and be done with it.  

    We have a judicial system within which the issues at stake can and have been argued, and that system has, so far, ruled that the government has not met any of the exceptions to FOIA that would allow it to refuse to release the pictures.  Let the government take it to the Supreme Court if they want to keep fighting this - make them work to protect what they've done.  Make them do it out in the open - isn't that what open government is?

    Many would like to make this about "the pictures" and the dangers to our troops if they are released, but how long are we going to allow that mentality to determine (1) how our government conducts itself and (2) what kind of government we have?  

    And as Glenn so rightly asks, how is it that Candidate Obama could speak so eloquently about having it both ways - keeping us safe while still adhering to our long-standing principles - and President Obama seems to have bought into the concept that there is no way to keep us safe without abandoning those principles?

    I'd like someone to ask him that, and soon.


    Well (none / 0) (#32)
    by jbindc on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:38:55 AM EST
    Hasn't the public become a little desensitized already?  I mean, every network has had someone waterboarded on TV, and (correct me if I'm wrong), isn't it one of the choices for the public to vote on for "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!"?

    Comparing Women't rights with (none / 0) (#34)
    by DXP on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:47:09 PM EST
    the rights of detainees and POWs. If we did see abuses of women then we might not be able to excuse it and ignore it. We are already desensitized. Desensitization longs for ignorance.

    I Do... (none / 0) (#53)
    by WeaponX on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 11:44:08 AM EST
    I think we should show the horrible things are enemy does because a good portion of the country seems to have no idea we're the good guys and they're the bad guys. I think a wake up call is needed and needed badly.

    Wanna bet they have a tape (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:45:49 AM EST
    of KSM being waterboarded?

    I would take that bet (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Steve M on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:51:14 AM EST
    I feel fairly confident that such a tape would fall within the scope of what I might creatively term the CIA's document destruction policies.

    You and gyrfalcon win. . . (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:03:52 AM EST
    Wanna bet (none / 0) (#14)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:50:42 AM EST
    that tape was destroyed?

    in this digital age (none / 0) (#46)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 03:53:08 PM EST
    there a fair chance a copy survives.  someplace.

    Anyone read this article in (none / 0) (#25)
    by vml68 on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:48:20 AM EST
    Politico about Obama invoking Jesus more often than Bush.

    Well, to be fair (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:30:58 AM EST
    Bush did not have 10% of the populace thinking he was a 'secret Muslim'. I can understand the need for overcompensation, since against my will religion does matter in US politics.

    I just wish the whole topic was off the table. I wish Obama would now use his popularity to say that religion should not matter in politics. I wish I'd win the lottery too. The odds are about the same.


    He may (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:14:42 PM EST
    have needed that to win the election.  He doesn't need it now with fawning press and soaring popularity.  And he also freely invokes his Muslim heritage when it suits the opportunism of the moment, now too.. as he did when he was in the middle east.

    He's being a pol at this point, with all of the connotations therein.  He has no excuse now.



    Pols are pols (none / 0) (#35)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:51:00 PM EST
    Can't kiss too many babies or talk about Jesus enough. There's another election coming up. Sad but true.

    Again, I wish it weren't true.


    Some pols are that sort of pol (5.00 / 5) (#42)
    by Cream City on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 02:50:22 PM EST
    and some are not.  Frankly, I weary of that excuse  here -- excusing not only Obama but also, for their own purposes, those who would not face the obvious contradictions in what he said and did as a candidate.  They are attempting to excuse their votes.  But in doing so, they are attempting to excuse us as a country from inexcusable stances.

    I wish there just would be an admission that some pols have principles, but this one does not.  Then we might make some progress toward responsibility -- responsibilities of pols, responsibilities of media, responsibilities of voters.


    Two words... (none / 0) (#54)
    by WeaponX on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 11:46:14 AM EST
    Term. Limits.

    I know we have the for POTUS but we need it for all of the rest of the clowns too. I think this is an area where the Left, Right, and Middle all agree.


    no. we dont (none / 0) (#56)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 01:09:58 PM EST
    experience matters.  I dont want a novice removing my appendix or working on my car.  and I dont want a novice writing the laws I live by.
    what is needed is not term limits.  what is needed is public financing of political campaign so challengers have a fighting chance.

    Some pols have principals (none / 0) (#55)
    by jondee on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 01:07:37 PM EST
    Like who?

    Once the vetting process, overseen by the Pentagon leviathan - K Street - Wall St and the various and sundry messianic religious factions is complete, those with any strong, consistent, life enhancing principals have been sabotaged, smeared, tarred and consigned to some "radical fringe."


    me (none / 0) (#26)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:54:26 AM EST

    the change we need indeed