Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dumb Question of the Twenty-first Century: Is It Legal? Post-Legal America and the National Security Complex
by Tom Engelhardt

Is the Libyan war legal? Was Bin Laden’s killing legal? Is it legal for the president of the United States to target an American citizen for assassination? Were those “enhanced interrogation techniques” legal? These are all questions raised in recent weeks. Each seems to call out for debate, for answers. Or does it?

Now, you couldn’t call me a legal scholar. I’ve never set foot inside a law school, and in 66 years only made it onto a single jury (dismissed before trial when the civil suit was settled out of court). Still, I feel at least as capable as any constitutional law professor of answering such questions.

My answer is this: they are irrelevant. Think of them as twentieth-century questions that don't begin to come to grips with twenty-first century American realities. In fact, think of them, and the very idea of a nation based on the rule of law, as a reflection of nostalgia for, or sentimentality about, a long-lost republic. At least in terms of what used to be called “foreign policy,” and more recently “national security,” the United States is now a post-legal society. (And you could certainly include in this mix the too-big-to-jail financial and corporate elite.)

It’s easy enough to explain what I mean. If, in a country theoretically organized under the rule of law, wrongdoers are never brought to justice and nobody is held accountable for possibly serious crimes, then you don’t have to be a constitutional law professor to know that its citizens actually exist in a post-legal state. If so, “Is it legal?” is the wrong question to be asking, even if we have yet to discover the right one.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

An examination of Obama’s overall record — his staffing choices and his policy decisions — indicates a marked tendency for the President to choose war over peace, Wall Street over Main Street, torturers over whistleblowers, centrists over progressives, and secrecy over transparency. See this petition (not working currently) for a summary of the case against President Obama.

Worst of all, President Obama worked ardently to protect Bush Administration officials from prosecution for torture, war-mongering, and corruption. Obama thereby hid the truth about the recent past from the American people and allowed the Republicans to regroup and rebuild. Who would have thought that two years after the end of the Bush presidency, Democrats would be blamed for the economic mess and Republicans would win the House? President Obama’s lack of leadership, and his naive bipartisanship, are largely to blame. (plus the fact that he works for the CIA, not the voters of America)

Read the whole article - “The only people Obama has prosecuted are the whistle-blowers”

Monday, May 23, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


"[I]t became very clear when I looked at the neoliberal economic team. The first announcement of Summers and Geithner I went ballistic. I said, 'Oh, my God, I have really been misled at a very deep level,'" West lamented. "I figured, OK, given the structure of constraints of the capitalist democratic procedure that's probably the best he could do. But at least he would have some voices concerned about working people, dealing with issues of jobs and downsizing and banks, some semblance of democratic accountability for Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats who are just running amuck. I was completely wrong."

West recalled that Obama "cussed me out" after a speech about charter schools at the Urban League in 2010. It was the last time they had personal contact.

"He just lets me have it. He says, 'You ought to be ashamed of yourself, saying I'm not a progressive. Is that the best you can do? Who do you think you are?' I smiled. I shook his hand... I wanted to slap him on the side of his head."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I have yet to meet someone who's not pretending.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011