Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Barack Obama & the Death of Idealism, by James Bovard

Barack Obama embraced US interventionism and war as fervently as any neocon. From James Bovard at consortiumnews.com:

The former president’s deception and warmongering killed the “hope and change” he promised on the campaign trail, writes James Bovard.

President Barack Obama saluting coffins of dead U.S. soldiers returned from Afghanistan to Dover Air Force Base, Aug. 9, 2011. (White House/Pete Souza)

Americans are sickened of an “idealism that is oblique, confusing, dishonest, and ferocious,” as H.L. Mencken wrote a hundred years ago. Though Mencken was condemning President Woodrow Wilson, the same verdict could characterize the legacy of former president Barack Obama.

Obama is now on a book tour issuing calls for honest government, civic virtue, and similar tripe. But Obama did more to discredit idealism than any president since Wilson.

A dozen years ago, Americans were enthralled by the newly elected president from Illinois. After the deceit and demagoguery of the George W. Bush era, Obama’s first presidential campaign with its “Yes, We Can” motto swayed Americans that he could personally restore the moral grandeur of government. Its idealism was epitomized by the famous “Hope” campaign poster that practically deified the candidate.

Shortly before his first inauguration, Obama announced, “What is required is the same perseverance and idealism that our founders displayed.” After Obama’s inaugural address, the media rejoiced as if a new age of political idealism had arrived.

Practically the entire world joined the race to canonize the new president. Less than 12 days after he took office, Obama was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize — which he received later that year. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared at a White House state dinner, “We warmly applaud the recognition by the Nobel Committee of the healing touch you have provided and the power of your idealism and your vision.” Shortly after receiving the Peace Prize, Obama announced he would triple the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The Peace Prize helped insulate him from criticism as he proceeded to bomb seven nations during his presidency.

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A Long-Forgotten CIA Document From WikiLeaks Sheds Critical Light on Today’s U.S. Politics and Wars, by Glenn Greenwald

Barack Obama was a great salesman for the warfare state and perpetual wars. From Glenn Greenwald at greenwald.substack.com:

The Agency knew that their best asset for selling their wars was Barack Obama — the same reason so many in the security state were eager to get rid of Donald Trump.

(Photo Illustration by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The first time I ever wrote about WikiLeaks was back in early 2010, when the group was still largely unknown. What prompted my attention was a small article in The New York Times which began this way:

To the list of the enemies threatening the security of the United States, the Pentagon has added WikiLeaks.org, a tiny online source of information and documents that governments and corporations around the world would prefer to keep secret.

The NYT explained that the Pentagon had prepared a secret 2008 plan in which they plotted how to destroy WikiLeaks, including by purposely leaking to it false documents with the hope that the group would publish the fakes and forever obliterate their credibility — a dastardly scheme which was ironically leaked to WikiLeaks, which promptly posted the document on its website.

Any group that the U.S. security state includes on its “list of enemies” by virtue of publishing its secrets is one that is going to attract my interest, and likely my support. As a result — months before they made international headlines with publication of the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs and diplomatic cables from Hillary Clinton’s State Department — I immediately investigated everything I could about the group’s founding and mission; interviewed its founder Julian Assange; and urged readers to help support the fledging group, concluding that “one of the last avenues to uncover government and other elite secrets are whistle blowers and organizations that enable them. WikiLeaks is one of the world’s most effective such groups, and it’s thus no surprise that they’re under such sustained attacks.”

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Democrats are masking Biden’s frailty, by Miranda Devine

Joe Biden should be resting out his golden years in the cushy retirement his dubiously aquired wealth would afford him, not running for president of the United States. From Miranda Devine at nypost.com:

Has there been a worse candidate in history than Joe Biden?

When this election is over, the books revealing what went on backstage will be illuminating.

But the truth is there for anyone with eyes to see.

Take Biden’s car rally in Flint, Mich., Saturday, with a star-power assist from Barack Obama.

Awkward barely covers it.

Obama, effortlessly cool, gave a warmup speech to the assembled cars before ramping up to a dramatic introduction: “My friend, the next president of the United States of America: Joe Biden!”

Moments ticked by, but there was no sign of the candidate.

“Joe Biden!” Obama repeated, a little less confidently. But still no show.

Obama tried a third time: “Joe Biden!”

Biden at last emerged from a nearby building and did a pantomime slow jog to the stage.

The worst part came later.

After Biden had shouted his way through a short teleprompter speech, Obama came back onstage, perhaps to escort him off, because Biden did not seem to know where he was.

Obama mimed an elbow pump with his former VP to signal they should leave the stage and then quietly whispered to him, after which it dawned on Biden he’d forgotten his mask, not for the first time. When your entire campaign is about mask-shaming Trump supporters, it’s not a forgivable lapse.

Poor Biden looked like a chastened schoolboy as he fumbled through his folder and all his pockets looking for that pesky piece of cloth.

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Wild Conspiracy Theory? The Truth Behind the Biggest Threat to the ‘War on Terror’ Narrative, by Cynthia Chung

The Obama administration’s conduct in Libya and Syria were both scandals of the first order. From Cynthia Chung at strategic-culture.org:

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it.”

– Julius Caesar

The illegal invasion of Libya, in which Britain was complicit and a British House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee’s report confirmed as an illegal act sanctioned by the UK government, over which Cameron stepped down as Prime Minister (weeks before the release of the UK parliament report), occurred from March – Oct, 2011.

Muammar al-Gaddafi was assassinated on Oct. 20th, 2011.

On Sept 11-12th, 2012, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, U.S. Foreign Service information management officer Sean Smith, and CIA contractors Tyron Woods and Glen Doherty were killed at two U.S. government facilities in Benghazi.

It is officially denied to this date that al-Qaeda or any other international terrorist organization participated in the Benghazi attack. It is also officially denied that the attack was pre-meditated.

On the 6th year anniversary of the Benghazi attack, Barack Obama stated at a partisan speech on Sept 10th, 2018, delivered at the University of Illinois, that the outrage over the details concerning the Benghazi attack were the result of “wild conspiracy theory” perpetrated by conservatives and Republican members of Congress.

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DNI Declassifies Brennan Notes; Briefed Obama On Intelligence That Hillary Clinton Concocted Trump-Russia Allegations, by Tyler Durden

SLL is not given to hyperbole, but this story is a bombshell. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Tuesday declassified several documents, including handwritten notes from former CIA John Brennan after he briefed former President Obama on an alleged plot by Hillary Clinton to tie then-candidate Donald Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server” ahead of the 2016 US election, according to Fox News.

Ratcliffe declassified Brennan’s handwritten notes – which were taken after he briefed Obama on the intelligence the CIA received – and a CIA memo, which revealed that officials referred the matter to the FBI for potential investigative action.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence transmitted the declassified documents to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees on Tuesday afternoon.

“Today, at the direction of President Trump, I declassified additional documents relevant to ongoing Congressional oversight and investigative activities,” Ratcliffe said in a statement to Fox News Tuesday. –Fox News

We’re getting additional insight into Russian activities from [REDACTED],” read Brennan’s notes. “CITE [summarizing] alleged approved by Hillary Clinton a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.”

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The Benghazi Attack: The Forgotten History of the 2012 Attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya, by Sam Jacobs

There’s another 9/11 that’s important. From Sam Jacobs at ammo.com:

The Benghazi Attack: The Forgotten History of the 2012 Attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya

If you say “September 11” most people automatically think of the attacks on the World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. What they probably don’t even remember happened on September 11, were the attacks on the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.

Once the Libyan Revolution began in February 2011, the CIA began placing assets in the region, attempting to make contacts within the region. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, whose name and image would soon become synonymous with the Benghazi attacks, was the first liaison between the United States and the rebels. The task before the American intelligence community at that time was securing arms in the country, most notably shoulder-fired missiles, taken from the Libyan military.

Eastern Libya and Benghazi were the primary focal points of intelligence-gathering in the country. But there was something else at work here: The CIA was using the country as a base to funnel weapons to anti-Assad forces in Syria, as well as their alleged diplomatic mission.

Early Rumblings of Disorder in Benghazi

Trouble started in April 2012. This was when two former security guards of the consulate threw an IED over the fence. No casualties were reported, but another bomb was thrown at a convoy just four days later. Soon after, in May, the office of the International Red Cross in Benghazi was attacked and the local al-Qaeda affiliate claimed responsibility. On August 6, the Red Cross suspended operations in Libya.
This was all part of a troubling escalation of violence in the region. The British Ambassador Dominic Asquith was the victim of an assassination attempt on June 10, 2012. As a result of this and of rocket attacks on convoys, the British withdrew their entire consular staff from Libya in late June of that year.

The Plot Against Libya, by Eric Draitser

Libya was probably the Obama administration’s biggest foreign policy disaster, inflicting hellish chaos on a country with a repressive but stable government. From Eric Draitser at counterpunch.org:

Photograph Source: Pete Souza, White House Official Photograph – CC BY 2.0

The scorching desert sun streams through narrow slats in the tiny window. A mouse scurries across the cracked concrete floor, the scuttling of its tiny feet drowned out by the sound of distant voices speaking in Arabic. Their chatter is in a western Libyan dialect distinctive from the eastern dialect favored in Benghazi. Somewhere off in the distance, beyond the shimmering desert horizon, is Tripoli, the jewel of Africa now reduced to perpetual war.

But here, in this cell in a dank old warehouse in Bani Walid, there are no smugglers, no rapists, no thieves or murderers. There are simply Africans captured by traffickers as they made their way from Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Eritrea, or other disparate parts of the continent seeking a life free of war and poverty, the rotten fruit of Anglo-American and European colonialism. The cattle brands on their faces tell a story more tragic than anything produced by Hollywood.

These are slaves: human beings bought and sold for their labor. Some are bound for construction sites while others for the fields. All face the certainty of forced servitude, a waking nightmare that has become their daily reality.

This is Libya, the real Libya. The Libya that has been constructed from the ashes of the US-NATO war that deposed Muammar Gaddafi and the government of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. The Libya now fractured into warring factions, each backed by a variety of international actors whose interest in the country is anything but humanitarian.

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The DNC Convention Is the Election, by Tom Luongo

The Democrats biggest problem, whether Biden or someone else gets the nomination, is that they are statist to the core, and their guiding philosophy is wildly unsuited for the times and for the US’s fiscal position. From Tom Luongo at strategic-culture.org:

For nearly a year it has been my primary thesis that the DNC nominating convention would determine the fate of the presidential election here in the states. These four days may, in fact, be more dramatic than any Democratic convention since 1860 when incumbent James Buchanan was tossed aside to ensure a lawyer with railroad ties from Illinois, Stephen Douglas, squared off against Republican Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln was also a railroad lawyer from Illinois. Just sayin’.

The convention is less than two weeks away and serious questions about the Democrats’ strategy should be plain to see for anyone who pays even cursory attention to presidential politics.

How can they possibly run Joe Biden?

It’s not that Biden hasn’t been a good soldier for the empire, he has. It is that he is unpresentable as a candidate in public. The evidence of his cognitive decline, which has accelerated in recent months, mounts every time he fails to even read a teleprompter correctly.

The only thing the Democrats are united on is their hatred for Trump. But that hatred cannot be an animating principle to base an election strategy on, though, to this point, they certainly have tried.

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Destroying Libya: It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time, by Doug Bandow

Libya is not something either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton talk much about, and for good reason. They destroyed it. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:

You must break a few eggs to make an omelet, Washington’s social engineers apparently believe when intervening in other societies. Sure, a few people might die. Others might end up disabled or displaced. But think of all the good that will be done when America’s plans are realized for [fill in the blank country], which will be well on its way to the bountiful future that its people deserve.

This mindset has repeatedly afflicted U.S. policymakers. Get rid of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. Oust the Afghan Taliban. Toss out Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Dump Libya’s Muammar Khadafy. Don’t worry, the good times will come.

One might forgive George W. Bush for Iraq. At least a little. His father intervened in Iraq a decade before, bombed Baghdad, destroyed some tanks, freed Kuwait, and got out. Sanctions and no-fly zones remained, but the US didn’t fight an interminable guerrilla war or engage in nation-building. It looked easy. So why shouldn’t Bush fils one-up Bush pere and completely transform the country and region?

Yet after Iraq II how could anyone so carelessly launch another war? Why would anyone assume that blowing up Libya would generate good results, that peace, stability, and democracy would magically appear? President Barack Obama always posed as a reluctant warrior, but he recklessly lent the U.S. military to European states which hoped to force their way back into an area where they once had colonial ties and economic interests.

The more proximate architect of the disaster was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She was proud of her handiwork. After hearing reports of Muammar Khadafy’s death, she joked with a reporter: “We came, we saw, he died.” Her laughter, more a maniacal cackle, foreshadowed the horror that unfortunate nation had only just begun to suffer.

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Flynn’s prosecution: The more we learn, the worse it seems, by James M. Casey

Nobody’s paying attention, but people all the way up to Barack Obama are criminally implicated in the prosecution of Michael Flynn. From James M. Casey at thehill.com:

Two recent events, tangentially related, likely were lost in the news cycle of the spike in COVID-19 cases and continued civil unrest in American cities. The first development was the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ordering Judge Emmet Sullivan to dispose of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s case, followed by the disclosure of additional FBI notes related to the matter.

Flynn’s attorney, Sidney Powell, petitioned the court to order Sullivan to dismiss the appeals court case. Since both the prosecution and defense agree that the case should be dismissed, it had been in judicial limbo while the judge was deciding if he wanted to dismiss it or move forward with sentencing. This is the second federal court in less than a year to rebuke the FBI, with Judge Neomi Rao’s opinion noting the agency’s handling of cases related to the failed Russia collusion narrative. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court also did so in December.

The second, and perhaps more significant, news was the revelation that additional evidence in the FBI’s possession was not previously turned over to Flynn or his attorneys. In a landmark case that is rapidly becoming known to many Americans, the Supreme Court held in Brady v. Maryland in 1963 that prosecutors must disclose the existence of exculpatory evidence to a defendant, regardless of how they obtained it or if it relates to their theory of prosecution. And therein lies a two-part problem with the recent disclosure of a handwritten note by fired deputy assistant FBI director Peter Strzok.

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