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Obama Disappoints on Torture and Warrantless Wiretapping

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bfealk Donating Member (420 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-08-09 11:07 AM
Original message
Obama Disappoints on Torture and Warrantless Wiretapping
First, let me say, I was overjoyed with President Obamas performance in Europe. It gave me a deep sense of pride in my President as he spoke about worldly matters and even was so bold as to make it a goal of his administration to eliminate nuclear weapons from the face of the earth. Given the level of warmongering the United States has been prone to for decades, it was good to hear the President in front of a world audience bring this issue to the fore.

My pride shrivels, though, when I read stories and watch television news and read stories on the Internet about how he wants to look forward when it comes to the issues of investigating and prosecuting war crimes committed by members of the Bush administration. The fact that Bush and Cheney were directly involved in these acts has been admitted to by former President Bush and Vice President Cheney, yet President Obama and his Justice Department are protecting Bush and Cheney from even being investigated and getting to the full truth of whether they should be prosecuted. It is embarrassing to the United States that a foreign country, Spain, is initiating an investigation and prosecution of Bush administration officials for these crimes, yet the President and Congress are mostly silent. Not one Republican would sign on to Senator Leahys Truth Commission.

A report from the Red Cross documents that the CIA has codified the following techniques for trying to get information from detainees:

* Suffocation by water poured over a cloth placed over the nose and mouth... (waterboarding)
* Prolonged stress standing position, naked, held with the arms extended and chained above the head...
* Beatings by use of a collar held around the detainees' neck and used to forcefully bang the head and body against the wall...
* Beating and kicking, including slapping, punching, kicking to the body and face...
* Confinement in a box to severely restrict movement...
* Prolonged nudity...this enforced nudity lasted for periods ranging from several weeks to several months...
* Sleep deprivation...through use of forced stress positions (standing or sitting), cold water and use of repetitive loud noises or music...
* Exposure to cold temperature...especially via cold cells and interrogation rooms, and...use of cold water poured over the body or...held around the body by means of a plastic sheet to create an immersion bath with just the head out of water.
* Prolonged shackling of hands and/or feet...
* Threats of ill-treatment, to the detainee and/or his family...
* Forced shaving of the head and beard...
* Deprivation/restricted provision of solid food from 3 days to 1 month after arrest...

Worse yet, it has been reported recently by authoritative sources that torture doesnt work. It does not give us reliable information. So all the conservatives that are screaming as they read this are just plain wrong when they say we have to use torture to protect American lives.

My other disappointment in President Obama is his position on warrantless wiretapping. President Obama is not only defending the illegal surveillance on Americans, but he is seeking to indemnify the United States from being sued by victims of illegal surveillance. Bush, Cheney and other members of the Bush administration are criminals of the highest order and should spend the rest of their days in a dark cell, but thanks to President Obama they will spend them playing golf at swank country clubs with the perpetrators of the biggest financial fraud in history. Millions are in jail for possessing small amounts of illegal drugs, yet Bush and Cheney walk free.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-08-09 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
1. Hold ON! That Red Cross report was from 2007, and you're
blaming this president? I think you're woefully ignorant and need to edumicate yourself.
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-08-09 01:47 PM
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2. Yes he does, big time!
My comments on DU have been mostly supportive and complimentary of President Obama. But on these issues, a constitutional scholar should be a strong upholder of the rights of citizens and noncitizens alike, reflecting the defenses of right build into the Constitution. Yes, the president has taken positive actions regarding torture; but that is not enough. I don't care what the politics, the need to have good relations with intelligence agencies and the military, on issues like surveillance the President's approach has not been to not sanction Bushista outrages, nor even to eschew them for his own administration, rather to claim even greater freedom to trash the Constitution than that claimed by Dubya, Cheney, and their minions.
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Equality4all Donating Member (16 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-08-09 04:39 PM
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3. Obama WANTS warrantless wire taps.
He wants to right to spy on Americans and not be subject to the citizen legal challenges.

Personally, so long as the spying is being done with President Obama's orders and by Democrates and not Republicans I guess it is okay. If we citizens are doing nothing wrong we have nothing to fear.
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dgibby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Who gets to define "wrong"?
There could come a day when the very act of posting on DU could be deemed as "wrong". In fact, during the last administration, I'd be willing to bet that everyone here was on some gov't watch list.

The Constitution protects us from "unreasonable" search. Who gets to decide what defines "unreasonable"? Certainly not "We the People", or we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

The problem, as I see it, is that whatever Administration/Congress is in office at the time gets to interpret and define the terms.

That's why we need a justice system that follows the Constitution in order to protect the citizens from our own government.
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