It's Time for Obama to Take Down the Torturers - ALL OF THEM
• Many are now working for him -- or ARE they?
• Ongoing "extrajudicial punishment network" a clear and present danger
GET POLITICAL w/ VIC LIVINGSTON
Just short of his first one hundred days in office, Barack Obama seems to be self-inhibited when it comes to fulfilling his campaign promise of hope and change.
That could be smart politics; Obama had to first co-opt and disarm a bureaucratic cabal that still threatens to subvert his presidency.
His Solomon-like decision on the Bush-era Justice Department "torture memos" -- release four more previously top-secret documents detailing the "enhanced interrogation techniques" but imperially declare that there will be no prosecutions -- illustrates his dilemma. (Since when does the President have the sole right to decide who shall come before the bar of justice? Does Obama realize how he risks looking Nixonian? Or like a successor to King George?)
The Justice Department's continuation of Bush doctrine on state secrets and now, an enhanced version of sovereign immunity, has left the progressive left feeling betrayed, perplexed, and, perhaps, somewhat deceived.
Obama telegraphed his tendency toward equivocation during the campaign, when he flip-flopped on the issues of FISA/warrantless wiretapping, telecom immunity and handgun control. Such vacillations may have mollified extreme elements in the intelligence and military communities; Obama's early capitulations may prove to have been a brilliant stroke if it is later revealed that strategic retreat defused an incipient silent coup.
Obama got his street smarts on the south side of Chicago. He should be aware that powerful factions within his own government could turn on him at any moment. Yet he has not taken bold steps to really clean house, as many incoming presidents have done in the past. He has retained Bush-appointed U.S. attorneys. He has retained the Bush Pentagon leadership. His Justice Department has yet to purge itself of the lackeys who assisted in the preparation of those poorly-reasoned and duplicitous torture memos.
But now that this new President has demonstrated his ability to earn the confidence of key elements of government -- notably, the rank and file of the military -- it's time for the Obama administration to demonstrate commitment to principle.
Now, as the 100-day mark approaches and Obama's approval ratings remain robust, it's time to show the door to the saboteurs and the Dr. Strangeloves who present a clear and present danger to his administration, and to American democracy.
A good first start would be for his Justice Department to quickly dismantle the so-called "extrajudicial punishment network" that was created or expanded during the Bush-Cheney years...
...a network of programs and policies that have targeted many innocent Americans under the pretext of fighting the "war on terror." These "targeted individuals" have seen their livelihoods and finances decimated by secret programs sold to Congress as "tools" to fight terrorists.
And these "targets," who may number in the millions, also have been victimized by government-funded and trained "community gang stalkers" who hide behind federally-funded volunteer programs as they stalk, vandalize, and terrorize their neighbors.
Citizen vigilantes, whose methods and tactics mirror those of the German Nazis and the Stasi, are said by victims to be equipped with silent, classified microwave radiation weaponry -- so-called "directed energy weapons" -- that can be used to cause pain and injury, and over time, a "slow-kill" death.
Victims rightly call this a silent American holocaust, a quiet genocide, that appears to have been enabled by federal programs and the cooperation of local law enforcement nationwide.
The Bush Justice Department "torture memos" are believed to have been used as legal justification for what victims call domestic terrorism -- and they say this persecution has continued to this day under the Obama administration.
This, victims say, is an evil that the Obama administration no longer can ignore.
Attorney General Eric Holder has been made aware of the dangers of this extrajudicial apparatus, which continues to persecute American citizens and deny them due process under the law. Now it is time for him to act, with President Obama's blessings.
And as part of the restoration of civil and human rights in America, Team Obama must bring to justice those high-ranking officials and faceless bureaucrats who devised and implemented these despotic and inhumane policies.
That is not "looking back." Holding lawbreakers accountable for their disrespect of the Constitution and their wanton contempt for human rights will help assure that another American Gestapo does not arise in the future.
And, as commanded by the precedent set at the Nuremberg Nazi war crimes trials, that includes those who try to hide behind the excuse that they were "just following orders."