Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Banana Republic on the Potomac


"You've got state secrets, targeted killings, indefinite detention, renditions, the opposition to extending the right of habeas corpus to prisoners at Bagram [in Afghanistan]," Mr. Hayden said, listing the continuities. "And although it is slightly different, Obama has been as aggressive as President Bush in defending prerogatives about who he has to inform in Congress for executive covert action."

And that list, impressive though it is, doesn't even include the due-process-free assassination hit lists of American citizens, the sweeping executive power and secrecy theories used to justify it, the multi-tiered, "state-always-wins" justice system the Obama DOJ concocted for detainees, the vastly more aggressive war on whistleblowers and press freedoms, or the new presidential immunity doctrines his DOJ has invented.

Is this a democracy we are talking about, or a banana republic? It's amazing to me that these policies could be created and confirmed, and there is not a hint of criticism anywhere in the world (apart from a wild-eyed radical like Glenn Greenwald) from either officials or the intellectual class.

Obviously belief in freedom or liberal democracy is merely nominal with most of these people. The Golden Rule is, never offend or speak against the Power (that issues the Gold and gives us our Position, may his Name be Praised).

I guess fool me for being so naive about it all this time.

The Assange case however proves that it hasn't gone unnoticed. The public is beginning to understand that you do not want to be extradited to the US, or even want to visit the damn place.

Extradition treaties have to be reviewed. It's time, sadly, to say goodbye to the American Dream.

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