Monday, September 16, 2013

The World According to Barack Obama

I watched a documentary on Dick Cheney: “The World According to Dick Cheney”. There were many things the documentary was critical about, but Barack Obama’s handling of these same issues is no different.

The documentary was critical of how Dick Cheney handled the NSA metadata program – trying to move without the consent of the DOJ. Well, it seems the Obama administration and his DOJ have expanded the powers of the NSA program used under Bush and Cheney.

The documentary was critical of how Dick Cheney wanted to bypass Congress and go to war with Iraq. Well, Obama moved unilaterally against Libya and also wanted to move unilaterally against Syria.

The documentary was critical of the Iraq war and Cheney’s claims that Saddam was producing weapons of mass destruction. It tells how Cheney “Duped Congress”. It mocked the administration for claiming victory too early, but it never talked about the U.S. eventually winning that war and turning Iraq into a democracy that the U.S. is allies with the strategic Middle East. How is this outcome any worse than Obama’s Arab Spring results? Will an Obama documentary tell of how he escalated the war in Afghanistan and returned troops home losing to the Taliban. Worse yet, will tell how Obama has tried to negotiate with the terrorists that killed thousands of Americans. The documentary balked at the all the innocent civilian lives lost, but will an Obama documentary explain how he expanded the drone program which is responsible for killing 6 innocent civilians per terrorist. Obama has explained this to be collateral damage. So why is this behavior acceptable for Obama, but not for Cheney? Is it because Afghanistan is preferable war over Iraq?

The documentary was critical of U.S. enhanced interrogation techniques pushed by Cheney at Guantanamo Bay. They viewed this as a violation of detainees’ civil liberties. It talked of the atrocities at Abu Ghraib. It told tales how the enhanced interrogation techniques yielded not one piece of credible intelligence. Yet, after the killing of Bin Laden, movies and documentaries tell a different story – it was enhanced interrogation techniques which yielded the critical piece of information that identified Bin Laden’s personal currier which led the CIA to Bin Laden. Will a documentary on Obama hold him accountable for also violating the civil liberties of terrorists? He may not have tortured them, but instead killed them even if they were unarmed. He not only did this to foreign nationals, but U.S. born terrorists – first time in American history this happened.

The documentary spent a lot of time evaluating the outing of CIA operative Valarie Plame. Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, was the fall guy. Incidentally, Libby was not convicted of outing Plame, but instead for lying under oath. Will an Obama documentary be just as critical of people in Obama’s administration lying under oath and to the general public? Benghazi, Fast and Furious, IRS targeting, NSA metadata collection, EPA targeting, DOJ targeting of journalists have all been one lie after another by the administration and many under oath. Sure, the outing of a CIA agent is serious, but so is the death of Americans and hundreds of Mexicans from these Obama administration gaffes. And just like the Bush administration the Obama administration is hiding behind executive privilege. No matter how you look at it, the scandals under Obama far outweigh those in the Bush and Cheney administration, yet no one is being held accountable. In fact, people who made mistakes have been promoted in the Obama administration. No one has even lost a job let alone gone to prison.

Sure, Cheney increased the power of the vice presidency, but Obama increased the power of the Presidency – in other words, both increased the power of the executive branch. But Obama’s power grab has been much more significant – moving unilaterally to pick winners and losers in industry, implementing emission standards, placing healthcare under the federal government, implementing immigration reform, implementing gun control, taking over student loans, implementing Czars and implementing education reform are just a few things moved under the power of the executive branch (very few passed Congress). If you do not like Obama, then you should not Cheney and vice versa – they are one of the same. In many regards Cheney’s view of the constitution is no different than Obama’s – Metadata is not a first amendment violation, going to war without the consent of Congress, hiding behind executive privilege, a strong executive branch, and so forth.

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