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An accurate prediction
Oct 28th, 2013 by Ken Hagler

Five years ago, I wrote this:

Expe­ri­ence sug­gests that if Obama does indeed win the elec­tion, the Obames­siah cult will praise him to the heav­ens for con­tin­u­ing to do exactly the same things that Bush has been doing for the past eight years, while the Bushe­viks will con­demn him as the Antichrist for doing exactly the same things that Bush has been doing. And of course none of them will ever acknowl­edge that their “beliefs” have reversed overnight, any more than they did when Bush replaced Clinton.

Unsurprisingly, I was right.

Nothing really changes in Washington
Apr 17th, 2010 by Ken Hagler

Abuse of Power Gets a Pass, Reporting It Gets Jail Time.

Here’s Glenn Greenwald on the Obama administration’s prosecution of NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, and it’s outrageous triumphalism after winning an indictment.

As Greenwald writes, it’s now clear that Obama’s “Look Forward, Not Backward” philosophy applies only to high-ranking Bush administration officials who abused their power and position. The people who risked their careers and freedom to come forward to report on those abuses won’t be getting the same consideration. Or put another way: If you break the law to expand the power of government at the expense of the people, you get a pass. But if you break the law to make government more transparent and accountable, expect them to throw the book at you.

[The Agitator]

Another example of how nothing has changed, regardless of who occupies the White House.

An easy question
Aug 24th, 2009 by Ken Hagler

Where are the antiwar protesters now that we really need them?.

Anti-war protests in all 50 states and in front of the hated King Bush II”s Texas ranch were a fixture in American life and newspapers from 2003 through mid-2008. The protests seem to have disappeared yet the ills of war remain. Let’s look at what is bad about our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:

  • Americans are being killed
  • American taxpayers are being improverished
  • limited American resources are diverted to unproductive activities (bombing an opium factory in Afghanistan is not likely to lead to long-term growth the way that building a factory in North Carolina would)

All three of these things were bad in 2004 when the U.S. was rich and getting richer. They are even worse now. We have had a decline in birth rate and population growth due to the economic collapse. This makes the death of an American soldier if anything more costly becuase there are fewer children growing up to replace him or her. We have less money now, so whatever it is that we’re spending on our adventures amongst the Jihadis is less affordable (http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0933935.html shows that spending is higher than ever and continuing to grow).

Given that the cost of the wars in American life and taxpayer funds is less bearable now than before, how come the antiwar protesters seem to have melted away?

[Philip Greenspun Weblog]

The answer to that is really obvious: those protesters were never really anti-war, only anti-a Republican being the one in charge of the war. Now that a Democrat is in the White House, the war is fine with them.

Role reversal
Apr 15th, 2009 by Ken Hagler

The ultimate reaping of what one sows: right-wing edition. Right-wing polemicists today are shrieking in self-pitying protest over a new report from the Department of Homeland Security sent to local police forces which warns of growing “right-wing extremist activity.” The report (.pdf) identifies attributes of these right-wing extremists, warning that a growing domestic threat of violence and terrorism “may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration” and “groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority.”

[…]

But the political faction screeching about the dangers of the DHS is the same one that spent the last eight years vastly expanding the domestic Surveillance State and federal police powers in every area. DHS — and the still-creepy phrase “homeland security” — became George Bush’s calling card. The Republicans won the 2002 election by demonizing those who opposed its creation. All of the enabling legislation underlying this Surveillance State — from the Patriot Act to the Military Commissions Act, from the various FISA “reforms” to massive increases in domestic “counter-Terrorism” programs — are the spawns of the very right-wing movement that today is petrified that this is all being directed at them.

When you cheer on a Surveillance State, you have no grounds to complain when it turns its eyes on you. If you create a massive and wildly empowered domestic surveillance apparatus, it’s going to monitor and investigate domestic political activity. That’s its nature. [Glenn Greenwald]

At least the British still give lip service to the rule of law
Mar 27th, 2009 by Ken Hagler

Britain responds to the “rule of law” nuisance.

Britain responds to the “rule of law” nuisance: Via Salon: Glenn Greenwald.

(updated below – Update II)

One of the problems for the U.S. Government in releasing Guantanamo detainees has been that, upon release, they are free to talk to the world about the treatment to which they were subjected.  When the Bush administration agreed to release Australian David Hicks after almost 6 years in captivity, they did so only on the condition that he first sign a documenting stating that he was not abused and that he also agree — as The Australian put it — to an “extraordinary 12-month gag order that prevent[ed] Hicks from speaking publicly about the actions to which he has pleaded guilty or the circumstances surrounding his capture, interrogation and detention,” a gag order which “also silence[d] family members and any third party.”

Last month, in response to increasing pressure in Britain over reports of British resident Binyam Mohamed’s deterioration in Guantanamo, the Obama administration released him back to Britain.  Ever since, he has been detailing the often brutal torture to which he was subjected over several years, torture in which British intelligence officials appear to have been, at the very least, complicit.   read more »

[Privacy Digest: Privacy News (Civil Rights, Encryption, Free Speech, Cryptography)]

Hopefully the British investigation will be allowed to proceed. Unfortunately I suspect it’s more likely that either the Evil Empire will order them to drop the matter or else they’ll follow the example of cops and find themselves innocent of any wrongdoing.

Not a change for the better
Feb 13th, 2009 by Ken Hagler

No, It Isn’t.

Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), posting on Twitter:

“11 hours to review a 1000+ page spending bill that spends nearly a trillion dollars? This is not Congress’ finest hour.”

Looks like Obama will also again be breaking his pledge to post every bill on the web for the public to review for five days before signing it. And this on the biggest and (by his measure) most important bill he’s likely to sign in his presidency.

[The Agitator]

Here we see the difference between a president who’s stupid and evil and one who’s smart and evil. It took Bush until September of his first year in office to get away with the “Patriot” Act, while Obama has pulled off his own version in February.

Gaza analysis
Jan 6th, 2009 by Ken Hagler

The War Nerd: Hamas Ain’t No Hezbollah. What’s going on in Gaza now is pretty easy to understand if you think a little bit about the way military trends have been going in the past century-but you also have to be willing to take a cold look at how wars work these days, when there’s no such thing as those “purely military” […] [EXILED ONLINE – MANKIND’S ONLY ALTERNATIVE]

An interesting view on what’s going on in Gaza. One thing’s certain: the Israelis are acting just like Americans these days.

An Iraqi hero
Dec 15th, 2008 by Ken Hagler

Free Bush shoe-thrower, Iraqis urge. Protesters demand release of journalist held after hurling footwear at US president. [AL JAZEERA ENGLISH (AJE)]

In Arab culture, throwing a shoe at someone is a severe insult. Personally, I think what al-Zeidi did was a heroic act comparable to the man who stood in front of the tanks in Tiananmen Square. Unfortunately, I think it’s likely that he’ll come to just as unpleasant an end. He’s probably already disappeared into one of the Evil Empire’s secret prisons.

European hypocrisy
Nov 11th, 2008 by Ken Hagler

Rwanda expels German ambassador. Rose Kabuye, the director- general of state protocol in Rwanda, was detained at Frankfurt airport on Sunday, a move that Paul Kagame, the Rwandan president, has called a “violation of sovereignty”.

Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda’s information minister, said: “The Rwandan government told the German ambassador to leave within 48 hours until the arrest of Kabuye is resolved.

“The ambassador should leave the country by Thursday,” she said.

Kabuye was arrested on an international warrant issued by France in 2006 for her and eight other associates of Kagame.

She is accused of involvement in the shooting down of an aeroplane carrying Juvenal Habyarimana, the Rwandan president, in 1994. His death was one of the sparks that ignited a campaign of genocide in the central African nation, German prosecutors have said. [Al Jazeera]

I note that Bush has been to both Germany and France without being arrested, and there’s no question that he’s guilty of far worse crimes than what Ms. Kabuye is accused of. I don’t particularly approve of countries imposing their own laws on foreigners for things that happened in foreign countries (a practice the Evil Empire is fond of), but the double standard here is even more offensive.

Truth in advertising
Oct 28th, 2008 by Ken Hagler

Get disappointed by someone new

I came across this amusing bumper sticker—it’s probably the closest we’ll ever see to an honest campaign ad. However, I think it’s too optimistic. Experience suggests that if Obama does indeed win the election, the Obamessiah cult will praise him to the heavens for continuing to do exactly the same things that Bush has been doing for the past eight years, while the Busheviks will condemn him as the Antichrist for doing exactly the same things that Bush has been doing. And of course none of them will ever acknowledge that their “beliefs” have reversed overnight, any more than they did when Bush replaced Clinton.

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