Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 01, 2012

Obama - The Detail Decider Lacks Strategic Foresight

The Obama administration, as part of its reelection campaign, is leaking details of half-secret operations to friendly journalists. These leaks are released to make it look as if Obama were personally and in detail involved in operational decisions. The tactical results of these operations are described as successful, but their strategic outcome are rather important setbacks.

Earlier this week the New York Times published a long piece on secret kill lists of terrorists who are targeted by drones. It portraits Obama as personally deciding who and how to kill various people in foreign countries. But that kill list is just a shiny object:

That’s because it propagates the myth that everyone we’re killing is a known terrorist.
...
There is absolutely no reason to believe, for example, that Obama–or even John Brennan–knew the identity of the up to 8 civilians who were killed by a drone in Jaar, Yemen, on May 15. All anyone knew about them, according to reporting, is that they ran out after an earlier drone strike to look at the impact site. Boom! They were never on any Kill List, but they are nonetheless just as dead as Quso is.

At precisely the moment the press reported the White House had embraced signature strikes in Yemen and pulled control of those strikes into the White House, John Brennan rolled out a propaganda campaign to focus on the deliberation that goes into the Kill List–that is, into drone killings not covered by the new signature strike policy.

The effort, very clearly, is an attempt to distract attention from those drone killings that don’t involve the kind of deliberation so carefully portrayed by the NYT.

The campaign also deceives in that it hides or plays down the long term and negative strategic effect of these drone strikes. In Yemen anti-U.S. feeling, and Al Qaeda, are growing because of the drone strikes and drone strikes are also a major hindrance in cooperation with the Pakistani government. Something that will cost the U.S. billions as it has do wind down operations in Afghanistan without the transport route through Pakistan.

Today the New York Times publishes a piece by propagandist David Sanger about the Stuxnet virus the U.S. and Israel unleashed against Iran's enrichment program. Like the one on drones it is full of spin that makes Obama look very involved in the day to day details of a clandestine operation:

The architects of Olympic Games would meet him in the Situation Room, often with what they called the “horse blanket,” a giant foldout schematic diagram of Iran’s nuclear production facilities. Mr. Obama authorized the attacks to continue, and every few weeks — certainly after a major attack — he would get updates and authorize the next step.
...
“From his first days in office, he was deep into every step in slowing the Iranian program — the diplomacy, the sanctions, every major decision,” a senior administration official said. “And it’s safe to say that whatever other activity might have been under way was no exception to that rule.”

For the U.S. to admit to the offensive use of cyber-weapons is a strategic mistake. The U.S. is supreme in conventional and nuclear military capability because of its strong industrial base and financial capabilities. These are capabilities other countries would have to achieve to the same grade before being able to match U.S. warfare might. That is much different in cyberspace. There you only need smart people, a bunch of off the shelf hardware and software and a bit of time. It also quite easy to disguise oneself cyberspace and let an attack seem to come from someone else than the original attacker. Therefore deterrence does not work in cyber wars. Despite big Pentagon projects like Plan X the U.S. has little, if any, structural advantage in a fight in the cyber realm. With being the first to use active cyber war the us has set a new standard of what is acceptable in the international realm. Other will now use that to their advantage.

Like the shiny object of kill lists today's revelations about Stuxnet are likely only a diversion from much bigger rogue cyberwar activities, like that huge Flame virus, various U.S. services are running. But unlike global drone killer capabilities, which do need lots of physical resources, cyber capabilities are available to all actors and the cyber realm is a much more leveled playing field.

But back to the Obama campaign. I do not believe that Obama is personally involved in various program details, authorizing every next step, as much as portrait in the NYT piece. After such a program is once launched there is no need for him of being involved at all and playing golf is much more fun than sitting in conferences. The campaign may well be effective in portraying Obama as The Decider daily involved in keeping U.S. safe. But what it really portraits is an Obama who is fixated on tactical level operations which at the same time generate serious strategic set backs.

What is the use of a Decider when he lacks strategic foresight?

Posted by b on June 1, 2012 at 9:06 UTC | Permalink

Comments

I would say it is bad propaganda, too, because it makes him look scheming and sly.

G. W. Bush got elected twice because he came across as a warm, emotional person, who did not seem to have much to do with the actual running of events.

So maybe this time US Americans will vote for a Mexican born Mormon with poligamous grandparents, who comes across like a robot.

I do not see it yet, however, the Middle East seems to vote Romney, like it voted for Reagan.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 1 2012 9:50 utc | 1

President Obama personally overseeing a “Kill List” is so significant — the president’s extralegal actions undermine the very right from which all other rights exist. And it’s why I launched an official White House petition asking the president to create a “Do Not Kill” list that would at least allow Americans to protect themselves from being deprived of their lives at the hand of the president.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 1 2012 9:52 utc | 2

Norman Finkelstein titles this: "Don Corleone Obama" in his blog
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/05/the-presidents-kill-list.html

it sums it up, including "signature strikes" which is the issue that is meant to be glossed over by this "personal deciding"

“The joke was that when the C.I.A. sees ‘three guys doing jumping jacks,’ the agency thinks it is a terrorist training camp, said one senior official.”

R

Posted by: somebody | Jun 1 2012 10:06 utc | 3

Does this mean that he was also party to the decision to terminate the Iranian scientists?

Posted by: www | Jun 1 2012 10:59 utc | 4

Assassinating, I mean targeted killing, a 16 year old US citicen child, must be contrary to both some international treaties and US law - as death-penalty are not to be applied to children, and definitely not to children not convicted for any crime, only suspected for might wanting to avenge his father who was assassinated by the US Obama regime. How they can spin this to being legal I will never understand, and I hope the mainstream will realise this isn't holding water. If China were to target Chen Guangchen for killing, then the US has already set precedence making that perfectly ok, apparently.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 1 2012 11:27 utc | 5

and they're helping lay out documentation for any future war crimes trial, making it impossible to pull out a reaganesque plausible denial card

Posted by: b real | Jun 1 2012 11:28 utc | 6

what war crimes? it's all legal now, or haven't you heard? that's precisely the point. you can now proudly broadcast your exploits without legal repercussions. there's no longer any need to pretend.

Posted by: wenis | Jun 1 2012 12:18 utc | 7

I'm not so sure that killer drones need lots of physical resources. You don't need large missile-carrying aircraft: small expendable drones will do for assassinations. They can be manufactured on 3-D printers or just adapted from something bought in a toyshop. The possibilities are much wider than just assassinations. For instance attempts to defend against drones (surface-to-air missiles, fighter aircraft) over a city would cause more disruption and alarm than the drones themselves. The batteries of surface-to-air missiles around the London Olympics don't reassure me at all: they're just inviting trouble. There are other possibilities that the US military won't like. Micro-drones could attach themselves to large slow-moving targets (warships or tanks) then switch on homing beacons to guide larger drones or missiles. Iran is developing several kinds of drone, and it's unlikely that they haven't thought of this as a means of targeting US carriers.

For a historical precedent, I think of how the British army used the Maxim machine gun for colonial massacres at the end of the 19th century, without anticipating that in 1914 the same weapon would be turned on them by a more powerful adversary.

Posted by: pmr9 | Jun 1 2012 12:23 utc | 8

This is not just another Great Helmsman Kim Il Cult but one in which the Peerless Leader's evil qualities are emphasised and any suggestion of private decency, sweetness or light, is denied.
After years of inventing evil dictators abroad (Noriega, Saddamm Ghadaffi et al) the US is now inventing its own: Obama Bad Muthah, Here Comes the Judge and Executioner. The lynch mob from the White House.
Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first turn into superhero comics fans...

Posted by: bevin | Jun 1 2012 13:24 utc | 9

keeping U.S. save.

safe? or did you intend a double meaning that i'm missing?

Posted by: omen | Jun 1 2012 13:33 utc | 10

Bin Hussein Osama would still get my vote, as the other creep is even worse. Or perhaps it's time to vote blank, or on a third party? Would be fitting if Amercians all voted blank and started a violent revolution funded by China and Russia, with a touch of Al Quaida for the heck of it. And someone should kidnap Bush, torture him on Gitmo and force his confession of 911, rip off Obamas flopping peace-medal, wrap it in the US flag, set fire to it, and have George put out the flames by peeing on it, hack one of the drones, and blast the white house with Obama bugsplat, up the film on U-tube and blame it on the democrats.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 1 2012 13:41 utc | 11

assassination. indefinite detention. torture...which middle east ally made common use of these practices long before we adopted them? were these things made into policy so that israel wouldn't be so vulnerable in standing alone and being prone to being prosecuted for human rights abuses? now that the u.s. had adopted them, we're not only the bigger target, we serve to 'normalize' such abuses. if that was the hope, it didn't work. now israeli officials are afraid to travel to the uk upon threat of arrest!

Posted by: omen | Jun 1 2012 13:51 utc | 12

For the U.S. to admit to the offensive use of cyber-weapons is a strategic mistake.

what gain is lost in admitting an open secret? everybody already knew.

Posted by: omen | Jun 1 2012 13:57 utc | 13

The campaign also devices in that it hides or plays down the long term and negative strategic effect of these drone strikes.

b -- did you mean "also deceives"? It is indeed a device intended to deceive the public, but it's so clearly stated that Obama has had a precise, almost minute by minute decision making role that, should some judicial power decide to indict him, it would seem fairly easy. And now reporters should be asking him direct questions about these decision and the process.

Maybe he thinks he stayed at a Holiday Inn last night (referencing a motel advertising campaign featuring people who were not experts in a field, but who would step in and, oh, diagnose an ailment, saying "I'm not a doctor but I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night." Supposedly being so well rested the characters could do anything -- or thought they could. That's how Obama governs, eh?).

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 1 2012 14:03 utc | 14

This from truthout:

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/9480-obama-and-drone-warfare-will-americans-speak-out

Short answer...No

Posted by: ben | Jun 1 2012 14:03 utc | 15

omen @ 12 -- Maybe the US government saw how effective Israeli tactics were and decided they should be used by the US as well. But, we did outsource much of our torture in the War on Terror to Middle East countries: Syria, Egypt, Libya, not sure of others. And the CIA used secret prisons in mostly Eastern European countries to do its own torture.

But I remember watching what Israeli forces did to Palestinians and thinking, especially under Bush, that similar tactics were actually showing up here in the US.

I also think the US was using Israel as a front for its cyber attacks perhaps outsourcing development, but recently seems to be admitting or claiming partial or full credit. Since Flame seems to do so much which sounds like what Total Information Awareness was supposed to do, did the US just build on it to make it a cyber war weapon?

As pmr9 at #8 put it, developers or initial users of advanced weaponry seem to think such things will never be used against them or, at least, they'll have defenses or new weapons by then. And, yes, those little drones surely can pack a wallop, be released close to a target, and maybe even avoid detection. Perhaps Obama should not sleep so easily. Or, for coming presidents, Congresses, Pentagon workers, people in any location whatsoever might live in fear of these forms of attack.

And cyber war attacks will probably be coming first. -- if not here already for spying purposes. But, go ahead, Obama et al, crow about your "achievements" of screwing up Iran. Karma is a bitch, as they say.

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 1 2012 14:19 utc | 16

Lack of strategic vision, indeed. It has been the hallmark of the Obama administration.

The first, egregious example was Obama's refusal to sell the Iranians nuclear fuel for their medical reactor. It put the whole world on alert that the US will use nuclear fuel supply to hold electric power systems hostage if the US becomes displeased with a country's policies. Since US whims are arbitrary, countries are basically forced to develop contingency plans against such a scenario--develop their own nuclear fuel, and perhaps more. NPT RIP. Sheer stupidity on the part of Obama.

By using cyber-warfare against Iran, Obama basically announced that viruses will become a common tool of rivalry, to be used against anyone who happens to displease the US, however trivial the issue.

Lets take a "for instance." A Russian Sukhoi Superjet goes down in Indonesia. Russia suspects foul play. Given US pranks, that's not out of the question. The possible motivation? To protect Boeing, a major US military contractor, against Russian competition by giving the Sukhoi a bad reputation.

Such is the level of "misbehavior"--competition to Boeing--that could incite US wrath and reaction. With readily available tools, nothing would prevent the US from taking action against a perceived "threat."

It has gotten to the point that other countries would be stupid not to develop their own cyber warfare capabilities and attack in the event of suspected US mischief.

As b points out, such warfare would not be asymmetrical--Russia and China, in particular, have extraordinarily talented engineers. Many other countries have enough talent.

Obama has leveled the playing field, and it is not to the US' advantage. But it is to the detriment of anyone who depends on computer systems in an interconnected world.

Posted by: JohnH | Jun 1 2012 14:40 utc | 17

One final note--it doesn't really matter whether the US was involved in downing the Sukhoi or not.

All that matters is that the US is ready and willing (eager?) to disrupt adversaries' systems via viruses. Therefore, any disruption becomes a suspicious event.

Retaliation gets weighed.

A downward spiral ensues.

Posted by: JohnH | Jun 1 2012 15:22 utc | 18

On the same theme, Steve Clemons reviews David Ignatius' new book.
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/06/what-happens-when-they-get-drones/257875/

Money quote: "In other words, Ignatius warns that weapons technology -- and complex financial instruments and structures -- will not remain the sole preserve of the U.S. and its allies. What we throw at them may come back and be deployed against us."

Posted by: JohnH | Jun 1 2012 15:26 utc | 19

There are rumors on the Internet that the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which used the kind of Siemens control unit targeted by Stuxnet, was a victim of Stuxnet. I am not qualified to judge whether these rumors might possibly be true.

Certainly, Sanger’s NYT story today shows how Stuxnet had unintended consequences — unintended at any rate by the White House.

Posted by: lysias | Jun 1 2012 16:33 utc | 20

HohnH 17: Good post. I believe you've hit on a very relevant point. In this day and age, any threat to the US mega-corporate hegemony, is more than enough justification to attack, by any means necessary, the offending country. I believe this strategy is the essence of US foreign policy.

Posted by: ben | Jun 1 2012 16:40 utc | 21

So let me understand. If the Armericans are admitting that Obama makes all these life and deaths decisions, and when a drone kills innocent people, can their families now sue the bastard. There are several suits in the US against Saudis for 9/11 and others for other terror acts, so why not the other way. I say sue the bastard.

Posted by: ana souri | Jun 1 2012 16:42 utc | 22

Woops, sorry, make that JohnH @ 17.

Posted by: ben | Jun 1 2012 16:42 utc | 23

ana souri @ 22:

" I say sue the bastard "

Good idea, but, don't hold your breath until the law suits bear fruit.

Posted by: ben | Jun 1 2012 16:47 utc | 24

@22 - maybe john edwards can take the case(s). he's great at suing, or so i'm told.

Posted by: wenis | Jun 1 2012 16:53 utc | 25

The lawsuits would have to be undertaken in countries other than the US; I don't see our justice system being very just when a US president or other officials are being sued.

Most lawsuits against other nations are won because the nation being sued does not recognize the right of the US to try such cases and doesn't appear. Thus, much money is awarded to those suing, but few see any of it. Altho, iirc, some who had won suits against Saddam's Iraq wanted to get money from any funds frozen in the US by the US government. I don't know how that worked out for them, as the US was saying that money would go to the new, democratically elected Iraq government.

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 1 2012 16:58 utc | 26

@26 - if that's the case, then i'm going to sue assad so i can get my multi-million dollar claim in before he's deposed and the spoils are divvied up. thanks for the advice.

Posted by: wenis | Jun 1 2012 17:23 utc | 27

you haven't got a chance in the US, you might have in Europe

http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2012/may/15/el-masri-rendition-european-court

"In the US, lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union took his case all the way to the supreme court. When that failed, they filed an international petition against the US with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, making El-Masri the first person to have brought cases before both the European and the American human rights systems."

https://www.aclu.org/national-security/el-masri-v-tenet
"A judge dismissed the case in May 2006 after the government intervened, arguing that allowing the case to proceed would jeopardize state secrets, despite the fact that Mr. El-Masri's story was already known throughout the world. The ACLU appealed the dismissal in November 2006. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the lower court decision that denied MR. El-Masri a hearing in the United States. In October 2007, the United States Supreme Court refused to review Mr. El-Masri's case."

Posted by: somebody | Jun 1 2012 17:40 utc | 28

@omen @jawbone "safe" deceived" - it seems my editor was still asleep when I posted the piece. Thanks for the corrections.

Posted by: b | Jun 1 2012 18:29 utc | 29

@ 22: LOL, Yep, the John Edwards fiasco proves again, sex isn't free.

Posted by: ben | Jun 1 2012 18:37 utc | 30

Heh, wenis @ 25 -- I was thinking today that since John Edwards retains his law license maybe he would be willing to take on some of the foreclosure suits against Big Banksters and their robo signing scams, among others.

He still has enough money to not need a big payoff, and he might well begin his rehabilitation.

His main theme in running was the growing gap between the Two Americas (since then even larger), and he could prove by his actions he wasn't just using that as a campaigning point but really meant it.

He might be able to do what states' attornneys general were unable to do, what Holder/Obama and Justice Department didn't do. Altho I think the statute of limitations has run out on many cases, the robo signing continues and people still have trouble finding out who actually hold their loan.

One can dream.

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 1 2012 20:10 utc | 31

b @ 29 -- Ah, yes, playing editor with one's own words is much harder than editing others' writings. Especially proofreading.

I've been meaning to thank you for adding the preview with edit feature. Not sure when the edit came on line, but, oh, do I need it and use it. And can still post with typos and errors... Many, many, many thanks.

Thanks for running a great bar.

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 1 2012 20:13 utc | 32

Great article. Thanks

Posted by: Sophia | Jun 1 2012 23:02 utc | 33

Not to mention that portraying Obama involved in day to day operations like these make him vulnerable to prosecution.
He is young, he will live long enough to see maybe a change in US hegemony and fortunes and this makes him accountable more than Bush and Cheney.

Posted by: Sophia | Jun 1 2012 23:04 utc | 34

David Horowitz first advocated torture back in 2002. Hardly a whiff of dissent by the narcissistic citizenry. These are all ISRAEL policy, written by the traitor/infiltator zionists & sayanim: TARGETED KILLINGS, MARKED FOR DEATH and EXTRAJUDICIAL RENDITIONS were zionist phrases and acts first used on Arafat, and the Palestinians- So few cared. Those who did? Terror sympathizers... The Kill List ties it all together. The list Decider is another sayan.

Soon the jaded, apathetic American populace will get the 'Arab' treatment. 30,000 drones all weaponized with each person's home coordinates uploaded during the 2010 census. Put together with Obamacare compulsory RFID implant chips hooked up to GPS by end of 2013- and you've got some real Karmic return coming to the Heartland.

Posted by: occupy assassins | Jun 2 2012 1:52 utc | 35

It would probably be a better idea to support Obama's legalisation of unlawful killing under the umbrella of the Fake War of Terror. Superficially, at least, statistics on violent crime all over the world seem to suggest that violent settlement of disputes, without the tedium of negotiations and concessions is gradually becoming the New Normal.
Why bother with cops and courts when the President, Himself, has endorsed vigilantism and the murder of "suspects" on any pretext AND concocted ready-made ass-covering spin to excuse oneself when 'misadventure' accidentally kills or maims a few innocent bystanders?

I say "Way to go, Barry!"
So don't say we didn't try to warn you, and PUHLEASE don't come whingeing to us when members of the Administration's Star Chamber start falling victim to the copy-cat excesses of 'non-aligned' vigilantes.

Over and out.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 2 2012 8:14 utc | 36

"Lack of Strategic Vision"

Why not just: Vision... period? Are there different kinds?

I do not believe that Obama is personally involved in various program details,

Neither do I. Nor, that he had any input, much less more then passing awareness... wrt to Stuxnet. Or the "financial crisis". Or Health Care system functioning (it's more of a lethal system, then "care" one). I don't think he had an intelligent clue, wrt financing Wall Street Crooks, on taxpayer's dime, to "bail us out" of the financial mess these crooks created. I mean, really... WS had one a great job, just in +/- 3 yrs of recovery, of pumping the system for the next great ripoff, while most people here are clueless what happened in the last 2!!!

That's pretty good performance, if you ask me.

...

Here in Albuquerque, we have an Air Force Base: Kirtland. It is the primary US site, for repository of US Nuclear missiles... +/- 2500 of those suckers, Protecting America!!! After first few years of Bush Jr's Iraq adventure (NO WMD's found), a sign seen in many front yards here said:
Number of WMD's found:
Iraq: -0-
ABQ: 2500

...

Albuquerque sits about 500 ft above a vast... aquifer. It extends well beyond city limits, even county (Bernalillo) at parts of it's periphery. This Aquifer, currently... supplies +/- 65% of this City's drinking water. Given projections by federal climate studies of extended drought conditions into the future, reliance on the Aquifer will go up in coming years/decades.

Somewhere between 32-50 yrs ago, a pipe... 2 ft. below the ground carrying jet fuel from tankers on trains to underground storage tanks, on the Kirtland site, began leaking jet fuel. What happened, was... they dug a trench about 2 ft deep, put a shallow layer of gavel. Laid some pipe, covered that up with more gravel.

This was in the mid-50's we are told.

Then, in late 50's, somebody authorized laying train tracks over that gravel filled trench. On massive train car passing over... ka'chunk ka'chunk ka'chunk... then another... some years later, hard to believe but, that pipe developed cracks, started leaking. Who would have thunk it? Right there in front of 'em, 2 ft. below the ground, train car after train car pressing down on that gravel... and nobody, not a single person, had a notion translating into simple action of grabbing a shovel and removing a couple ft. of loose gravel, to see it... (you get the idea).

Ok, so... that really would have been, seems to me, commons sense thing to do. Would require, only, a little... VISION!!! Seeing what is right there, in front of, most everybody working on that Air Force Base, for +/- 50 yrs. Did't happen. Too busy with the other tasks, necessary to "Protect America".

...

Took somewhere around 16 yrs for 1st drop of jet fuel to reach the aquifer, somewhere between 16-32 yrs ago (based on, currently, best available data). Now... the toxic plumes from various jet fuel carcinogenic constituents, extend laterally in this aquifer, at minimum: 17,000 ft. Some of this stuff (EDB) can fuck you up, at 4 parts per trillion.

This "spill", now... is estimated at 24m gallons. And that estimate, just about 10 days ago replaced their longstanding estimate of 8m gallons... mostly as a function of our (myself, and few others trying to get some reality focused on this "event") That's more then twice the size of Exxon Valdez.

Kirtland (and DOD folks, largely invisible) are in charge of this "cleanup". But... there has been, -0- cleanup. None. They are still, 10+ years after having "discovered" the leak, these guys are, exclusively... the total of their actions, directed oly at trying to find out, just how big (lateral expansion of toxins into the aquifer) this thing is. And... incredibly, they have said in public meetings they have "no plans" for remediation (cleanup). Yet, they tell everyone, they're cleaning it up!!!

How silly is that?

No plans to clean it up... period. They have said it will "bio degrade" (naturally "dissolve"). Yet, vast EPA records of all the toxins currently in these "plumes", shows conclusively that in an under ground water supply (aquifer), with saturation levels of toxins we have here... that not only will the not "bioremediate", but... optimistically, with massive human intervention (eg: 100's of "remediation" wells doing various tasks), this stuff (EDB) will still saturate the water, 50 years from now. 200 years is, given gaps in research, very possible. Yet Kirtlnad's PR, that Kirtland is "on top of it" (think about that)... has mollified every single regulatory authority into running with Kirtland's every statement, on this "situation".

This is the largest spill... by volume of toxics, by size of water supply, and by # of people served by that water supply... in the history of the US. Yet... Kirtland bull shit PR, massively disseminated, has the few people who liver here which have any consciousness about this thing at all, convinced that... the Air Force/Flag/Eagle (etc.) is doing a bang up job, looking after this thing.

We know that, if they began what needed to be done yesterday, it would be at least 30 years of massive effort, just to contain the expansion of these "plumes", let alone... clean it up. At the current trajectory of PR masquerading as action, this plume is going to render out drinking supply entirely toxic/unusable... in 30-60 yrs. It will make ABQ into, essentially, a Ghost Town.

So anyway... you are right B, BO's vision ain't all that hot. And his PR apparatus is putting out stuff, to make him look the the Lone Ranger. And Romney the say, and BushCo before... and people kind'a vote for one caricature, or the other.

...

The US, collectively... is running out of usable water. Ours is a particularly grotesque transgression... direct pollution by a military facility tasked w/"Protecting America", while destroying a primary water supply, then lying about fixing it... while being in charge of the little rooms in (mostly, but not exclusively) Nevada desert, with little joy sticks, directing drones to shoot wherever, by people manning those joy sticks who have no clue, none... of anything about what they are doing. Just a screen, joystick, and some toys.

In fact, the guy at Kirtland in charge of this cleanup, Col. Donald Conley... pictured in this link as receiving an award for his/Kirtland's "environmental stewardship", given to him by ABQ's "Water Authority" (believe it or not)... this guy, told me with a giddy, disgusting Dennis the Menace smile on his face... that he'd much rather be doing the "fun stuff" of manning one of those joy sticks, then being given this mundane job of bull shitting ABQ's population, w/media saturation, about everything to do with realities which will, literally, determine ABQ's future access to usable, non-toxic water.

Vision, as I see it B... or the lack thereof, is an approximately, universal, saturating problem amongst humans on this planet, currently.


Posted by: jdmckay | Jun 2 2012 16:35 utc | 37

Obama is not vulnerable to prosecution. Suing him is impossible.

Bush and Clinton were not prosecuted. All international bodies are hush hush about targeted killings, as they were about renditions and torture. (Well, or they bruit it about to make it all slowly acceptable.)

Don’t count on the rule of law, forget it, its is gone.

Everyone obeys and lines up with the hegemon and tries to keep things out of the media, quiet, so that they may not be blamed for not objecting. They rationalize (I guess) millions, yes millions, of dead in Iraq and Afgh. Which they themselves signed off on. Bush was perceived as a dope, Obama is a black sartorial Hero and Nobel Prize winner; none of that makes any difference. If Obiman wants his own personal killing list, that is all fine and dandy, as long as the ppl jawing on about that - are not on the list or are just intertube conspiracists.

Of course the likes of Hollande can’t imagine that being assassinated or randomly droned-splattered would apply to him. Many others are of course jealous, Sarkozy would be, having your personal hit list accepted in the media - the ultimate power hit. Cocaine is nothing in comparison.


Posted by: Noirette | Jun 2 2012 19:23 utc | 38

"These killings are, in reality, summary executions and widely regarded as potential war crimes by international lawyers – including the UN's special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Philip Alston.”

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100161507/barack-obamas-war-on-terror-is-nastier-and-less-ethical-than-george-w-bushs/

Posted by: Sophia | Jun 2 2012 23:06 utc | 39

I ask, whom does it benefit to portray Obama as a rogue sheriff rather than the president of a Republic? It doesn't sound so flattering after all ...

Posted by: claudio | Jun 2 2012 23:14 utc | 40

Obama vetoed Assad assassination attempt


Sources reporting to the Debka news agency in Israel say that a Franco-Saudi plan to oust Assad from his rule in Syria was all but implemented in recent weeks, but the White House’s reluctance to offer US assistance eventually eroded what chance existed for ending Assad’s rule.

According to military and intelligence sources reporting to Debka, a complex plan relying on air strikes and bombardment from the sea was believed to be on the table. When prompted to add US manpower to aid in the attack, however, President Obama repeatedly refused to get involved.

Debka’s sources say that, before being voted out of office, French President Nicolas Sarkozy “spent his last days in the Elysée Palace in long telephone conversations with the White House” in which he attempted to persuade the US president to align American troops in the attack. Along with Saudi Defense Minister Prince Salman, Sarkozy hoped that President Obama would provide supplemental forces that would be required to destroy Assad’s palace and, in turn, execute the Syrian leader, his family and the top leaders of his government.

As I have been saying for a long time, there have been plans to asassinate Bashara al Assad for a long time. Now, this would make any ICC trial against Assad with the implication of revealing the roles of western countries in terror, impossible. Thankfully, Obama wasn't persuaded by this one.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 4 2012 10:42 utc | 41

My concerns about Obomba centered on Axelrod and his Zionist agenda,as I had no idea of his Zio credentials.Well,the ship is in,and its sails are blue starred,and we are castaways on the rocks of Charybdis,as this miseducated(O) bot actually thinks that Israel are the good guys,and we,the world and justice are irrelevant to these monsters of Zion.
Rahm Emmanuel(IDF)should have been the shot across our bow,but it was too late by then,as these monsters have usurped our government.
What do the Zios have over our leaders?What dirty secret?9-11?

Posted by: dahoit | Jun 4 2012 14:16 utc | 42

They (MOSSAD/CIA/other Pentagon-entities) systematically collect scandalous private info on every important politician or influential individual, the others are bought. That's why politicians come with seemingly nonsense political announcements now and then, they been pressured to.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 4 2012 14:55 utc | 43

secrecy news blog: McCain Calls For Special Counsel To Investigate Leaks

Sen. John McCain asked the Obama Administration to appoint a special counsel to investigate recent leaks of classified information to the news media. He
condemned the disclosure of classified information in several recent news stories involving U.S. cyber attacks on Iran's nuclear program and the use of drones in targeted killing programs, among others. And he accused the Obama Administration of willfully promoting the disclosures.

The leaks appear to be part of "a broader effort by the administration to paint a portrait of the President of the United States as a strong leader on national security issues," Sen. McCain said on the Senate floor yesterday.

...

"I call on the President to take immediate and decisive action, including the appointment of a special counsel, to aggressively investigate the leak of any classified information on which the recent stories were based and, where appropriate, to prosecute those responsible," he said.

Sen. McCain indicated that Sen. Carl Levin, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, had agreed to hold hearings on the subject.

...

He noted the "unacceptable" incongruity of prosecuting lower-level personnel such as Bradley Manning, Jeffrey Sterling or John Kiriakou for allegedly leaking classified information while holding senior officials blameless for what appear to be comparable offenses.

"The fact that this administration would aggressively pursue leaks perpetrated by a 22-year-old Army private in the Wikileaks matter and former CIA employees in other leaks cases but apparently sanction leaks made by senior administration officials for political purposes is simply unacceptable," Sen. McCain said.

Sen. Chambliss added that "This administration reminds us repeatedly that they are prosecuting more people for leaking classified information than ever before, and I support that effort. But just as we hold ordinary government employees accountable for violating their oaths to protect our Nation's secrets, we must also hold the most senior administration officials accountable."

Posted by: b real | Jun 6 2012 15:06 utc | 44

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