THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
November 26, 2008
Antiwar.com

The Obama Letdown

by Michael Hudson

Barack Obama was elected with overwhelming approval to inaugurate an era of change. And at his November 25 press conference, he said that his decisive victory gave him a mandate to change the direction in which America is moving. But his recent economic and foreign policy appointments make it clear that when he chose "change" as his campaign slogan, he was NOT referring to the financial, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sectors, nor to foreign policy. These are where the vested interests concentrate their wealth and power. And change already has been accelerating here. Unfortunately, its direction has been for the top 1% of America's population to raise their share of in the returns to wealth from 37% ten years ago to 57% five years ago and an estimated nearly 70% today.

The change that Mr. Obama is talking about is largely marginal to this wealth, not touching its economic substance - or its direction. No doubt he will bring about a welcome change in race relations, environmental regulations, and a more civil rule of law. And he probably will give wage earners an income-tax break (thereby enabling them to keep on paying their bank debts, incidentally). As for the rich, they prefer not to earn income in the first place. Taxes need to be paid on income, so they take their returns in the form of capital gains. And simply avoiding losses is the order of the day in the present meltdown.

Where losses cannot be avoided, the government will bail out the rich on their financial investments, but not wage earners on their debts. On that Friday night last October when Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain held their final debate, Mr. Obama was fully on board with the bailouts. And this week's appointment of the "Yeltsin" team who sponsored Russia's privatization giveaways in the mid-1990s - Larry Summers and his proteges from the Clinton's notorious Robert Rubin regime - shows that he knows his place when it comes to the proper relationship between a political candidate and his major backers. It is to protect the vested interests first of all, while focusing voters' attention on policies whose main appeal is their ability to distract attention from the fact that no real change is being made at the economic core and its power relationships.

This is not what most people hoped for. But their hopes were so strong that it was easier to indulge in happy dreams and put one's faith in a prince than to look at the systemic problems that need to be restructured in order for real change to occur. Individuals do not determine who owes what to whom, who is employed by whom or what laws govern their work and investment. Institutional economic and political structures are the key. And somehow the focus has been on the politics of personalities, not on the economic forces at work.

This is as true abroad as it is in the United States. Two weeks ago I was at an economic meeting on "financialization" in Germany. Most of the attendees with whom I spoke expressed the hope - indeed, almost a smug conviction - that Obama would be like Gorbachev in Russia: a man who saw the need for deep structural change but chose to bide his time, seeming to "play the game" with the protective coloration of going along, but then introducing a revolutionary reform program once in office.

Instead, after resembling President Carter by running a brilliant presidential primary campaign to win the nomination (will a similarly disappointing administration be about to come?), Obama is looking more like Boris Yeltsin - a political umbrella for the kleptocrats to whom the public domain and decades of public wealth were given with no quid pro quo.

Obama's ties with the Yeltsin administration are as direct as could be. He has appointed as his economic advisors the same anti-labor, pro-financial team that brought the kleptocrats to power in Russia in the mid-1990s. . . .

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William Greider, "Paulson Bailout Plan a Historic Swindle," Nation, September 19, 2008

Mohsin Ali, "Obama's Foreign Policy and Economic Challenges," The Wisdom Fund, November 4, 2008

VIDEO: Edna Canetti, "A Plea from Israel - Come, Obama, Change My Life," counterpunch.org, November 6, 2008

Asif Salahuddin, "The evil of the US dollar," Asia Times, November 21, 2008

James Abourezk, "Of Arrogance, Bailouts and the Big Three," counterpunch.org, November 25, 2008

Robert Parry, "Obama, Ask the Kremlin about Gates," consortiumnews.com, November 25, 2008

Kurt Nimo, "Sacrifice We Can Believe In," wordpress.com, November 26, 2008

Victor Davis Hanson, "Campaign Rhetoric and Presidential Reality: Consider this brief history of foreign-policy posturing," nationalreview.com, December 18, 2008

Robert Parry, "Obama v. Washington Mythmaking," consortiumnews.com, December 18, 2008

[US military leaders and Pentagon officials have made it clear through public statements and deliberately leaked stories in recent weeks that they plan to violate a central provision of the US-Iraq withdrawal agreement requiring the complete withdrawal of all US combat troops from Iraqi cities by mid-2009 by reclassifying combat troops as support troops.--Gareth Porter, "US Military Defiant on Key Terms of Iraqi Pact," antiwar.com, December 19, 2008]

[What is there to win in Afghanistan to justify doubling down our investment? . . . did not America vote against Bush? Why is America getting seamless continuity when it voted for significant change?--Patrick J. Buchanan, "Obama's War," antiwar.com, December 19, 2008]

Victor Thorn, "Change? Obama Inner Circle Filled With Bilderbergers," americanfreepress.net, December 22, 2008

David Icke, "Barack Obama: The Naked Emperor," davidicke.com, December 2008

Paul Richter, "Restrained Obama leaves many displeased," Los Angeles Times, January 7, 2009

Noam Chomsky, "Obama on Israel-Palestine," zmag.org, January 26, 2009

[President Obama was a war criminal by his third day in office when he ordered illegal cross-border drone attacks on Pakistan that murdered 20 people, including 3 children. The bombing and strafing of homes and villages in Afghanistan by US forces and America's NATO puppets are also war crimes. Obama cannot enforce the law, because he himself has already violated it.--Paul Craig Roberts, "Where Principles Go to Die: In America, Speaking the Truth is a Career-Ending Event," counterpunch.org, January 26, 2009]

[But there's been no exciting surprise or originality in Obama's opening engagements with the reeling economy. His team is flush with economists and bankers who helped blaze the path to ruin.--Alexander Cockburn, "Obama and the Oddsmakers," counterpunch.org, January 30, 2009]

[But what lifted those reports last weekend out of the routine is the simple fact that for the first time the air strikes occurred on President Obama's watch. . . .

My heart sank. It absolutely sank. It had been very high. I had been, like I think the rest of the country, feeling immensely encouraged and inspired by this new administration and by the energy and vigor with which he began. And then comes this piece of old stuff on approach to a complicated question that in comes in the form of a bomb and a bomb in the most dangerous of all places. And, yeah, my heart sank, literally.--"Bill Moyer's Journal," pbs.org, January 30, 2009]

John Pilger, "The politics of bollocks: Supporters of the new US president refuse to admit that the 'man of change' is, in fact, changing very little. It's time the Obama lovers grew up," New Statesman, February 5, 2009

Alexander Cockburn, "Obama's First Bad Week," counterpunch.org, February 6, 2009

Glenn Greenwald, "Obama fails his first test on civil liberties and accountability -- resoundingly and disgracefully," salon.com, February 9, 2009

Jonathan Turley, "Top Obama Aides Embrace Bush's War on Terror Rhetoric and Enemy Combatant Policy," jonathanturley.org, February 11, 2009

Michael Hudson, "Obama's Awful Financial Recovery Plan," counterpunch.org, February 12, 2009

[President Obama doesn't want to hold Bush accountable for his crimes and violations of the Constitution, because Obama wants to retain the powers that Bush asserted. Even the practice of kidnapping people and transporting them to foreign countries to be tortured has been retained by President Obama.--Paul Craig Roberts, "From One Assault on the Constitution to Another: Bill of Rights Under Fire," counterpunch.org, February 20, 2009]

[The Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, claimed national security would be compromised if a lawsuit brought by the Oregon chapter of the charity, Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, was allowed to proceed.--Devlin Barrett, "Court rejects Obama bid to stop wiretapping suit," Washington Post, February 27, 2009]

VIDEO: "The Obama Deception," obamadeception.net, March 2009

VIDEO: "Dr. Quentin Young, Longtime Obama Confidante and Physician to MLK, Criticizes Admin's Rejection of Single-Payer Healthcare," democracynow.org, March 11, 2009

[The lobbying against his appointment included a phone call from Charles Schumer, a Democratic Senator, to Rahm Emanuel, the White House Chief of Staff, reminding him that Mr Freeman had shown "an irrational hatred of Israel" in past comments. Mr Emanuel is a strong defender of Israel's interests.--Rupert Cornwell, "'Israel lobby' blamed as Obama's choice for intelligence chief quits: Veteran diplomat attacks wilful distortions that 'plumb the depths of dishonour'," Independent, March 13, 2009]

VIDEO: "David Schuster interviews Amy Goodman on MSNBC's 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," democracynow.org, March 13, 2009

"Obama reprieve for CIA illegal--UN rapporteur," Reuters, April 18, 2009

Naomi Klein, "Why We Should Banish Larry Summers From Public Life," Washington Post, April 19, 2009

[But however much Obama may differ from Bush on particulars, he appears intent on sustaining the essentials on which the Bush policies were grounded. Put simply, Obama's pragmatism poses no threat to the reigning national security consensus.--Andrew J. Bacevich, "Obama's sins of omission," Boston Globe, April 25, 2009]

[Obama's Iraq plan is virtually identical to the one on Bush's table on January 19, 2009. Obama has just rebranded the occupation, sold it to liberals and dropped the term "Global War on Terror" while, for all practical purposes, continuing the Bush era policy (that's why leading Republicans praised Obama's plan). In the real world, US military commanders have said they are preparing for an Iraq presence for another 15-20 years, the US embassy is the size of Vatican City, there is no official plan for the withdrawal of contractors and new corporate mercenary contracts are being awarded. The SoFA Agreement between the US and Iraq gives the US the right to extend the occupation indefinitely and to continue intervening militarily in Iraq ad infinitum. All it takes is for the puppets in Baghdad to ask nicely.--Jeremy Scahill, "Obama's Iraq: The Picture of Dorian Gray," counterpunch.org, April 28, 2009]

[In his first 100 days, Obama has excused torture, opposed habeas corpus, and demanded more secret government. He has kept Bush's gulag intact and at least 17,000 prisoners beyond the reach of justice. On April 24, his lawyers won an appeal that ruled Guantanamo prisoners were not "persons" and therefore had no right not to be tortured. His national intelligence director, Adm. Dennis Blair, says he believes torture works. One of his senior officials in Latin America is accused of covering up the torture of an American nun in Guatemala; another is a Pinochet apologist. As Daniel Ellsberg has pointed out, America experienced a military coup under Bush, whose secretary of "defense," Robert Gates, along with the same warmaking officials, have been retained by Obama.--John Pilger, "Obama's First 100 Days: The Madmen Did Well," antiwar.com, April 29, 2009]

Chris McGreal, "US government to drop espionage charges against Aipac officials: Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman accused of providing US defence secrets to Israeli embassy in Washington," Guardian, May 1, 2009

[One would have thought that, following the jury's decision, the bar set by the jury in the Al Arian case would be so high that the prosecution would finally leave him alone. But there is apparently a difference between a Palestinian patriot and Americans spying for Israel. One group has a powerful lobby in Washington, and the other has nothing, except the urging of that powerful lobby to go after any Palestinian activist with criminal charges or anything else they can get their hands on.--James G. Abourezk, "Where's the Justice at the Justice Department?," counterpunch.org, May 4, 2009]

Wajahat Ali, "Obama in Cairo is a blow to democracy," Guardian, May 11, 2009

[ . . . ever since he was inaugurated, Obama has taken one extreme step after the next to keep concealed both the details and the evidence of Bush's crimes, including rendition, torture and warrantless eavesdropping.--Glenn Greenwald, "Obama's latest effort to conceal evidence of Bush era crimes," salon.com, May 13, 2009]

Lara Jakes, "Obama to revive terror tribunals," Associated Press, May 15, 2009

Alexander Cockburn, "Obama: From anti-war law professor to warmonger in 100 days," thefirstpost.co, May 19, 2009

[His courting of Westernized Turkish generals, bowing to King Abdullah, and joining Mubarak in a cheer for freedom will tell Muslims all they need to know about U.S. intentions in their region. Likewise, Obama's expanding war in Afghanistan and his kowtowing to Israel and American Israel-Firsters will give the lie to his claim that Washington is now an honest broker in the Middle East.--Michael Scheuer, "Obama Steers Toward Endless War With Islam," antiwar.com, May 20, 2009]

Paul Craig Roberts, "Watching Obama Morph Into Dick Cheney," antiwar.com, May 21, 2009

[In reality, the United States used OPS to control the behavior of foreign police for its own political ends. The goal of U.S. public safety programs was to unify a country's police and military under a central command - overseen by OPS advisors. Assassination, disappearance and torture were the tools of the OPS trade.--Jeremy Bigwood, "Reinventing Demons: The Obama administration plans a new round of 'public safety' programs in Latin America," inthesetimes.com, May 21, 2009]

[Parts of his plan would threaten the very foundation of our legal system - that no one should be held in custody if he has committed no crime.--Marjorie Cohn, "Obama's Guantanamo Appeasement Plan," truthout.org, May 27, 2009]

[Not only did Obama keep on Robert Gates as defense secretary; he retained the secretary of the Army, Pete Geren - another star of the Christian Embassy video, who also, in commencement remarks at West Point last year, characterized America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as struggles for religious freedom against the "darkness and oppression" of radical Islam - and also appointed as his national security adviser the retired Marine general James Jones, a regular on the prayer breakfast circuit. Nobody believes the new president shares Bush's religious sentiments, but clearly he is willing to shave constitutional protections in exchange for evangelical peace.--Jeff Sharlet, "Jesus killed Mohammed: The crusade for a Christian military," Harpers, May 2009]

[ . . . what we're seeing, under President Barack Obama, is sort of old wine in a new bottle. Obama is sending one message to the world, but the reality on the ground, particularly when it comes to private military contractors, is that the status quo remains from the Bush era. Right now there are 250 thousand contractors fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's about 50 percent of the total US fighting force. Which is very similar to what it was under Bush. In Iraq, President Obama has 130 thousand contractors. And we just saw a 23 percent increase in the number of armed contractors in Iraq. In Afghanistan there's been a 29 percent increase in armed contractors. So the radical privatization of war continues unabated under Barack Obama.--"Bill Moyers Journal, Jeremy Scahill," pbs.org, June 5, 2009]

[Like any other president before him, . . . President Obama is not going to limit his presidential powers when it comes to this draconian absolute executive power.--Sibel Edmonds, "The Battle Against the State Secrets Privilege," counterpunch.org, June 9, 2009]

[President Obama justifiably reminded his audience at the National Archives that the last administration left the country with a terrible, and terribly complicated, legal mess. His personal commitment to the rule of law cannot be doubted. Nonetheless, unless his administration explains why specific cases cannot be prosecuted in the federal courts, it will have done no better than its predecessor on a pivotal threshold issue.--Eugene R. Fidell, "The Trouble With Tribunals," New York Times, June 13, 2009]

[ . . . administration attorneys repeatedly adopt the executive-authority and national-security rationales that their Republican predecessors preferred.--Michael Doyle, "In stark legal turnaround, Obama now resembles Bush," McClatchy Newspapers, June 19, 2009]

Michael Hudson, "Obama's (Latest) Surrender to Wall Street," counterpunch.org, June 22, 2009

James Petras, "Obama's Rollback Strategy: Honduras, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan (and the Boomerang Effect)," globalresearch.ca, July 9, 2009

[Since 1945, by deed and by example, the US has overthrown 50 governments, including democracies, crushed some 30 liberation movements

. . . while liberals now celebrate America's return to its "moral ideals", they are silent on a venerable taboo. This is the true role of Americanism: an ideology distinguished by its myths and the denial that it exists. President Obama is its embodiment.--John Pilger, "Mourn on the fourth of July," johnpilger.com, July 9, 2009]

[Hence Biden and Clinton's mutinies, conducted on behalf of the Israel lobby and designed to seize administration policy as Obama's popularity weakens. . . . As Thalheimer's Law decrees. All policy is domestic.--Alexander Cockburn, "The Biden and Clinton Mutinies," counterpunch.org, July 31, 2009]

David Johnston, "U.S. Says Rendition to Continue, but With More Oversight," New York Times, August 25, 2009

Dean Baker, "The Reappointment of Bernanke," counterpunch.org, August 26, 2009

Tom Raum, "Analysis: Obama keeps Bush nominees in top posts," AP News, August 31, 2009

["The reality is that the Bush and the Obama administrations have the same position on the rights of detainees in Bagram."--"Human Rights Lawyer on Bagram Prison: 'The Obama Administration Has Completely Failed'," spiegel.de, September 21, 2009]

Brad Jacobson, "Senior official in Bush domestic propaganda program remains Obama's Pentagon spokesman," rawstory.com, September 30, 2009

Eli Lake, "Obama agrees to keep Israel's nukes secret," Washington Times, October 2, 2009

Matt Renner, "Obama Administration Accused Again of Concealing Bush-Era Crimes," truthout.org, October 12, 2009

Jason Leopold, "White House 'Ordered' Lawmakers to Amend FOIA in Order to Conceal Torture Photos," truthout.org, October 17, 2009

[He wants the nation's banks to be prohibited from owning and trading risky securities, the very practice that got the biggest ones into deep trouble in 2008. And the administration is saying no, it will not separate commercial banking from investment operations.--Louis Uchitelle, "Volcker Fails to Sell a Bank Strategy," New York Times, October 20, 2009]

[The Obama administration has clung for so long to the Bush administration's expansive claims of national security and executive power that it is in danger of turning President George W. Bush's cover-up of abuses committed in the name of fighting terrorism into President Barack Obama's cover-up.--Editorial, "The Cover-Up Continues," New York Times, October 26, 2009]

[Farhana Khera, president of Muslim Advocates, said the F.B.I. was harassing Muslim-Americans by singling them out for scrutiny.--Charlie Savage, "Loosening of F.B.I. Rules Stirs Privacy Concerns," New York Times, October 29, 2009]

[Once a person has been named an enemy combatant, according to the Bush Administration - and now to the Obama Administration - he has no rights. He can be held without charges forever, tortured, you name it - well, actually, the president or the secretary of defense names it.

In the second covert executive order, Bush authorized the CIA to target and assassinate said "enemy combatants" - again, including American citizens.--Ted Rall, "OBAMA'S REAL DEATH PANELS," yahoo.com, October 27, 2009]

[Obama is already set on the course to a one-term presidency. He promised change, but has delivered none.--Paul Craig Roberts, "The Evil Empire," counterpunch.org, November 6, 2009]

Editorial: "Is Israel too strong for Barack Obama?," Economist, November 5, 2009

[ . . . as the investigations into Blackwater deepen and the scandals expand, perhaps the most urgent question is this: why does President Obama continue to use this company?--Jeremy Scahill, "The Blackwater plot deepens," Guardian, November 11, 2009]

William Pfaff, "A Year With Obama -- and US Foreign Relations Have Only Worsened," antiwar.com, November 11, 2009

Fouad Ajami, "The Arabs Have Stopped Applauding Obama," wsj.com, November 29, 2009

Gabor Steingart, "Searching in Vain for the Obama Magic," Spiegel Online, December 2, 2009

Ralph Nader, "The Awful Truth: Liberals Begin to Bail on Obama," counterpunch.org, January 1, 2010

[President Barack Obama's appointee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs advocated "cognitive infiltration" of groups that advocate "conspiracy theories" like the ones surrounding 9/11.--Daniel Tencer, "Obama staffer wants 'cognitive infiltration' of 9/11 conspiracy groups," rawstory.com, January 13, 2010]

Eric Margolis, "Obama's Report Card," lewrockwell.com, January 26, 2010

Johann Hari, "Obama's secret prisons in Afghanistan endanger us all: He was elected in part to drag us out of this trap. Instead, he's dragging us further in," Independent, February 12, 2010

Chris Hedges, "Ralph Nader Was Right About Barack Obama," truthdig.com, March 1, 2010

[An Associated Press examination of 17 major agencies' handling of FOIA requests found denials 466,872 times, an increase of nearly 50% from the 2008 fiscal year under Bush.--Andrew Malcolm, "A little secret about Obama's transparency," latimes.com, March 21, 2010]

[Senator Obama promised repeatedly in the 2008 campaign to reverse Mr. Bush's many abuses of power. This was one of them. President Obama should read this court ruling with chagrin and eliminate warrantless spying. It is also far past time to stop hiding behind spurious, often ludicrous, claims of national security.--Editorial: "We Can't Tell You," New York Times, April 3, 2010]

Jacob Sullum, "License to Kill: Obama blurs the line between warfare and summary execution," reason.com, June 9, 2010

Howard LaFranchi, "US opposes ICC bid to make 'aggression' a crime under international law," csmonitor.com, June 15, 2010

Ellen Nakashima, "White House proposal would ease FBI access to records of Internet activity," washingtonpost.com, July 29, 2010

Ellen Nakashima, "White House proposal would ease FBI access to records of Internet activity," washingtonpost.com, July 29, 2010

Gareth Porter, "Obama drops pledge on Iraq," atimes.com, August 4, 2010

[In short, the government is attempting to criminalize the organizing of antiwar protests.--Ron Jacobs, "We've Been Here Before: The FBI Raids in Context," counterpunch.org, September 27, 2010]

[Bush employed drone strikes 45 times in his eight years as president. In Obama's first year in office, the drones were sent in 53 times.--Fatima Bhutto, "Pakistan elites turn blind eye to war," atimes.com, December 11, 2010]

[The Bush administration's "targeted killing" program has been radically expanded to include Americans far from any war zone. . . .

Obama's doctrine enabling the targeted killing of American citizens is at least as much an assassination of the Constitution as anything George W. Bush perpetrated.--James Bovard, "Assassin Nation: Obama's 'don't ask, don't tell' test for killing Americans," amconmag.com, December 2010]

Robert Kuttner, "Obama to blink first on Social Security," politico.com, December 16, 2010

Karen Greenberg, "Obama walks back on Guantanamo: The president's order for indefinite detention of 'war on terror' suspects marks continuity with Bush-era disdain for legal norms," Guardian, December 22, 2010

"Obama, In Blow to Closing Guantanamo, Signs Law," Reuters, January 7, 2011

[Never before has an American President's fear of offending the Zionist lobby and its stooges in Congress been so exposed as it was by Obama's decision to veto the Security Council resolution condemning continued, illegal Israeli settlement activities on the occupied West Bank--Alan Hart, "The Veto and the Case for Impeaching President Obama," ICH, February 21, 2011]

Glenn Greenwald, "Top Bush-era GITMO and Abu Ghraib Psychologist is WH's Newest Appointment," salon.com, March 26, 2011

Curtis Doebbler, "Why the Attack on Libya is Illegal," counterpunch.org, March 28, 2011

[President Barack Obama's historical distinction is now guaranteed. He is America's first black president to invade Africa.--John Pilger, "Westminster warriors untouched by Libya's suffering and bloodshed," newstatesman.com, April 8, 2011]

Steven Thomma, "Obama ran against Bush, but now governs like him," McClatchy Newspapers, April 18, 2011

[Line up Obama with his fellow assassins, from Eisenhower through Bush, and I believe he's the most repellent of the bunch, down there with Woodrow Wilson. None of his rivals quite match the instinctive egotism that allows Obama effortlessly to affect the earnestness of a man taking the moral high road while executing a cynical program of electioneering-by-assassination.--Alexander Cockburn, "Hairy-Chested Liberals Exult: Big Question, Who Do We Kill Next?," counterpunch.org, May 13, 2011]

[The New Yorker magazine reports, the Obama administration has used the Espionage Act of 1917 to press criminal charges in five alleged instances of national security leaks - more such prosecutions than have occurred in all previous administrations combined. Gabriel Schoenfeld of the Hudson Institute said, "Ironically, Obama has presided over the most draconian crackdown on leaks in our history - even more so than Nixon."--"Inside Obama's 'Orwellian World' Where Whistleblowing Has Become Espionage: The Case of Thomas Drake," democracynow.org, May 18, 2011]

Brian Becker and Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, "The Profound Hypocrisy of President Obama's Speech on the Middle East," Answer Coalition, May 19, 2011

"Glenn Greenwald: Could Obama Be Impeached for Waging War in Libya Without Approval of Congress," democracynow.org, June 20, 2011

Mike Whitney, "Obama's Big Payback to Wall Street: The Worst Deal in American History?," counterpunch.org, August 1, 2011

Hamed Aleaziz, "Obama, once a critic of the state secrets doctrine, has invoked it repeatedly," motherjones.com, August 8, 2011

[An administration voted into office by a populace tired of George W. Bushism has, remarkably enough, added on to Bush's wars, redoubled his "secret" drone campaigns, further expanded the special operations forces that have grown into a secret military inside the military, upped the level of secrecy that envelops the National Security Complex (whose further expansion it also has overseen), renewed the PATRIOT Act, supported further surveillance of Americans, dumped yet more money into the Pentagon, and in sum seems intent on recreating Bushism without Bush.--Karen J. Greenberg and Tom Engelhardt, "Taking the Justice Out of the Justice System," tomdispatch.com, August 22, 2011]

"Zelikow Appointed to Obama's Intelligence Advisory Board," virginia.edu, September 7, 2011 -- Zelikow, described as a myth maker, was the executive director of the 9/11 Commission

Jonathan Turley, "President Obama has been a disaster for civil liberties: He may prove the most disastrous president in our history in terms of civil liberties," latimes.com, September 29, 2011

Michael Ratner, "Anwar al-Awlaki's Extrajudicial Murder: The law on the use of lethal force by executive order is specific. This assassination broke it - that creates a terrifying precedent," Guardian, September 30, 2011

Jeanine Molloff, "Free Speech in the Age of Obama -- A Cruel and Dangerous Hoax," huffingtonpost.com, October 17, 2011

Editorial: "Obama's secrets: The Obama administration should rethink its outrageous proposal that would allow the government to lie to citizens about whether documents exist," latimes.com, October 31, 2011

"Glenn Greenwald: Is Obama Fulfilling the Neocon Dream of Mass Regime Change in Muslim World?," democracynow.org, November 28, 2011

Bill Quigley, "Twenty Examples of the Obama Administration Assault on Domestic Civil Liberties," commondreams.org, December 1, 2011

Ralph Lopez, "Why Obama Will Not Veto NDAA Military Detention of Americans: He Requested It," dailykos.com, December 9, 2011

[Obama, one-time lecturer on the US constitution, gives the late Kim Jong-il a run for his money--Alexander Cockburn, "Loom of the jackboot: Obama gives military extreme powers," The Week, December 22, 2011]

[By continually lying about the extent of the country's corruption problems, they're adding fraud to fraud and raising such a great bonfire of lies that they probably won't ever be able to fix the underlying mess.--Matt Taibbi, "Obama and Geithner: Government, Enron-Style," rollingstone.com, December 20, 2011]

"He Says One Thing and Does Another": Ralph Nader Responds to Obama's State of the Union Address, January 25, 2012

Matthew Rothschild, "Obama's Creepy Executive Order: Permanent War Economy," progressive.org, March 10, 2012

Sari Horwitz and Ellen Nakashima, "New counterterrorism guidelines permit data on U.S. citizens to be held longer," washingtonpost.com, March 22, 2012

[Ahmadinejad essentially was predicting that Israel's rule over Jerusalem would eventually come to an end, much like the once mighty Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s.--Elizabeth Murray, "How Obama Recycled a Lie about Iran," consortiumnews.com, April 25, 2012]

Adam Klasfeld, "Judge Blocks Controversial NDAAl," Courthouse News Service, May 16, 2012

[On his watch, six whistleblowers have been charged under the Espionage Act for allegedly mishandling classified information. That is twice as many as all past presidents combined.--"Blowing the whistle on Obama's America," aljazeera.com, June 9, 2012]

Michael T Klare, "Is Barack Obama morphing into Dick Cheney?," atimes.com, June 23, 2012

Tom Junod, "The Lethal Presidency of Barack Obama," esquire.com, July 9, 2012

[In his inaugural address, Obama promised "not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth." He promised to "build the roads and bridges, the electric grids, and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together." He promised to "restore science to its rightful place and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost." And he promised to "transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age." Unfortunately the president's scorecard on every single one of those bold pledges is pitiful.--Niall Ferguson, "Obama's Gotta Go," thedailybeast.com, August 19, 2012]

[1) Health care, in which Obama savaged the single-payer system, thus preparing the way for the same on the public option, meanwhile silencing, or rather, delegitimating all dissident voices, at the same time as exempting health insurers from antitrust prosecution and favoring Big Pharma; 2) Civil liberties, a good litmus test of democratic governance, in which Obama's Department of Justice argued against granting habeas corpus rights to detainees, invoked the Espionage Act against whistleblowers, carried surveillance beyond that of previous administrations, with the National Security Agency one of the culprits practicing the black magic of eavesdropping, while renditions and “black holes” continue and even agencies like FDA spy on its employees; 3) militarism, from which foreign policy, including trade policy, cannot be excluded, in which the drone–as Obama's signature weapon–terrorizes whole populations reeking destruction from the skies, naval power displayed from the South China Sea to the Mediterranean, a whole new generation of nuclear weapons in the pipeline (exempt from potential budgetary sequestration), a military budget itself second to none, and what appears to be a permanent state of war; 4) the omissions, which by their absence speak volumes about the purposes and policies of his administration, in which job creation and foreclosures have not been addressed, climate change, wholly disappeared, gun control, nonexistent, poverty never, never mentioned, and business and banking regulation the compounding of phoniness on phoniness, not unexpected considering Obama's belief in deregulation and bringing in the Clinton-Rubin crowd of free marketeers.--Norman Pollack, "America on the Cusp of Fascism: Under the Cloak of Liberalism," counterpunch.org, October 12, 2012]

Dave Lindorff, "Obama's Betrayals: First the Base, Then the Party," counterpunch.org, October 23, 2012

Joel Mathis, "President Obama's Betrayal of Civil Liberties Is Complete," phillymag.com, June 6, 2013

Irish Politician Blasts President Obama, Calling Him A War Criminal, June 20, 2013

[This is the same Obama who promised to close the Guantanamo Torture Prison, but did not; the same Obama who promised to tell us the purpose for Washington's decade-long war in Afghanistan, but did not; the same Obama who promised to end the wars, but started new ones; the same Obama who said he stood for the US Constitution, but shredded it; the same Obama who refused to hold the Bush regime accountable for its crimes against law and humanity; the same Obama who unleashed drones against civilian populations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen; the same Obama who claimed and exercised power to murder US citizens without due process and who continues the Bush regime's unconstitutional practice of violating habeas corpus and detaining US citizens indefinitely; the same Obama who promised transparency but runs the most secretive government in US history.--Paul Craig Roberts, "Stasi in the White House," opednews.com, June 21, 2013]

Mike Whitney, "Obama Destroys the Middle-Class," counterpunch.org, August 19, 2013

David Swanson, "Top 45 Lies in Obama's Speech at the UN," truth-out.org, September 27, 2013

"Press group: Obama is worst since Nixon in going after leaks," mcclatchydc.com, October 10, 2013

Glenn Greenwald, "Obama's NSA 'reforms' are little more than a PR attempt to mollify the public," theguardian.com, January 17, 2014

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