Obama: Putin-Baiter and Preventive Detainer
President Obama has thrown international law into history’s dustbin, torn up the U.S. Bill of Rights, and is mapping millions for possible future detention. “One court order + one suspect number + three hops = everybody remotely involved in anti-war activity.”
Barack Obama is one smooth operator, relentlessly expanding on the fascist domestic and international infrastructure bequeathed him by George W. Bush, the cartoon cowboy imperialist. As we described him in 2012, Obama is truly the “more effective evil” – a president who routinely commits the most brazen aggressions under the lawless doctrine of “humanitarian” intervention, and who has utterly trashed due process and the rule of law on the domestic front. If you want to see fascism built right, get a Black Harvard man to do it – and watch the internal resistance crumble.
Although Russian President Vladimir Putin has drawn a line against further NATO incursions and coups at his southern border – a move that most of Earth’s inhabitants undoubtedly applaud, given that polls have long confirmed that the U.S. is seen as the number one threat to peace in the world – U.S. public opinion reverts effortlessly to Cold War mode. Obama will have no problem gaining near-unanimous congressional support for the widest range of escalations against Moscow – from sanctions to natural gas wars to preparations for the shooting kind – while the ridiculous U.S. pseudo-Left, personified by Jon Stewart, of the Daily Show, snarks an historically-reversed narrative of post-1991 history in which Russia is constantly moving westward towards the English Channel.
The president lowered himself to Stewart’s level (or was it the other way around?), baiting the Russians as less than manly. “Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors, not out of strength but out of weakness,” said the fracking PR-man-in-chief. Obama issued his juvenile insults against the world’s other paramount nuclear power at, of all places, a summit on nuclear security in The Hague, Netherlands. Tens of millions of eyes must have rolled among the U.S.’s southern neighbors when Obama said, “we generally don’t need to invade them in order to have a strong cooperative relationship with them.”
Tell that to Haiti (1994, 2004), Cuba (1961), Grenada (1983), Panama (1989), Dominican Republic (1965) – neighborly nations directly invaded by U.S. troops; and to the people of Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Colombia, who lost tens or hundreds of thousands at the hands of U.S. surrogates; and to the citizens of Chile and the rest of South America, virtually every country of which was taken over by militaries backed by the United States. And, we are only talking about the post-World War Two era! As we write, Obama pursues George Bush’s policy of regime change in Venezuela, while the people still suffer under the heirs to the military coup he backed in Honduras, in 2009.
The list gets much, much longer if one includes the rest of the world as “neighbors” of the U.S. Certainly, the Americans behave as if everyone else’s internal affairs are subject to Washington’s approval – a negation of international law and the real meaning of Obama’s humanitarian military intervention doctrine, or R2P, Responsibility to Protect. Under the First Black President, U.S. non-recognition of international law has effectively achieved bipartisan acceptance. Indeed, much of what pretended to be an anti-war movement under Obama’s Republican predecessor is now in thrall of “humanitarian” warfare.
If it were really true that the fate of the world rests with anti-war constituencies and other resisters inside the Belly of the Beast, as many peace activists used to claim, then the world would likely be doomed. The American polity is not effectively defending its own liberties. President Obama has pulled off what George W. Bush did not even attempt: he has established, through the Congress and the courts, preventive detention without trial as the law of the land, effectively nullifying due process. Having stripped citizens of their legal protections, he now bargains with Congress on the uses of the NSA spy machinery that is already capable of monitoring literally every American – plus unknown proportions of the rest of the world.
Obama says he wants to limit telephone monitoring to two “hops” removed from the phone number targeted as suspicious, in order to “minimize” the State’s intrusion on the people’s privacy. In fact, one court order allowing two “hops” would quite easily bring ten thousand telephone numbers under NSA surveillance, as U.S. District Judge Richard Leon figured out before rendering a decision against the NSA. The judge postulated that each of the 100 phone numbers called by the suspect – or “seed” – phone (the first “hop”) had called or gotten calls from at least 100 other numbers over five years (the second “hop”), totaling 10,000. A third “hop” would ensnare a total of one million phones.
Judge Leon’s assumptions are very conservative. If the national security state targets any effective political activist, they would reap far more than 100 numbers on both the first and second “hops” – probably enough to effectively map the bulk of the political activity among, say, peace groups. A third hop would round up multiples of millions, including the barely committed and folks with no interest in politics of any kind. One court order + one suspect number + three hops = everybody remotely involved in anti-war activity.
It turns out that the NSA has for years been allowed to search up to three hops away from the suspect phone. They have undoubtedly already mapped every potentially left-leaning or ethnically suspect (Black) U.S. human network, having assembled millions of names and numbers.
If George Bush or any Republican were president, leftists of all stripes would realize the clock is ticking – that they must radically alter the direction of the U.S. state, or be interned by it. However, the smooth fascist, Barak Obama, is in charge, and there is little sense of urgency on the Left.
Which is another reason that we say Obama is the more effective evil.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].