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Obama Administration


The War Horror Has Begun

Here we are on Day 5 of the Donald Trump presidency, and he's got "special" forces of the U.S. military in two-thirds of the world's nations. He's engaged in serious occupation and/or bombing campaigns in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. He just sent malicious robot airplanes armed with missiles to blow to pieces a bunch of vaguely-identified but never indicted "criminals" in Yemen. Their body parts were widely scattered and their loved ones devastated. The injured writhed in agony.

We made it through a presidential campaign in which a debate moderator asked if a candidate would be willing to kill thousands of innocent children, and in which Donald Trump promised to "kill their families" and "steal their oil." And here we are on Trump's very first Terror Tuesday, and he's already in possession of the most expensive and extensive military machine ever seen on earth. His speed is remarkable. Already he has troops in 175 nations (and announcers are thanking them for watching sporting events as if it were all just normal).

A "Terror Tuesday," for those who haven't yet heard, is a day on which a president goes through a list of men, women, and children and picks which ones to have murdered. Don't ask me where this tradition came from. The point is that it now belongs to President Trump, should he choose to make use of it. President Trump, need I remind you, is a Republican.

But various subordinates of the president have been authorized, or perhaps authorized themselves, to order drone murders. Those that occurred yesterday in Yemen were quite likely carried out without any involvement from Donald Trump, other than his responsibility under the Constitution for what his subordinates do.

Trump, in fact, was engaged in bombing the hell out of Mosul, Iraq, and parts of Libya as well, on the very day he was inaugurated, and even before he was inaugurated. He's got 8,000 troops plus mercenaries, contractors, and allied troops adding up to over 40,000 people occupying Afghanistan -- a war that his predecessor had ended. And he had this force in place even before inauguration. He's got a major war underway in Iraq, another war famously ended by the guy who came before him. And this war, too, he started even before showing up in Washington.

Trump even went in person to the CIA on Day 1 and announced that the United States should have somehow stolen all of Iraq's oil and might still do so. This created massive confusion among the journalists and approximately 8 members of the public who heard about it, because of course the U.S. military is in Iraq on the side of the Iraqi people (just don't ask them) and so it would be nonsensical for the U.S. to attack Iraq.

Trump and those around him have also threatened war with China over the South China Sea, although when a journalist tried to get Trump's press secretary to commit to it on Day 4, he declined.

Oddly, much of this new war horror show has passed without notice, as though it were somehow just a continuation of acceptable norms. What has horrified the press corps, however, is the danger that peace might break out in Syria, and further hostilities risking World War III with Russia might be delayed. Liberals are also quite upset that Trump might question claims coming out of the CIA.

So it's not as though the public is completely failing to react to the new horrors of war. One might even go so far as to say that wide swaths of the U.S. public are behaving on the model of a Nobel Peace laureate.

More Clapp-trap: Senate Hearing on Russian Election Mischief Again Fails to Prove Anything

By Dave Lindorff

 

            The Russian hacking hysteria in the US media and, surprisingly, among educated liberals (who should know better after years of government lies and deceit, particularly about foreign affairs), is becoming increasingly embarrassing.

Nine Years of Challenging Obama Policies at His Hawaii Vacation Home

By Ann Wright

Its been nine Christmas and New Year’s holidays that we in Hawaii have been challenging policies of the Obama administration—beginning in December 2008 before President-elect Obama was sworn into office-- on the issue of his silence on the 27-day Israeli attack on Gaza that killed 1400 Palestinians.

The vigil has continued for the each of the past nine holidays with members of social justice organizations in Honolulu including Veterans for Peace, Hawaii Peace and Justice and World Can't Wait have come to President Obama’s holiday home.

The signs that have been carried in the back of my car to the vigils over the years reflect the variety of issues about which we have expressed our concern.  The posters “Close Guantanamo,” “Stop Torture” and “Help Gaza” are tattered and worn after nine years of use.  “Stop Assassin Drones,”  “Drones Kill Kids” and “Fire Liar John Brennan” signs are not quite so worn, but do reflect the horrific extrajudicial murders authorized personally by President Obama beginning early in his administration. 

Inline image 3

Photo by Ann Wright

After three years in which he was in pre-trial confinement, the “Free Bradley Manning” signs changed to “Clemency for Chelsea Manning” after Manning was tried by military courts martial and announced her gender transformation the day after her conviction.

“End Illegal Government Surveillance,” “Stop the War on Whistleblowers,” “Free Julian Assange,” “Listen to Edward Snowden” and signs for whistleblowers Jon Kiriakou and Jeffery Sterling imprisoned by the Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers have been held in front of Obama’s motorcade as it left the presidential compound in Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii.

“Close U.S. Bases in Okinawa,” “Stop Construction at Henoko and Takae,” “Save Article 9-NO WAR, ”Stop Osprey Widow maker,” “No more Rapes in Okinawa” are signs for campaigns in solidarity with people in Okinawa.

Book review/essay: Morally Surviving America’s War on Vietnam

By Johhn Grant

 

The War I Survived Was Vietnam: Collected Writings of a Veteran and Antiwar Activist

Attempting to Curtail Dissent of Seniors by Stopping Social Security Checks

By Ann Wright

Governments go to pretty low tricks to silent dissent--curtailing ones travel to neighboring countries and now stopping social security checks. 

First, in 2005 and 2006 it was the Bush administration putting some of us protesting Bush’s war on Iraq on the National Crime Information Data base.  Yes, we had been arrested for failure to comply with orders to move from the fence in front of the White House during protests against the war on Iraq, torture at Guantanamo and other US prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan or refusing to end protests by sitting in ditches at Bush’s Crawford, Texas ranch.  But these were misdemeanors, not felonies, yet we were put on the FBI’s international crime list, a list for felony violations.

Fortunately, Canada is the only country that seems to use the list-and they use it to deny entry into Canada.   At the request of Canadian parliamentarians to challenge Canada’s compliance with the Bush administration’s political retaliation list, I made another trip to Canada to test it and was expelled from Canada in 2007.  The Canadian immigration officer told me as he was putting me unceremoniously on the flight back to the U.S., “An expulsion is not as bad as being deported.  At least each time you want to attempt to come into Canada, you can undergo 3-5 hours of interrogation answering the same questions as the last time you attempted to enter and you might get an exemption to the expulsion.  With a deportation, you will never get in.”   Over the past six years, I have gone through the lengthy interrogation twice and was given a 24-hour exemption to the expulsion on one occasion when accompanied by a Canadian parliamentarian and a Canadian Broadcasting TV crew filming the event and the second time a 2-day exemption in order to speak at several Canadian universities.

Too busy getting rich to commit war crimes?: Is Trump’s Idea To Fix the ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?

By Dave Lindorff

 

       Donald Trump’s cabinet choices are suggesting a governing philosophy along the lines of a corrupt municipal police force relying on gangsters to help it keep street crime held in check.

About that legacy, Mr. President: Obama Has a Small Window to Go Out with Some Flair and Excitement

By Dave Lindorff

 

            There is a lot of talk going on among the pundits about how President Obama is leaving no enduring legacy -- that his progressive actions as president, few and small that they may have been, were written in the sand of executive orders, which can and likely will be erased within days of Donald Trump’s inauguration.

How a Company With Ties to a Dakota Access Pipeline Owner Flew Over Protests in the No Fly Zone

Photo Credit: Richard Bluecloud Casteneda | Greenpeace USA

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Lobbyist for Dakota Access Formerly Led Army's "Restore Iraqi Oil" Program

Photo Credit: C-SPAN Screenshot

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Robert Crear, one of the lobbyists working for Dakota Access pipeline co-owners Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics, formerly served as a chief of staff and commanding general for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

This Natural Disaster Assistance Law Is Why Other States Are Policing Dakota Access Pipeline Protests

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Almost exactly 20 years ago, President Bill Clinton signed into law a bill creating an interstate agreement for emergency management. That inconspicuous law has opened the door for the current flood of out-of-state law enforcement agents present at the continuing protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in North Dakota.

The Guy Who Went Viral from Presidential Debate Works for Coal Company Opposed to Climate Regulations

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

After Kenneth Bone asked a question about energy to presidential nominees Donald Trump and Secretary Hillary Clinton at the presidential town hall debate on October 9, he quickly became a viral internet sensation.

That evening at Washington University in St. Louis, Bone asked, "What step will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job loss for fossil power plant workers?"

Keywords to add to all electronic communications: As the Surveillance Expands, Best Way to Resist is to Bury the NSA in Garbage

By Dave Lindorff

 

Word that Yahoo! last year, at the urging of the National Security Agency, secretly developed a program that monitored the mail of all 280 million of its customers and turned over to the NSA all mail from those who used any of the agency's thousands of keywords, shows that the US has become a total police state in terms of trying to monitor every person in the country (and outside too).

We got 8 years of change, but not much hope: President Barack Obama’s Crappy Legacy

By Dave Lindorff

 

Barack Obama came into the White House on a wave of passionate new voters, many of them black or young and white, becoming the nation's first black president and promising a new era of "hope and change."

Before Presidential Debate, Obama Admin Weakened Endangered Species Act Under Oil Industry Pressure

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

As eyes turned to the most viewed presidential debate in U.S. history, the Obama administration meanwhile quietly auctioned off thousands of acres of land for oil and gas drilling in national forests, opened up 119 million acres for offshore drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico, and delivered a blow to the Endangered Species Act. 

As Dakota Access Protests Escalated, Obama Admin OK’d Same Company for Two Pipelines to Mexico

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Photo Credit: C-SPAN

On September 9, the Obama administration revoked authorization for construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) on federally controlled lands and asked the pipeline's owners, led by Energy Transfer Partners, to voluntarily halt construction on adjacent areas at the center of protests by Native Americans and supporters.

Documents: How Big Oil Pushed to Make Dakota Access-Style Permitting a New Normal

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

In the two months leading up to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' decision to issue to the Dakota Access pipeline project an allotment of Nationwide 12 permits (NWP) — a de facto fast-track federal authorization of the project — an army of oil industry players submitted comments to the Corps to ensure that fast-track authority remains in place going forward.

This fast-track permitting process is used to bypass more rigorous environmental and public review for major pipeline infrastructure projects by treating them as smaller projects.

Speaking Events

March 27-April 6 Events Everywhere

 

April 4: Remembering Past Wars . . . and Preventing the Next: An event to mark 100 years since the United States entered World War I, and 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. made his famous speech against war. A new movement to end all war is growing. 6-8 p.m. at 5th and K Busboys and Poets, Washington, D.C.
 

 

April 7-9: Huntsville, Alabama: 25th Annual Space Organizing Conference & Protest

 

April 22: David Swanson speaking in Burlington, Vermont

 

June 16-18: David Swanson and many others speaking at United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) annual conference in Richmond, Va.



August 2-6: Peace and Democracy Conference at Democracy Convention in Minneapolis, Minn.



Find more events here.

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