Saturday, May 30, 2009

Another Czar

Obama to create cyber czar in awareness effort

Czar is the name of the Russia kings. Hereditary monarchical rulers with dictatorial powers. The name is supposed to trace back to the name Caesar, who was the dictator of Rome, after he overthrew the Roman Senate and the concept of a republic there.

I saw one report awhile back that Obama had appointed some 17 or so 'czars'. Here comes another one.

These 'czars' are anti-democratic here too. They bypass the system that was set to give Congress checks and balances over executive power. As the founders set up the system, the cabinet officials were the heads of various sections of the government. With this understanding, Congress was given the power and the requirement to confirm cabinet officials. All of these 'czars' are appointed just by Obama with no Congressional approval required.

The AP article is of course written from the assumption that we absolutely must have cyber czar. The only questions asked in the article are from 'opponents' who feel this post won't have enough power. The question that maybe no government official should have this power doesn't make the AP's mindset.

Enter Stage Right: The "Cyber Czar" from the Electronic Frontier Foundation gives a bit of a different point of view.

Sen. Rockefeller has proposed a bill that would give sweeping powers. The power to access any data anywhere. As well as the power to shut down the internet whenever the government declares an emergency. That sort of stuff.

Sometimes its amazing to watch how the US treats the internet and freedom of information in ways very similar to China. The whole debate of Net Neutrality is on the same lines. Should the corporations that own the hardware of the internet be able to control the content you watch. To me, the 'news' on cable TV, where these same corporations already decide which channels you get to see (Fox News, CNN) and which you don't get to see (Al-Jazeera, other foreign news, Free Speech TV, etc), this news is worthless and almost all propaganda.

So, many people start going to the internet to get news from other sources. And, amazingly enough, there is now a move from the corporations that want to control the internet to be able to limit what you can see over the internet. They want the power to make a deal where CNN pays to come in full blast over your computer, while other, non-corporate approved channels would come in at best much slower, if not blocked entirely.

Sounds a lot like China to me. Or, back in the days of the Soviet Union when the government treated fax machines and copying machines as threats to the state.

So, now we get a 'cyber czar' with the power to control the internet. Everyone shout "Hail Caesar!"

Obama’s new war doctrine: ‘Cyber dominance’from AFP via

Notice the goal. Its not freedom. Its not democracy. Its not a new interactive form of communications that empowers people. Nope, its 'dominance'. Specifically, the 'dominance' of the US military. Hail Caesar!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Democrats hate Democracy

Nader: McAuliffe offered me money to pull out of key states by Stephen Webster on

Citing a new book by Theresa Amato, the national manager of Nader's 2000 and 2004 campaigns,

Terry McAuliffe -- currently running for Virginia Governor, but formerly Hillary Clinton's campaign manager and chairman of the Democratic National Committee -- offered an unspecified amount of money to fuel Nader's campaign, if you believe Theresa Amato, author of the recently-published book Grand Illusion: The Myth of Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny.

In the volume, she and Nader allege that McAuliffe personally called and offered a sum of money to enhance the Nader campaign in 31 states if he would pull out of 19 key Democratic battlegrounds.

In a democracy, there should be one crime that is more serious than almost all others. That is interfering with and subverting free elections. Its fascinating the lengths, now apparently including attempted bribery, that the Democrats will go to in order to seize power for themselves.

Impeach Obama

UN expert: US failing to properly probe war crimes from AP via

An independent U.N. human rights investigator said Thursday that the United States is failing to properly investigate alleged war crimes committed by its soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Although some cases are investigated and lead to prosecutions, others aren't or result in lenient sentences, said Philip Alston, the U.N. Human Rights Council's special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings.

"There have been chronic and deplorable accountability failures with respect to policies, practices and conduct that resulted in alleged unlawful killings — including possible war crimes — in the United States' international operations," Alston said in a report dated May 26 and published on a U.N. Web site.

This is the second statement from an independent UN human rights investigator along these lines. Which means, twice now we've had independent international officials, who by position of their post deserve some respect as 'expert' opinions in the matter, clearly state since Obama took office, that the US is failing to investigate and prosecute war crimes.

This in itself is an impeachable offense. There are both international treaties signed by the US, and US law making these acts illegal. It is the legal responsibility of officials in the US government to investigate and prosecute illegal acts. Its not an option. Its not a political decision. Its a legal responsibility. By failing to do so, the officials in the Obama administration are failing in their responsibilities. At some point, this comes back to Obama as he is the elected official at the top of the government who is responsible for the actions of his government. And remember, the war crimes charges against Milosovich in Serbia were not based on acts that he personally committed. Instead, they were based on his position of being in command, and that he therefore bore the responsibility to prevent those under his command from committing such acts.

Its the constitutional responsibility of Congress to investigate if they receive evidence that impeachable offenses are being committed. Just like I used to say when Bush was in the White House, its not optional, its not a political decision. Its a constitutional requirement for people who've sworn an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. At the very least, there should be serious investigatory committee hearings asking the Obama administration exactly what they are doing to make sure possible war crimes are being properly investigated and prosecuted. This should include questions about what is being done about the investigation and prosecution of officials from earlier administrations who were in command and control positions of organizations that committed war crimes.

Gee, if the US government isn't investing clear cases of war crimes that are reported to it, what are they using the resources of the government for? How about this? FBI Infiltrates Iowa City Protest Group by Matthew Rothschild at The Progressive magazine.

He was very well dressed. He claimed he’d been in the military. But he said when he was ordered to go to Iraq, he refused and was granted conscientious objector status.

That’s how activists in Iowa City are now recalling a person they believe was working undercover for the FBI.

So, the US government refuses to properly investigate and prosecute war crimes. But, they put a lot of effort into investigating protest groups that are opposing the war, and thus who are opposing war crimes.

PS ... in the some things never change category. With my eclectic reading tastes, one of the next things I read today was this interview with Grace Slick (singer for Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship for those who aren't old hippies like me and thus might not recognize the name.) It includes this passage.

... I have something that you probably also have a copy of. I have the F.B.I. file here on the Jefferson Airplane.

[Grace]Right (laughs).

I had sent in this FOIA request, back in 2003. As you know, apparently the feds were not amused by your relationship with the Yippies, or specifically Abbie (Hoffman).


In the file, F.B.I. headquarters domestic “intelligence” (their word, not mine) alerted the secret service, military intelligence and local law enforcement about your presence in various cities, particularly in Cleveland and Cincinnati.

[Grace]We got arrested almost every time we went to Ohio (laughs).

Yeah, after the Kent State massacre. You are specifically mentioned by name in the file, which is actually quite unusual, because according to the FBI’s own policy, and the FOIA/PA laws, the privacy laws, usually living peoples’ names are redacted from the files and public view, due to the privacy laws. Of all the people in the Airplane, J. Edgar Hoover’s henchmen were more worried about you than they were about any other member of the group. The F.B.I. labels their teletypes about you as being, quote “urgent.”

(Grace laughs.)

Some things never seem to change. Whether its Nixon or Bush in the White House. Or whether its the guy who campaigned by constantly chanting the word 'change' at us. Even then, some things never change.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

They drill and they kill

Chevron, Shell and the True Cost of Oil by Amy Goodman, via

Remember, over on the Page 2 link, there's an RSS feed showing the last five stories from Democracy Now!

The economy is a shambles, unemployment is soaring, the auto industry is collapsing. But profits are higher than ever at oil companies Chevron and Shell. Yet across the globe, from the Ecuadorian jungle, to the Niger Delta in Nigeria, to the courtrooms and streets of New York and San Ramon, Calif., people are fighting back against the world’s oil giants.

Shell and Chevron are in the spotlight this week, with shareholder meetings and a historic trial being held.

and this ...
I interviewed Saro-Wiwa in 1994. He told me: “The oil companies like military dictatorships, because basically they can cheat with these dictatorships. The dictatorships are brutal to people, and they can deny the human rights of individuals and of communities quite easily, without compunction.” He added, “I am a marked man.” Saro-Wiwa returned to Nigeria and was arrested by the military junta. On Nov. 10, 1995, after a kangaroo show trial, Saro-Wiwa was hanged with eight other Ogoni activists.

In 1998, I traveled to the Niger Delta with journalist Jeremy Scahill. A Chevron executive there told us that Chevron flew troops from Nigeria’s notorious mobile police, the “kill ‘n’ go,” in a Chevron company helicopter to an oil barge that had been occupied by nonviolent protesters. Two protesters were killed, and many more were arrested and tortured.

Oronto Douglas, one of Saro-Wiwa’s lawyers, told us: “It is very clear that Chevron, just like Shell, uses the military to protect its oil activities. They drill and they kill.”

'They drill and they kill.' Those words put a chilly touch on those chants of "Drill Baby Drill" that the rightwingers were putting out last fall.

Some environmental groups have put out an 'alternative annual report' about Chevron in time for the corporations shareholders meeting. It can be found at

PS ... that report is really worth reading. Its large, so I haven't read it all. Out of curiosity, I jumped to the section on Chevron in Iraq. Lots of interesting history there. Its a nice summary of Chevron's activities in Iraq dating back to before Saddam. Full of little details I don't think I ever knew. And some real nuggets like this ...

If and when U.S. oil companies get to work in Iraq they will require protection—most likely that of the U.S. military. A confidential intelligence report on the Iraq Oil Law prepared for U.S. officials and leaked to ABC News concluded that if “major foreign oil companies“ were going to go to work in Iraq, they would need to be “heavily underwritten by the U.S. government.”245

Gee, its such a surprise that we won't give up our bases in Iraq, now isn't it?

The control of the government, which is then turned against its own people.

Corporate Frankensteins by Ralph Nader via Also visit the link to the left sometimes.

Once upon a time early in the 19th century, corporations came into existence by state legislatures approving charters, which were granted for a limited period of time and for limited purposes. These corporations – producing textiles and other products in New England – raised capital in part because their investors had limited liability. That meant they could not lose any more than their investment if things went wrong.

Since corporations were artificial legal entities and not human, these lawmakers feared that without some strong leashes, they could be creating Frankensteins.

ending with ...
What Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis feared in an opinion he wrote during the nineteen thirties is happening. These megacorporations have become Frankensteins—moving to own our genes, the plant seeds of life and taking control of computerized artificial intelligence. Their final conquest is far along—the control of government which is then turned against its own people.

As Paul Harvey used to say: “Good day.”

Have we turned into sheep?

Have we turned into sheep? by David Maccaray via

While there are no simple answers, one thing is clear. We’re making it way too easy for these people. Without resistance, nothing’s going to change. Without resistance, corporations, politicians and, yes, union leadership will continue to pacify us with promises and excuses.

You don’t stop a bully by giving him your lunch money; you stop him by punching him in the nose. It doesn’t always work. Sometimes you wind up getting the crap beat out of you. But continuing to give up your lunch money isn’t an option.

American workers need to get serious. They need to get rude. They need to get ugly. They need to get French.

American treaties with the natives

Last year, the US signed a 'Status of Forces Agreement' (or SOFA) with Iraq. This agreement mandated two things that should happen within the next two months. One is the withdrawal of US troops from Iraqi cities by the end of June 2009. The other was a referendum vote by the Iraqi people on whether US troops would be allowed to stay until the end of 2011. This vote is supposed to be held by the end of July 2009, and if the Iraqi voters reject the idea of US troops staying until the end of 2011, they are instead supposed to withdraw over the next year, or by end of June 2010.

I knew these deadlines were coming up, and I was feeling I was hearing remarkably little about US forces withdrawing from Iraqi cities in the next 30 days or so. And also, I was hearing remarkably little about this big nationwide referendum that is supposed to be held within the next 60 days. So, I started digging around with Google a bit.

To meet June deadline, US and Iraqis redraw city borders
by Jane Arraf on Christian Science Monitor.

On a map of Baghdad, the US Army's Forward Operating Base Falcon is clearly within city limits.

Except that Iraqi and American military officials have decided it's not. As the June 30 deadline for US soldiers to be out of Iraqi cities approaches, there are no plans to relocate the roughly 3,000 American troops who help maintain security in south Baghdad along what were the fault lines in the sectarian war.

"We and the Iraqis decided it wasn't in the city," says a US military official. The base on the southern outskirts of Baghdad's Rasheed district is an example of the fluidity of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) agreed to late last year, which orders all US combat forces out of Iraqi cities, towns, and villages by June 30.

"We consider the security agreement a living document," says a senior US commander.

Remember that quote the next time you hear anyone talk about 'democracy' in Iraq. Unlike in America, where the agreement was signed by imperial fiat by President Bush, the Iraqi parliament was supposed to ok the agreement. This was the cause of much debate at that time. The details of the agreement were hammered out to get the approval of the Iraqi parliament.

Now, the US military regards this document as 'a living document' that can be changed at will. Without the approval of the Iraqi parliament, of course.

The picture with this article is a map of Baghdad from google maps. The Camp Falcon mentioned at this story is at the Al Rasheed airport, which is visible on the map. Find where highways "6" and "7" turn off to the southeast, then look just above them and you'll see the runways of the airport. This is the area that has now been declared to be 'outside' the city. Yeah, right. The map comes from here.

The key bit is that this base is referred to as responsible for the security in that part of Baghdad. Now, the 'spirit' of the agreement was to get US troops out of Iraqi cities to reduce violence. Not only are these troops remaining in what's obviously Baghdad, but there is no mention of their role changing. Ie, they'll still be out on the streets of Baghdad with their machine guns and other high-tech weaponry. In other words, no change at all.

Yet another example of Obama continuing the policies of Bush completely unchanged. Or, if you believe Bush and McCain might have honored this agreement negotiated by Bush, then Obama is worse than Bush. Since I believe Bush knew he was lying when he signed the agreement, I just put it under the category of 'no change'.

OF course, the key part of this agreement from the American point of view is that it provides the legal right for US troops to remain in Iraq. You can bet that that part of the deal is not considered a 'living document' subject to change. Only the parts where the US had to meet Iraqi desires to get their signature are subject to change.

These collide in the part of the agreement that says Iraq should have a referendum by the end of July 2009 on whether the US should leave a year from now, instead of the end of 2011 date that is currently in the document. Apparently the requirement for the referendum is indeed a part of the document that is 'living' and therefore changing. This means that what the US wanted, legal authority to stay in Iraq until the end of 2011, is not changing at all. From the same CSM article linked above ....

The Iraqi parliament voted to approve the SOFA late last year only after linking it to a referendum this summer which would allow Iraqis to vote on whether US troops should leave sooner than the end of 2011.

With Maliki's public insistence that there will be no extension for US forces, plans for the promised referendum appear to have quietly disappeared.

"We promise a lot of things we don't deliver," says one Iraqi member of parliament when asked about the poll.

When the Iraqi parliament insisted on this referendum, they probably felt that it was very likely that the Iraqi voters in a fair vote would massively reject the presence of US troops until 2011, and instead would insist on the mid-2010 withdrawal date. Every poll I've ever seen of Iraqis says a huge majority would vote for us to leave sooner rather than later. Of course, US imperial plans couldn't allow for this pesky notion of democracy in Iraq to cause a withdrawal sooner than the end of 2011.

Of course, the notion of democracy in the US on this issue was thwarted as well in the last election. While vast majorities of American voters want the US to withdrawal from Iraq, this was thwarted by only giving them the option of voting for lying Democrats who promised a withdrawal. Of course, once elected, the Democrats have no intention of any quick withdrawal from Iraq. Instead, they are busy making sure that the Pentagon has all the money they want to keep killing people in Iraq.

I suspect any descendants of American Indians who are following this sense a very familiar feeling about the worth of treaties with the US government.

Maybe 'anti-war' voters in the US will learn the same lesson about promises from Democrats.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Standing Armies

I like watching motor racing. So, that means on Memorial Day weekend, I get blasted by a big load of militarism as I try to watch the races I want to watch. The corporate TV networks are constantly pushing the message that we all must support our massive military in its goals of conquering the world.

So, this made me get on the internet and do a little research. About 240 years ago, some brave people fought hard and made great sacrifices to establish America as a free nation of free citizens (well, at least if you were white, wealthy and male ... we've had kept working on that bit over the centuries).

I found one web page of what Thomas Jefferson, primary writer of the Declaration of Independence, thought of the idea of keeping massive military establishments around during peace time.

"The supremacy of the civil over the military authority I deem [one of] the essential principles of our Government, and consequently [one of] those which ought to shape its administration." --Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural, 1801.

"Instead of subjecting the military to the civil power, [a tyrant will make] the civil subordinate to the military. But can [he] thus put down all law under his feet? Can he erect a power superior to that which erected himself? He [can do] it indeed by force, but let him remember that force cannot give right." --Thomas Jefferson: Rights of British America, 1774.(*) ME 1:209, Papers 1:134

To me, its an interesting question as to exactly how much civilian control of the military we have in this country these days. We take that as a given, that in America the military is under civilian command. But stop and ask yourself this question. How often in your lifetime have you see the military submit to a civilian command?

Remember the fight over gays in the military at the beginning of the Clinton terms. Clinton tried to fulfill a campaign promise to allow gays in the military. The military basically told him "No". The result was the 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy that left the military basically unchanged.

During the Bush years, there was of course no conflict between the civilian and the military as President Bush seemed determined to always give the military whatever it wanted.

The interesting data point of the Obama first 100 days is that a change in civilian authority led to no change at all in the military command structure. Sec. of Defense Gates remained in charge of the military. Lately we've seen Mr. Gates traveling overseas conducting his own foreign policy in the middle east. And of course, the change in Presidents has led to no change in the war policies, no change in war funding, and continued increases in 'defense' spending.

The story in the link posted below this one speaks a bit about the hostility in the military to the notion of the Democratic Party being in charge. I have no idea why, since the Democrats are a militaristic as the Republicans, but the perception in the military is obviously that the Democrats might actually try to make the military do some things it might not want.

On a holiday, we hear a lot about the patriotism of our people in uniform. Stop and think a bit about just how patriotic they are when they are hostile to a civilian political party that might interfere with their power.

More Jefferson ....
"There are instruments so dangerous to the rights of the nation and which place them so totally at the mercy of their governors that those governors, whether legislative or executive, should be restrained from keeping such instruments on foot but in well-defined cases. Such an instrument is a standing army." --Thomas Jefferson to David Humphreys, 1789. ME 7:323

"Nor is it conceived needful or safe that a standing army should be kept up in time of peace for [defense against invasion]." --Thomas Jefferson: 1st Annual Message, 1801. ME 3:334

"Standing armies [are] inconsistent with [a people's] freedom and subversive of their quiet." --Thomas Jefferson: Reply to Lord North's Proposition, 1775. Papers 1:231

"The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force." --Thomas Jefferson to Chandler Price, 1807. ME 11:160

"The Greeks and Romans had no standing armies, yet they defended themselves. The Greeks by their laws, and the Romans by the spirit of their people, took care to put into the hands of their rulers no such engine of oppression as a standing army. Their system was to make every man a soldier and oblige him to repair to the standard of his country whenever that was reared. This made them invincible; and the same remedy will make us so." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, 1814. ME 14:184

"Bonaparte... transferred the destinies of the republic from the civil to the military arm. Some will use this as a lesson against the practicability of republican government. I read it as a lesson against the danger of standing armies." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Adams, 1800. ME 10:154

This quote seems poignant after two days of watching racing on TV where I've been told repeatedly that the people in the military are superior to the rest of us and require our devotion and support.

"A distinction between the civil and military [is one] which it would be for the good of the whole to obliterate as soon as possible." --Thomas Jefferson: Answers to de Meusnier Questions, 1786. ME 17:90

Its also an interesting quote to remember during election seasons when we are constantly told that candidates who've served in the military are superior to other candidates.

The Democrats have gone quiet again on their desire for a draft. But, with Obama keeping the war in Iraq going and dragging his feet on withdrawing our troops from there, and with Obama expanding the wars in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and with Obama saber rattling and trying to start a war in Iran, at some point it becomes obvious that Obama will need to bring back the draft to accomplish his goals of empire abroad. Most likely, the talk of a draft has gone quiet as Wall Street's crashing of the economy has meant that the military is the only job available to people.

"In this country, [a draught from the militia] ever was the most unpopular and impracticable thing that could be attempted. Our people, even under the monarchical government, had learnt to consider it as the last of all oppressions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1777. ME 4:286, Papers 2:18

"The breaking men to military discipline is breaking their spirits to principles of passive obedience." --Thomas Jefferson to John Jay, 1788. ME 7:19

A note on the last quote. The History channel some times runs a show called the Color of War. Its based on color film footage of WWII. One of the early shows in the series is fascinating. Its about the massive expansion of the American Army from its peace-time size of only tens of thousands of troops, up to the massive multi-million person army needed to fight WWII.

The point this show makes is that in 1940, Americans were a free and independent people, and the military at that time had to put a lot of effort into breaking that independence to make soldiers of them. The contrast to today is striking, where the military is constantly used as the model of behavior throughout our schools and businesses, and where people are broken to military like discipline at an early age.

"If no check can be found to keep the number of standing troops within safe bounds while they are tolerated as far as necessary, abandon them altogether, discipline well the militia and guard the magazines with them. More than magazine guards will be useless if few and dangerous if many. No European nation can ever send against us such a regular army as we need fear, and it is hard if our militia are not equal to those of Canada or Florida." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1788.

220 years later, a milita would still be all we'd need to defend ourselves from the Canadian army and the Mexican army. And no European or any other foreign power would seem to have any designs on invading America. And surely, we've far exceeded any 'safe bounds' as to the number of standing troops in a free country.

"Our duty is... to act upon things as they are and to make a reasonable provision for whatever they may be. Were armies to be raised whenever a speck of war is visible in our horizon, we never should have been without them. Our resources would have been exhausted on dangers which have never happened instead of being reserved for what is really to take place." --Thomas Jefferson: 6th Annual Message, 1806. ME 3:424

Ever since WWII, we've had a long and consistent trend of fear mongering about specks of war visible on the horizon used to pour trillions of dollars of our national treasure into building massive standing armies. We are truly never without them, and the economy today says clearly that our resources have become exhausted. We know now after the collapse of the Soviet Union that the 'intelligence' community vastly exaggerated the dangers to America of Soviet military power. And those with a memory remember that current Sec of Def Gates was a leader in the CIA at making those exaggerated inteligence estimates. Its one of the reasons he was rejected by the Senate as CIA director years ago. Yet today, he's become a power in America as commander of the military, with enough power in his hands that he stays in that post even with the election of a President who comes to office promising change.

"I am for relying for internal defense on our militia solely till actual invasion, and for such a naval force only as may protect our coasts and harbors from such depredations as we have experienced; and not for a standing army in time of peace which may overawe the public sentiment; nor for a navy which, by its own expenses and the eternal wars in which it will implicate us, will grind us with public burthens and sink us under them." --Thomas Jefferson to Elbridge Gerry, 1799. ME 10:77

"None but an armed nation can dispense with a standing army. To keep ours armed and disciplined is therefore at all times important, but especially so at a moment when rights the most essential to our welfare have been violated." --Thomas Jefferson to -----, 1803. ME 10:365

Today's politicians want an unarmed nation with a huge standing army.

"[The] governor [is] constitutionally the commander of the militia of the State, that is to say, of every man in it able to bear arms." --Thomas Jefferson to A. L. C. Destutt de Tracy, 1811.

Today's governors are not allowed to command their own state's National Guard units.

"Peace... has been our principle, peace is our interest, and peace has saved to the world this only plant of free and rational government now existing in it... However, therefore, we may have been reproached for pursuing our Quaker system, time will affix the stamp of wisdom on it, and the happiness and prosperity of our citizens will attest its merit. And this, I believe, is the only legitimate object of government and the first duty of governors, and not the slaughter of men and devastation of the countries placed under their care in pursuit of a fantastic honor unallied to virtue or happiness; or in gratification of the angry passions or the pride of administrators excited by personal incidents in which their citizens have no concern." --Thomas Jefferson to Thaddeus Kosciusko, 1811. ME 13:41

"The state of peace is that which most improves the manners and morals, the prosperity and happiness of mankind." --Thomas Jefferson to Noah Worcester, 1817. ME 18:299

"War has been avoided from a due sense of the miseries, and the demoralization it produces, and of the superior blessings of a state of peace and friendship with all mankind." --Thomas Jefferson: Reply to Queen Anne's Country Republicans, 1809. ME 16:36

Obama and the Big Lies

Barack Obama pledges to keep U.S. 'dominance' from

Obama gave a speech at the US Naval Academy that rivals Bush both for its unabashed militarism and the bald-faced lies that were given.

“I will only send you into harm’s way when it is absolutely necessary, and with the strategy, the well-defined goals, the equipment and the support you need to get the job done,” Obama said before an audience estimated at 30,000.

That's a giant whopper of a lie that matches anything from Bush in his term. Think about Afghanistan. Obama is sending more and more of the US military into "harm's way" in Afghanistan. In terms of the security of the United States, this is completely unneccessary, with no clear strategy and no clear goals.

There seems to be no reason at all for members of the US military to be in "harm's way" in Afghanistan. If we withdrew from Afghanistan today, American citizens would never notice. We'll, we'd notice that we have billions of more money to spend trying to solve our own problems. And we'd notice that the body bags would stop coming back. But there is no strategic interest whatsoever in Afghanistan that is worth fighting for. We are fighting for control of one of the poorest countries on earth. Why?

“As our nation debates how to deal with the security challenges that we face, we must remember this enduring truth: the values and ideals in those documents are not simply words written into aging parchment, they are the bedrock of our liberty and our security,” Obama said. “We uphold our fundamental principles and values not just because we choose to, but because we swear to. Not because they feel good, but because they help keep us safe.”

Wow. This is from a President that supports spying on the American people. This is from a President who just declared that he will continue the Bush era military trials. In typical Obama fashion, he neglects to mention any details as to what values and ideals in those documents he is defending. That's because if he listed them the hypocrisy of his statement would be blindingly obvious.

Remember, this is from a President who's Dept of Homeland Security has declared that SUPPORTERS of the Bill of Rights are dangerous extremists who need to be watched by the police. This is from a President who has refused to allow any prosecution of crimes against these very values and ideals committed by the previous administration. This is from a President who has blocked any legal action against those who've violated those very values and ideals by unconstitutionally spying on American citizens. This is from a President who has just declared his own power to hold people without trial or any of the due process that is spelled out in those 'values and ideals' he claims to be protecting.

“We will maintain America’s military dominance and keep you the finest fighting force the world has ever seen.”

Sounds like Dick Cheney is still setting the policy. This whole article sounds like this could be a Dick Cheney speech.