At the end of World War II, most Germans claimed ignorance of The Holocaust. Americans will likely do the same when it’s our turn. But it will be just so much horseshit. When President Obama announced on April 16, 2009 that neither the CIA nor its agents, nor Bush, nor anyone in his Administration, including contract agents, would face prosecution for the use of torture, his supporters gave a collective sigh and consoled themselves with the notion that Obama had closed a despicable era in American history, one that, God willing, would never be repeated.
But that was the defining moment in President Obama’s Administration. Not when he “bailed out the banks.” Not when Osama bin Laden was killed. Not when he “bailed out” the auto companies. Not when he introduced his healthcare “reforms.” It was his decision to not prosecute George W. Bush, who admitted smugly in his memoir later that he violated international law by personally ordering the torture of detainees, saying “Damn right!” when asked if he authorized torture.
Obama’s decision not to procescute Bush Administration officials like John C. Woo, who provided the “legal justification” for torture, included his decision not to prosecute the CIA or any of its thugs for destroying videotaped evidence of their torture.
It was a clear win for the CIA who have never relinquished power since JFK was assassinated. And it was an immediate loss for Obama whose supporters, even now, fail to realize that no representative of the people can ever override the authority of the military and CIA.
We are not threatened by the spector of a dictatorship. We are governed by one.
I suspect Obama realized this before his election. I also believe, and wrote at the time, that he was hand-picked to act as a “placeholder” for the Bushies, hated in 2007, and to avert a national uprising with speeches of hope and the promise of change. But nothing changes in a military dictatorship.
Except for the worse.
Obama’s pardon was so deflating that his popularity dropped like a rock. His naïve supporters, mostly young, never quite understood that JFK’s death in Dallas ushered a military coup. They thought, hoped, prayed, that a powerful mandate could restore our beseiged democracy. But University of California/ Berkeley Law School Dean, Christopher Edley, Jr., the sixth highest-ranking member of Obama’s 2008 post-election transition, revealed in a forum on 911 that Team Obama feared a military “coup” if he prosecuted Bush & Co.
In other words, whether Obama knew he would be a figurehead in office, as I suspect, or was simply told upon taking the oath that he would be given his orders, it was clear to the world on April 16, 2009 that the American people had lost all control over the military and CIA.
We have entered a chilling period in American history, a period that John F. Kennedy tried to prevent. American “brown shirts” (Tea Baggers), funded with corporate and foreign money (as Hitler was) are merging with police and military groups, sharing information on unionists, dissidents and other “undesirables.” Religions have become increasingly radicalized and coordinated with political (State) apparatus. And the CIA’s Gulag, far from being dismantled as it should have been by the man we elected to do just that, is growing unabated. And why not? There’s no one powerful enough to stop them.
My next article will look at the CIA’s Secret Prisons around the world.
Andrea Hackett is a writer, independent researcher and founder of the Las Vegas Dancers Alliance. She is featured in Marc Cooper’s most recent book “The Last Honest Place in America” and may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her Twitter @andreafed. All rights reserved. 2012.
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