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Obama on Gaza, Investigating Bush Abuses and More

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Posted on Jan 12, 2009

George Stephanopoulos picked the president-elect’s brain Sunday in a wide-ranging interview. On Gaza, Obama defended his silence but he said to expect Mideast action on Day 1. On prosecuting Bushies for abuses such as torture or domestic spying, don’t hold your breath. On the economy, “Everybody’s going to have to give.”

Click here for full-length clips.

On Gaza:

On Bush Abuses:

On the Economy:


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Ronmamita's avatar

By Ronmamita, January 14, 2009 at 5:14 am Link to this comment

Another GLOBAL WAR is on the table.
The Banker’s Table…

My friends and neighbors, speak out now for peace today.

In the past the public did not believe World War (one) would happen.

The public did not believe World War (two) would happen.

The public said the war is over there, leave us in peace over here…

Don’t repeat the mistakes of the past.
The public is ALWAYS the LAST to know.

World War (Three) is on the table!

Wars are planned in GREAT DETAIL.
Wars are not accidents that suddenly happens… unexpectantly.
Sadly the public is ALWAYS the LAST TO KNOW.
The public is ALWAYS surprised…

Great Wars:

Ends debates & investigations (determining cause of this financial crisis and true solutions);

Consolidates wealth & power;

Instrument to rid themselves of undersirables & reduces large populations;

A final Great War benefit would be a termination of astronomical debts, a new cycle of economic growth and new generation of debt creation with a new generation of debt-bonded people.
Claiming a new era has begun with a joyous expectant world happy for peace.

Singing lead vocals now. Believing the public will join the chorus eventually, when they are ready.

Keep hope alive; talk to others; call for peace; demand a sound monetary policy!

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By Folktruther, January 13, 2009 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

Obama is a political lightweight who was mentored by Zbig at Columbia, worked with the intelligence agencies, and was recruted to consolidate the Bhushite counter revolution. 

The Bush-Obama polices include spying on the American people, the bailout swindle, the Gazan war, and gutting social security and midecare.  He is now backing away from abolishing torture, as Dem committee chairman are, and which he has to do to continue the war on Muslim populations under the fraudulent War on Terrorism.

Cyrena will obviously apologize for him no matter what he does in her filibusters.  These take the form of putting forth incompatible positions, and arguing for accepting all of them.  No matter what Obama does he is, according to Cyrena, Brilliant.  Supporting Bush on the Gazan war, Brilliant.  Spying on the population, Brilliant.  Supporting the Bailout swindle, Brilliant.  Gutting social security and medicare, Brilliant.

Brilliant!  Brilliant!  Brilliant!  Polly want a cracker?

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By Allan Gurfinkle, January 13, 2009 at 7:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think we gotta give some props to the Pres-Elect.

I held my breath and watched the clip on the economy, waiting for the dagger into social security and medicare, but instead what struck me was the phraseology, and I’m actually gassed !, Obama said the bailout was a ‘heavy lift’, and we all must have ‘skin in the game’.

Does this guy really have some soul?  If he does the possibilities are endless, he can’t invite Coltrane (pause for a moment of silence) to the White House, but he can invite Charles Lloyd, he can’t invite Ray or James, but he can invite Al Green.  The possibilities are amazing.

I would really love to see it.

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By Marvelouseus, January 12, 2009 at 10:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“It’s clear that he is a so far brilliant political strategist who is far too smart”
Dear lady, you seem to have set yourself up for an unhealthy let down.
Please allow minor criticism of his lordship for his declaring Jerusalem (and surrounding lands) the united capital of Israel (and surrounding lands) which has reverberated throughout the garrison state and popped out in Gaza (Israeli blood offering to his lordship no doubt) and the festivities to conclude in January 20th. Oh joy.

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By Fadel Abdallah, January 12, 2009 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment

The following is to replace a previous post which contained some typos! Sorry!
A sad song by an artist with a heart, Michael Heart, about the tragic situation in Gaza and its heroic resistance. The title of the song is “We will not go down.”

I wish Obama can have the courage and time to listen to it with his darling little daughters!

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By Fadel Abdallah, January 12, 2009 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment

By cyrena, January 12 at 5:13 pm #

“No Fadel. What’s clear from Obama’s answers is just as clear as it’s been from day one. It’s clear that he is a so far brilliant political strategist who is far too smart to SHOW HIS HAND before he’s ready!! I don’t understand why you all don’t get that.”
Okay cyrena! Since you’re so protective of Obama, something I understand, I am not going to say any thing more about him. I will do this because I value your friendship and comradeship which I don’t wish to loose! I will give Obama the benefit of the doubt not only till January 20, but for six months. And nothing will make happier than to be proven wrong about my suspicions and doubts.

I hope we both live long enough to exchange notes on this issue and others!

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By Fadel Abdallah, January 12, 2009 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment

A sad song by an artist with a hear, Michael Heart, about the tragic situation in Gaza its heroic resistance.

I wish Obama can have the courage to listen to it with his darling little daughters!

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By cyrena, January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

By Fadel Abdallah, January 12 at 1:25 pm #

“What’s clear from Obama’s answers is that he is a master in avoiding straight forward answers to straight forward questions!”


No Fadel. What’s clear from Obama’s answers is just as clear as it’s been from day one. It’s clear that he is a so far brilliant political strategist who is far too smart to SHOW HIS HAND before he’s ready!! I don’t understand why you all don’t get that.

You all have no clue to what is going on behind the scenes, in whatever part of the emergency response is in the works. He’s TOLD you that his team will be prepared to do what it is now preparing to do, as soon as the signature becomes legal. That is, January 2oth, 2009.

So if you’re looking for any more of a straight answer than; “WAIT UNTIL JANUARY 20TH”, then you’re never gonna find it…at least not until January 20th.

So you say he’s a master at avoiding questions and I say he’s a master at getting through the political booby traps that the enemy has deeply embedded in the political apparatus. He’s done remarkably well so far, and he got this far by telling us what he was GOING to do, or at least what his agenda is.

But no, he HASN’T told us “how” he’s going to do it all, or at least not in terms of how he plans to handle this 60 year old disaster that is Israel. (He’s had quite a bit to say about our dire domestic situation though, which is pretty much why most Americans voted for him as President of the US, rather than President of the World.)

Because you see Fadel, the bad guys are watching his every move, and listening intently to hear all of the things you all seem to want him to say. Stuff that could possibly jeopardize other connected aspects of which you are totally unaware. Stuff that would carry no weight until Jan 20th, and do nothing more than give the bad guys that much more of a heads up.

You wouldn’t be a good poker player Fadel, and probably not much of a chess player either. That’s perfectly OK. But it’s the nasty job of any successful politician to be exactly that.

There’s a basic incompatibility with what you say here:

“..The disastrous policies of the outgoing   president as well the signs of their continuation under the incoming president…”

and your complaints about him not giving straightforward answers to straightforward questions.

I mean, what exactly ARE the ‘signs’ of a continuation of Dick Bush regime policies under the new president if you’re complaining that you don’t even know what his foreign policies are going to be? and you’re right. We DON’T know yet, what he plans to do on that end.

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By Wish Bone, January 12, 2009 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I dig this site, however I think it would be fare and
democratic if you were to post your comments disclaimer here intead of there, where, after you’ve gotten the address we learn the rules of the game.
Thank ya much.

PS- last I thought, i was human.

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By eileen fleming, January 12, 2009 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

Please sign US Campaign to END the Israeli Occupations Open letter:

Dear President-Elect Obama,

Last year, you pledged to “take an active role, and make a personal commitment to do all I can to advance the cause of [Israeli-Palestinian] peace from the start of my Administration.” We are eager to work with you to fulfill this goal.

To do so, your Administration should break with past policies of unconditional support for Israel’s illegal military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, and change U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international law, and equality.

We agree with Aaron David Miller, a 25-year State Department Middle East negotiator and adviser on Arab-Israeli affairs, who wrote that “For far too long, many American officials involved in Arab-Israeli peacemaking, myself included, have acted as Israel’s attorney, catering and coordinating with the Israelis at the expense of successful peace negotiations.”

To become an honest and effective broker, your Administration should:

* Insist that Israel ends its siege of the Gaza Strip. Israel has deliberately impoverished the 1.5 million residents of the Gaza Strip and caused a humanitarian catastrophe of dire proportions by prohibiting the delivery of food, medicine, fuel, and electricity. Your Administration should insist on the illegality of collective punishment and support the human rights of Palestinians such as freedom of movement as a first step towards ending Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip.

* Demand a freeze in the construction of settlements and Israel’s Wall in the West Bank. Israel’s West Bank settlements, including those in East Jerusalem, are all illegal under international law,and the International Court of Justice ruled in 2004 that Israel’s Wall is illegal and must be torn down. Halting this construction should be a first step toward completely dismantling the infrastructure of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which former President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and others have labeled “apartheid.”

* Hold Israel accountable for its misuse of U.S. weapons. In 2007, the United States and Israel agreed to increase military aid to Israel by 25% over the next decade, totaling $30 billion. During the Bush Administration, Israel killed more than 2,000 innocent Palestinian civilians who took no part in hostilities, oftentimes with U.S. weapons in violation of the Arms Export Control and Foreign Assistance Acts. Your Administration should hold Israel accountable for these violations of U.S. law and cut off military aid as required by law, rather than increase it.

* End the U.S. veto protecting Israel at the United Nations…

* Base a just peace on human rights, international law, and equality. Such a policy is the only way to ensure the legitimate security needs of all peoples and can only be achieved by engaging in dialog with all interested parties. A just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace includes the complete end of Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip…

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By Causmic, January 12, 2009 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To cyrena:
What i think is less than intelligent is for some, including yourself, to believe or at least think that Obama has a plan to do anything but flap his lips with well rehearsed legal, political and moral hodgepodge, (constitution, our values, move slowly etc…)in order to pull one over on those good ol’ boys that he’s so tight with. Yeah, and what better way to do that than to retain Gates, hire Gnrl.Blair and amass a a motley crew of past clintonite hawks to haulem’ in when the lights go out.

Fact is Obama is beginning to do the all too famous Presidential backpeddle of campaign slogans and declarations. What makes it appealling and to many believable is that he is, compared to his predecessor, very articulate and sly and he knows who he’s working for.

Prepare for more miltaary spending as you get your skin ready for his economic collection package.

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By Dave in Big Pine, January 12, 2009 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

ya know, obama, like the rest of them aren’t stupid. he knows that if he were to prosecute and jail bush and his lackey’s, that he would be hailed as the greatest american president ever, along with washington. they would be spoken about in the same way as the father’s of our country. he would be a hero to america and the world. he knows that would happen if he would return the rule of law. so why wont he? and rest assured, he wont. why would he squander that kind of legacy and admiration, a rarified place in history reserved for so few?

he wont, like nobody wont, because they are controlled puppets. i firmly believe that the real powers that be, hold life and death sway over all the members of government who posses power. i believe that it is just like in the movies where these people are physically threatened, or their families are. why would pelosi not impeach? because she gets a few thousand dollars from some donors and is afraid to lose it? don’t think so. why would obama say no to fsi, and then vote for it next day? because he had a sudden change of heart? don’t think so.

there is an evil in the world that can be found in places like the trilateral commission, bilderberg group, and council on foriegn relations. the people that run those are the people that run the world. and the people that will run obama.

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By Fadel Abdallah, January 12, 2009 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

As we are increasingly becoming the laughing stock as well as the hatred target of the world, or at least most of it, concerned Americans should give considerable serious thought to two important aspects of our sad situation:

(A). The reasons we have reached this point of
  lowest common denominator and moral and
  economic crises. And this is due to three
  obvious reasons:
  1. The disastrous policies of the outgoing
    president as well the signs of their
    continuation under the incoming president.
  2. The disastrous stand and misguided
    trajectory of the Israeli-occupied Congress,
    as exemplified by a long history of being
    bought and manipulated by the Israeli
  3. The economic terrorism emanating from Wall
    Street ethics and the culture of theft and
    exploitation as exemplified by Bernard
    Madoff and his many predecessors.

(B) The other important aspect of our sad situation
  needing serious thought and reflection is about
  the whole validity of our so-called political
  democratic system, which I think has many
  shortcomings and is in need of radical reform. I
  am convinced that our system is not democratic
  in the real sense of the word, except that we
  have elections that lead to the “democracy”
  that money and lobbyists can buy and manipulate.

The American ship is slowly but surely sinking, and I am wondering how and what all its passengers can do to prevent the deep sinking!

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By dihey, January 12, 2009 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

P.S. to Mr. Obama

And don’t give me your crap of “one president at the time” because I seem to remember that you spouted plenty of ire when Russia changed its Constitution such that Premier Putin could be re-elected President in principle.

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By dihey, January 12, 2009 at 12:31 pm Link to this comment

All of you white-washers of Israel’s assault on Gaza (Yes, that includes you Mr. Obama!) take notice of the following:

By a margin of 26-3, the Israeli Central Elections Committee decided to ban the Balad Party from running in next month’s election. By a margin of 21-8, they also banned the United Arab List-Ta’al (UAL-T). The two bans will prevent more than half of the current Arab members of Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset, from running for reelection.

Israel has become typical Mid-Eastern banana-republic where either the boss, or a junta of bosses, or the legislature decides which parties can have candidates for elections. It is scandalous that this charade-Democracy is supported with my tax money. Soon Israeli concentration camps for “uppety” Arabs will appear if they have not already been built.

Mr. Obama, you future coward-in-chief this is not a “matter of life and death” for Israel. Why don’t you castigate Israel for rigging the next elections?

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By squeaky jones, January 12, 2009 at 11:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It appears Mr.Obama works for the same people Cheney, Bushs, Clintons, etc work for, not the regular American people. He will not investigate Cheney/Bush war crimes just like Clinton did not investigate Regan/Bush war crimes. At best Mr.Obama, it appears, is just a lighter shade of evil. Squeaky.

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By Fadel Abdallah, January 12, 2009 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

What’s clear from Obama’s answers is that he is a master in avoiding straight forward answers to straight forward questions!

So welcome to the world of politics as usual and brace for the fact that the more things change, the more they stay the same, if they don’t get worse!

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By Jaded Prole, January 12, 2009 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

Sounds like the same old mush-mouthed crap we’ve been hearing for decades. The pretense that this is a struggle between equals or that the US can play a “third party” role when in fact we are known as Israel’s handlers is preposterous. WE are slaughtering Palestinians and the world knows it even if the dumbed-down US propaganda machine is keeping Americans ignorant.

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By cyrena, January 12, 2009 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

1 of 2

You don’t really believe do you, that Obama actually believes that ‘no laws have been broken’?

Yes, I know that’s what he said. I heard it myself, but my jaw didn’t drop this time since BY NOW, even the political neophytes should have figured out that this is the purely POLITICAL side of what is required in our own structure of Law and Society, and in the geopolitical environment that exists today.

Obama didn’t say anything new or different than he has before, in terms of prosecuting the criminals of the Bush Administration, INCLUDING the part that was cut off by Stephanopoulos, when he tried to make the point that he didn’t want the CIA spending all of their time looking over their shoulders and ‘lawyering up’ when they need to be engaged in their professional duties.

I don’t think the average citizen, (including you) has even a clue to the legal logistics of the crimes that have been perpetrated by the CIA under the direction of Dick Cheney.

It would also appear that most haven’t picked up on Obama’s language in terms of the prosecution of other crimes against the Constitution. (The torture is a CIA crime, and the CIA answers ONLY to the installed executive branch of any US Administration…NOT to ‘we the people’ and that’s the way it’s ALWAYS been.) This has been a CIA that has answered ONLY to Dick Cheney.

But as for the wiretapping and all of the other abuses to our Civil Rights and the Constitution, Eric Holder has already SAID he’ll be prosecuting criminals from the streets to the boardrooms. And Obama has just said that’s what he’ll be doing as well, at the People’s Attorney General. (Surely I listened to the same clip that you did.)

What you and so many others want Obama and the rest of his new administration to do is to lay out their hand/plan…in PLAIN SIGHT of the criminals that are the very subject of such plans. How STUPID is that?

That would be like you calling your own home to give the perpetrators of a robbery in progress a ‘heads up’ that you’re on the way, and bringing the law with you. Think they’re likely to wait around? Or are they more likely to just take whatever they can grab, wipe ALL tracks/traces/physical evidence of their crimes, and get the hell out before you arrive? Just consider it for a moment. I suspect there’s a shredder the size of Wyoming sitting in Cheney’s Chambers, operating 24/7 for the past 8 years.

The Dick Bush thugs have been covering their own criminal asses (LEGALLY) since they began committing these crimes. The MCA was the biggest legal cover for more of these abuses than anyone realizes, and the US Congress PASSED it, after Obama argued passionately (before and after its passage) AGAINST it!!

What the Military Commissions Act effectively did, was to provide legal cover (retroactively) for the most heinous abuses and crimes of this administration. Specifically the torture and illegal detention of alleged ‘illegal enemy combatants” and their denial of basic rights to habeas corpus. Again, Obama argued vehemently against the passage of such legislation, KNOWING FULL WELL the legal ramifications it meant for the later prosecution of these crimes. He knows that the same way any other intelligent scholar and practitioner of Constitutional Law would know it.

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By cyrena, January 12, 2009 at 8:47 am Link to this comment

2 of 2
Now for political purposes, (because he an astute politician as well) when Obama says that ‘no laws have been broken’ (and specifically in terms of the torture, the detention, and the other crimes of the CIA) what he’s really saying is that the reality of the LETTER of the law, (as determined by the passage of the MCA) is EXACTLY THAT!! According to the language of the MCA, the torture and the illegal detentions are now…‘legal’ and retroactively.

No, I know you don’t ‘get it’ and probably never will, but I’ll keep pounding at it for the benefit of those who someday might be willing to connect the intellectual dots. The Military Commissions Act was the Dick Bush and David Addington PARDON for these crimes already committed by the thugs and their CIA operatives. THAT is the official bottom line legal reality.

So while we might respond/react emotionally to the very superficial and ‘face value’ tone of “no laws broken”, that is the LEGAL reality of the language. For all intents and practical purposes, the Military Commissions Act ‘legalized’ these activities, (again…retroactively)thereby providing immunity/impunity for the perpetrators…at least in terms of prosecuting them in the US, and in respect to these particular crimes. (The crimes committed in the false pretenses presented for the invasion of Iraq are a different kettle of fish, and equally difficult to prove, as I was again reminded while listening to Cheney lying his formaldehyded ass off this morning.)

So to cure your broken heart, it might be worth it for more Americans, (including you) to actually open up the hood and see how your environment/government actually works. It makes sense to pay attention to these boring details, because then we might pay more attention when our own Congress passes the kind of legislation that is an effective ‘pardon’ for all of these crimes committed, only to whine later, when it dawns on you that they’re getting away with it, and then blame the guy who tried to stop them to begin with, for not chasing them.

In the meantime, these most heinous crimes CAN still be prosecuted on other platforms in the World Court, and I’m convinced that if the International Community wants to prosecute these thugs for War and other Crimes Against Humanity, or Crimes Against the Peace, an Obama Administration is NOT going to prevent them from doing it. In fact, if he’s as smart as I think he is, (and so far, he’s proven far smarter than I originally realized) this is exactly what he would like to have happen.

Or maybe I should phrase that differently, since I’m not speaking for what Obama is thinking. So I would suggest that IMHO,  the most politically brilliant and EFFECTIVE action that Obama can take, is to allow for the International Community to do its very important work in the structure that was originally intended. And if that includes a Nuremberg-Style set up for the likes of Dick Bush et al, than that’s fine. It’s better than ‘fine’. It is more realistically the preferred outcome.

That’s not to suggest that we shouldn’t work very hard to repeal/overturn the legislative mechanism that basically prevents us from doing the same thing at the domestic level. But I’m not gonna hold my breath on that happening, since most Americans aren’t even cognizant of the ramifications of that legislation, and wouldn’t know what the Military Commissions Act was if it cycle-buzzed through their ears 10 times and then bit ‘em on the ass.

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Purple Girl's avatar

By Purple Girl, January 12, 2009 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

DICK suggested Obama find out exactly what the Bush admin had done and How before adhering to his Campaign promises…I was hoping Obama would inform DICK he had all intentions of finding Out Exactly what the Bushies Did and how..then Prosecuting them for every one of their crimes.

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By troublesum, January 12, 2009 at 4:51 am Link to this comment

1) I have a broken heart.
2) Bush did not commit any crimes.
3) A pound of flesh from everybody but the bankers.

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