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Ear to the Ground

Dems Cheer Obama’s Whistle-Blower Persecutions

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Posted on Sep 6, 2012
jurvetson (CC BY 2.0)

Glenn Greenwald sees through the carnival of establishmentarian pieties on display at the Democratic National Convention this week: “Excuse me if I don’t join in Democrats’ sycophantic cheerleading for an Obama presidency that has shredded laws and liberties,” he writes at The Guardian.

Greenwald reminds us that in 2008, candidate Obama campaigned in defense of whistle-blowers. An extract from the official “Document for Change” publicized what the Obama campaign “pretended to believe” about whistle-blowers four years ago:

“Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled as they have been during the Bush administration. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistle-blower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud and abuse of authority in government.”

Contrast that statement with the administration’s boast about prosecuting whistle-blowers made in mid-August: “Fact check: President Obama has aggressively pursued and addressed national security leaks,” the campaign’s so-called “Truth Team” wrote. “The Obama administration has prosecuted twice as many cases under the Espionage Act as all other administrations combined.”

“One might think,” Greenwald demurs, “that, as the party’s faithful gather to celebrate the greatness of this leader, this fact would be a minor problem, a source of some tension between Obama and his hardest-core supporters, perhaps even some embarrassment. One would be wrong.”

Nor are Obama’s most faithful supporters likely to heed or call attention to the fact that the administration has leaked secrets of its own when it is beneficial to do so while pursuing, with bared teeth and a foaming mouth, leakers of secrets that contradict the administration’s righteous claims about itself. Pfc. Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the host of former NSA employees who exposed the agency’s “once-illegal” domestic spying program—not the leaders and officials responsible for the wrongdoing exposed—are the prime targets of the Obama Justice Department.

Rather than pursue the prosecution of those responsible, President Obama sticks “his chest out and proudly” touts these “achievements.” By all indications, convention attendees wildly approve, and are either ignorant of or comfortable ignoring the president’s contradictions, even when those contradictions are blatantly obvious, as they are exposed to be in the video here in which Obama dodges questions about the drone and targeted killing programs he has been happy to joke about on other occasions.

“Rather than object to what Obama is doing with the power he has been vested is the exact opposite of what they claimed they believed four years ago,” Greenwald writes, “Democratic loyalists simply shift like the wind as their leader does, without even seeming to recognize that they are doing so.”

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Glenn Greenwald at The Guardian:

Democrats will spend the week raucously applauding the violence and killing continuously unleashed by their strong, tough, resolute Democratic president – whom they’ll hail as their “commander-in-chief” whom we’re so blessed to be led by, even though most of them are not in the military and therefore, by definition, have no “commander”, chief or otherwise. And they will keep cheering for such acts even as the bodies of his latest innocent victims go unburied. And if any of this bothers any of us, we’ll be drowned out by stirring and deeply emotional tributes to the kindness and goodness of this great man, which will make all these unpleasant thoughts about the reality of his actions blissfully disappear.

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