Yesterday, I spent over nine hours hanging out with two heroic patriot whistleblowers, Thomas Drake and William Binney, both former high level leaders at NSA, who were guests of Jana Nestlerode, professor of criminal justice at WestChester University, where both men gave talks. I learned an enormous amount about NSA, about the world of espionage and about president Obama. I'll be doing in depth interviews with both Drake and Binney shortly, but this article sort of welled up out of me after a day of processing what I learned.
When Thomas Drake finished his talk at Westchester yesterday, he said, "Our own government is a clear and compelling danger to our form of democracy." He pointed out that the American revolutionary war was fought to overcome oppressors, saying, "Who would have thunk that 200 some years later, our own government would become the oppressors."
William Binney summed up his message by saying, "What our government is doing is setting up a totalitarian state. If we don't stand up and speak against it, we're going to get that." Binney pointed out that the collect everything mentality of NSA is exactly the same as the East German Stasi, and many other totalitarian states.
So, I was putting together today's newsletter, seeing the Kevin Gosztola's article about Obama's DOJ going after James Risen
, seeing how Monsanto just won a big one
in the Supreme court. That set me off. This started as a newsletter, but turned into this article.
Lately it seems that everywhere you look, you see signs of what a sellout corporatist Obama is, how Obama is literally a threat to democracy-- his attacks on reporters, on whistleblowers, his NSA policies that violate the fourth amendment, his support for TPP, for Monsanto.
He is not weak, not afflicted by bad Republicans, not an incompetent leader. He IS the problem.
Just saying. If you are still apologizing for him, then it's time to wake up.
It has reached a point where Obama government is bad government. By siding with corporations, abusing the power of government, he has done, in many, many ways, most of them more subtle, the same kind of abuse of government power that Chris Christie has done.
Obama is a murderer using drones to kill, almost daily engaging in choosing who to summarily execute.
Obama violates the fourth amendment, approving NSA spying on all Americans, approving of heads of agencies lying to congress.
Obama prosecutes and jails innocent people like James Risen and Governor Don Siegelman
Obama protects Monsanto and GMO foods.
Obama funds, to the tune of billions from Homeland security, the creation of a militarized police state, with police departments looking like troopers in Iraq, with Humvees and tanks.
Obama is pushing for TPP-- the TransPacific Partnership-- which will weaken consumer and environmental protections
, corporate regulations and freedoms.
Obama is an enemy of transparency, attacking and prosecuting whistleblowers far worse than any previous president.
Obama is an enemy of the press, of Journalism, allowing spy agencies to collect phone numbers journalists call, attempting to force journalists to disclose confidential sources.
Obama's NSA policies, allowing "backdoors" to be engineered into software and hardware, could end up costing US industries literally trillions of dollars of lost sales.
Obama's economic policy is basically laisse-faire when it comes to finance and bank companies-- let them commit crimes, defraud, steal, break laws, without fear of prosecution or punishment.
Obama invested massive resources in killing protest and the burgeoning Occupy movement.
Obama has turned the Department of Justice into an attack dog on whistleblowers and has failed to exact any accountability from corrupt prosecutors who engage in prosecutorial misconduct.
Obama's legacy-- Obamacare-- is a boondoggle for health insurance companies. It painfully delays the time it will take until the USA joins the rest of the civilized world to provide healthcare for all.
That's a short list I threw together just off the top of my head. Yes, Obama throws a few crumbs to social issues and women. But when it comes to the future of democracy, of justice, he's no showing up. No, he's leading the charge on multiple fronts that will destroy democracy.
Sadly, we're not just talking about Obama taking down the USA. His policies are used as excuses by totalitarian regimes throughout the world to justify their bad actions-- "if the USA does it, we can too."
So, we have a government run as a tool for helping Obama's corporatist "investors" being abused, massively trampling on our rights, gutting regulations. This is bad, dangerous government, just like the government that Chris Christie appears to have used to shut down traffic. When bad leaders make bad government, maybe it's time to re-assess how we are enabling and empowering government. Government can be a wonderful force of good when it is working right.
Elizabeth Warren says, " We've got a game that's rigged. it's working for big corporations. It's not working for employees. The rich and big corporations keep on raking it in and families keep on sliding down."
The first step is to wake up. Brothers and sisters, we are laying face down in the metaphorical hit-the-bottom gutter, and Obama has been right there with the Republicans and "moderate" democrats, putting us there. We need to face the reality that Obama is part of the problem and so are many of his Democratic enablers.
It's a hard fact to face. We wanted to believe that he really was offering hope. But instead, he's turned so many other things we've believed in into something ugly and dirty. It's time we speak out and demand an end to NSA spying on Americans. It's time to prosecute the government administrators and police who violate their government powers. It's time to jail the prosecutors who engage in prosecutorial misconduct, and the police who kill innocent people.
It's time to stop re-electing the same candidates who rubber stamp NSA and all of the above abuses. To do it we need to wake up the young people and as Tom Drake and Bill Binney say, get them to start asking questions. If we don't we will soon become a totalitarian, corporatist state... and yes, I know know we're almost there already.