Rather than scrap it as un-American and authoritarian, Godfather Obama has institutionalized the practice of "unlawful indefinite detention" he inherited from his predecessor in the White House.
That's the view of Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU), one of the nation's foremost authorities on the rule of law. Romero says that instead of closing down the Guantanamo operation and resolving its legal cases in the Federal courts, Obama has done the opposite and, in fact, revived "the illegitimate Guantanamo military commissions." Romero doesn't refer to Obama as "Godfather," of course. Maybe because he doesn't have to.
Like a true godfather, though, the man in the White House doesn't want to hear about what went down during those illegal detentions. He refuses to have his Justice Department consigliere investigate the illegal kidnappings and torture by the CIA GoodFellas at any of their secret sites. McClatchy News Service reports this includes dungeons in Poland, Thailand, Romania, and Lithuania.
While Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski wants a "thorough investigation" of what went on at a CIA-run villa about 100 miles north of Warsaw, McClatchy's Roy Gutman reports, "The U.S. government has stonewalled all known requests for assistance."
Likely it's concealing gross, cowardly, and obscene tortures of the most revolting nature, such as threatening prisoners with murder using power drills, as well as waterboarding them. And that's just what's known. Poland has 20 books of as yet unreleased testimonh.
"If former officials are brought to trial, or if the classified files in the (Polish) prosecutors' offices are made public, the result will be revelations about an American anti-terrorism operation whose details U.S. officials are fighting to keep secret," Gutman writes.
Keep in mind that the prisoners in such secret dungeons are kidnapped off the streets in the first place, without the benefit of legal proceedings, and held for years. Writing of Guantanamo in the Miami Herald of October 3, 2011, Joseph Margulies, perhaps the most prominent defense lawyer who has served there, says prisoners "may never hold their children or say goodbye to a dying mother. Their fate is the four walls of a prison cell..."
Even some men cleared for transfer by the Bush and Obama regimes "remain in custody," Margulies writes---despite Obama's pledge to shut Guantanamo. But there's worse, much worse.
"Murder" is the term for killing without legal proceedings or a state of war. Protests stream in regularly from Pakistani officials over the U.S. killing of civilians by drone attacks, yet the godfather signs off on them. The protests make a sham of Obama's claim the drone attacks are the outcome of some careful selection process.
At minimum you would think a president would shut down any criminal cell he found operating out of the coils of the federal establishment. Yet, after George W. Bush expanded the CIA into a veritable federalized Ku Klux Klan, Obama refuses to dismantle it or prosecute its officials.
The Obama crime syndicate is operating on many fronts---it prosecutes whistle-blowers, it expands germ warfare, it threatens nuclear war against UN members, it lavishes billions on research into new ways of killing and disabling people, and, not least, it makes criminal wars. In short, it does everything you'd expect a godfather to do. All that's left is for the world to kiss Obama's ring.
(Sherwood Ross is a Miami-based public relations consultant for good causes who formerly worked for major dailies and wire services.)