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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Obama may be a nice man personally but he's the spokesperson for American hypocrisy
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Obama may be a nice man personally but he's the spokesperson for American hypocrisy

and nothing exemplifies that hypocrisy better than the ritual bearding of chinese leaders over human rights as obama did today with chinese president hu jintao...

read this carefully, particularly the section where i have taken the liberty to add emphasis...

Mr. Obama said that when it comes to differences on human rights, “I have been very candid with President Hu.”


After promoting the virtues of Chinese and American cooperation at the ceremony, the president — the 2009 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize — used the ceremony to deliver a gentle reminder to China, which is holding the 2010 winner of the prize, Liu Xiaobo, as a political prisoner.

“We also know this,” the president said: “History shows that societies are more harmonious, nations are more successful and the world is more just when the rights and responsibilities of all nations and all people are upheld, including the universal rights of every human being.”

well, mr. obama, i couldn't agree more and your words would carry a great deal more weight with me, with many of my countrymen and with a large chunk of the rest of the world IF we didn't have to take into account some supremely inconvenient facts...

glenn, in a post yesterday, enumerates the ongoing rule of law and human rights abuses of our own government, abuses that were pushed hard in the bush/cheney administration, abuses that now, in way too many instances, are being maintained and even strengthened by the obama administration, and how, in a sad ironic twist, obama is now reaping praise from the very bush/cheney officials that brought us these abuses in the first place...

Gen.[former Bush NSA and CIA Director Michael] Hayden put it best, as quoted by The Washington Times:

"You've got state secrets, targeted killings, indefinite detention, renditions, the opposition to extending the right of habeas corpus to prisoners at Bagram [in Afghanistan]," Mr. Hayden said, listing the continuities. "And although it is slightly different, Obama has been as aggressive as President Bush in defending prerogatives about who he has to inform in Congress for executive covert action."

And that list, impressive though it is, doesn't even include the due-process-free assassination hit lists of American citizens, the sweeping executive power and secrecy theories used to justify it, the multi-tiered, "state-always-wins" justice system the Obama DOJ concocted for detainees, the vastly more aggressive war on whistleblowers and press freedoms, or the new presidential immunity doctrines his DOJ has invented. Critically, this continuity extends beyond specific policies into the underlying sloganeering mentality in which they're based: we're in a Global War; the whole Earth is the Battlefield; the Terrorists want to kill us because they're intrinsically Evil (not in reaction to anything we do); we're justified in doing anything and everything to eradicate Them; the President's overarching obligation (contrary to his Constitutional oath) is to keep us Safe; this should all be kept secret from us; we can't be bothered with obsolete dogma like Due Process and Warrants, etc. etc.

so, apparently our president feels perfectly justified giving a mini-lecture to the chinese president on human rights, a lecture he and his fellow leaders in china richly deserve... but it seems to me that the power of such a reminder is seriously compromised when the united states has so obviously ceded the moral high ground but steadfastly refuses to admit it... without honesty, humility, transparency and accountability, to say nothing of the strength that comes with living up to our own cherished principles, we haven't got a leg to stand on... so sad...

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