By David Hoffman
Politicians are slime, pure and simple. They are self-serving, venal, conscienceless reprobates, perverse enough to waste millions of dollars seeking offices where they can make life and death decisions, and arrogant enough to believe those decisions are never wrong.
The United States Supreme Court's corruption inviting Citizens United ruling (2010) made this slime even more toxic. Governors like Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Rick Snyder in Michigan, Mike Pence in Indiana (and his predecessor Mitch Daniels), and the legislators who do their bidding, have become nothing more than puppets for billionaires. In fact, given the shameless proclivity of American politicians to sell their souls to the highest bidder, there arises a temptation to compare them to prostitutes.
But such an analogy would be an insult to prostitutes.
I do not say this facetiously. Whatever one may think of "the world's oldest profession," at least there are no illusions about the transaction. As a rule, prostitutes do not love their clients, and most probably do not even like them. Politicians, on the other hand, incessantly try to pretend they are motivated by a calling to "public service."
This hypocrisy is perhaps the most disgusting thing about politicians. They will zealously and unquestioningly embrace policies and actions promoted by members of their own political party, and just as zealously question and condemn identical or similar policies and actions promoted by their opposition.
Recently, in fact, questions have been raised about why supporters of Barack Obama do not seem as eager to condemn his war crimes, his lawlessness, his illegal usurpation of power, and his destruction of the Bill of Rights as they did when these actions were perpetrated by George W. Bush. In fact, members of the Nobel Committee, weary of the warmongering Bush-era, so readily swallowed Obama's con job that they awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009-an impulsive action that now mocks the deeds and sacrifices of past recipients, and taints the award for future ones.
Had they but waited a couple more years.
Regular readers of Pravda.Ru will have little difficulty recalling that I had (and have) nothing but contempt for George W. Bush and his fellow torturers and war criminals, and I did not hesitate to say so. The fact that many of them are now making lucrative livings teaching at universities, serving as judges, working at prestigious law firms, making speeches and/or writing books makes all the pontifications about America being a bastion of human rights and justice where "nobody is above the law" ring hollow.
I'll admit, I bought Obama's snake oil when he first ran for president. But, early on, I also voiced some skepticisms and suspicions about him in articles like The Beginning of Hope (11/07/08), Et Tu Barack? Part II (04/09/09), and So You Really Thought Things Would Change? (06/01/2009).
It didn't take long for these skepticisms and suspicions to be confirmed, as the man who many welcomed as the fulfillment of Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream demonstrated he was not only oblivious to King's philosophy that passive acceptance of evil "is really cooperating with it," he actively sought to ensure that such evil would go unpunished.
Wikileaks revealed that Obama strong-armed foreign governments into ceasing their investigations into Bush-era torture and war crimes, while his administration, in the words of the British Newspaper The Guardian, almost immediately began conducting an "aggressive, full-scale whitewashing" of Bush-era crimes, allowing torturers and murderers, and those who facilitated and/or covered up their deeds, to walk free.
The question is why? The answer has become disturbingly clear: Obama wanted unbridled authority to perpetrate his own war crimes, human rights abuses, and destruction of the Bill of Rights.
Although George W. Bush once opined that the so-called "war on terror" gave the United States government the authority to execute its own citizens without charge or trial, it is Obama who first did such executions through his use of unmanned attack drones.
One of the victims of such an attack was Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who was killed by a drone in Yemen in 2011. Al-Awlaki's death, and the events that preceded it, highlighted the first problem with Obama's "drone war": America's corrupt legal system has made it virtually impossible for a person to challenge his/her placement on Obama's "kill list."
As I stated in America is Still Dead (10/3/2011), when al-Awlaki's father petitioned the federal courts to remove his son's name from this "kill list," he was advised that he lacked the "standing" to do so, meaning that Anwar al-Awlaki himself had to file such a petition. This, of course, "creates a ludicrous and perverse Catch-22 for persons on this list, because seeking legal redress in America to prevent their extrajudicial executions would also heighten their chances of being extrajudicially executed before they ever reached the courthouse."