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You. Were. Warned.
After having suspended the secret military tribunal system authorized and used by his predecessor in office, President Barack Obama has now announced
that he is authorizing the reconstitution and recommencement of that widely condemned means of trying accused terrorism suspects.
Those tribunals are the mockery of justice where "judges" wear hoods, hide behind curtains, routinely rule defense evidence inadmissible, defense witnesses uncallable, and routine defense tactics unacceptable. Their names are not known, their motives are not subject to scrutiny, and their backgrounds are not subject to civilian review.
Those "courts" have no obligation to recognize stare decisis
. Decisions begin and end in a set of statutory laws, rules of evidence, and procedural standards upon which even the highest civilian court in the land has deferred in judicial review.
Those "laws" upon which the accused are judged are created not through democratic legislative processes, but rather by martial command structures.
And this is a system of "justice" within the United States of America that President Barack Obama has now endorsed and brought back to life.
Remember those promises?
Then again, maybe we should give the man a chance: after all, it's way too early to be judging him.
Again: Yeah. Right.
I warned you. Over and over again, I warned you about Barack Hussein Obama.
But, hey, the guy threw $787 billion in economic stimulus to the People
And, hey, he's still talking about a single-payer healthcare system so everybody can have those meds and those ridiculously expensive, high-technology procedures done for free
And, hey, he's still a LIBERAL
One more time: Yeah. Right.
You want his miracle elixir? Enjoy the chaser of poison.
Over and over again, I warned readers about this man. As a short, visual reminder, below is one of my graphics.
We now have what seems to be a highly competent man in the Oval Office. On that score, we should certainly find reason for comfort.
In that office, now, we might very well also have the best leader this nation has to offer.
On that score, we should certainly find reason for great concern.
Regardless, though, one thing is quite certain: You. Were. Warned.
One more time.
You. Were. Warned.
The Dark Wraith has spoken.
Over the bounding main,
For many a stormy wind shall blow
'Til Jack comes home again!
Yup, no doubt about it, Wraith, America would be in sooo much better hands if McCain & Palin had pulled it out. All together now, "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran!"
Once in office things never look as clear-cut as they did on the campaign trail. Obama seems to be utterly pragmatic, and promises sometimes cannot be fulfilled for reasons that may or may not become clear over time. I'm reminded of General DeGaulle, swept into power in 1958 with enthusiastic right wing supporters believing he would win the war in Algeria. "I will astonish them with my ingratitude," he said.
Perhaps the reason the federal judiciary has deferred to the "statutory laws, rules of evidence, and procedural standards" of military courts is that, surprise! they are fair. I'm only judging from my own experience, of course, from the many courts-martial I sat on while a junior officer in the USAF back in the 60s & 70s. Those tribunals were hardly a one-way ticket to Leavenworth; everyone I saw in the dock got a fair shake. The prosecution did not always prevail and seldom got all it wanted in terms of a sentence. I don't know what we really ought to do with those alleged "enemy combatants" but my feeling is that they are no worse off in a military court than in a federal court. Feel free to enlighten me.
Good afternoon, rm hitchens.
As I have pointed out to others, John McCain is not the President.
He never was, and he never will be.
I have had his name invoked virtually every time I criticize Barack Obama, and I cannot for the life of me imagine what the alleged GOP maverick has to do with Mr. Obama's false advertising campaign that brought a whole lot of decent, hopeful people to believe in that which simply was not there.
What Obama is doing is a far cry from finding ground and gaining traction in some Beltway world of realpolitik. From the very start, Obama was choosing old-fashioned, corrupt cronies, insiders, and failures. From Rahm Emanuel to Timothy Geithner, no one forced Obama's hand, and no one could have; Obama does not work that way.
He is insular, arrogant, and smart; he does what he does. That is the very same Barack Obama with whom I had the misfortune of trying to interact before he became famous (but after he knew he was).
The matter of those secret military tribunals is not some peripheral issue, although a whole lot of people are going to care not one shred about it as long as Obama and the Democrats keep up the promises and dole out the candy of personal liberation from economic hard times. Obama knows this. He is not stupid.
Authoritarianism in a velvet glove is still authoritarianism. People find that out when the glove comes off in public as it inevitably must to maintain status quo ante.
In my article, "The 21st Century, Epilogue," I stated forthrightly that this nation — indeed, the world — will descend into a system of authoritarian states in the years to come. My hope might have been that the time of nightfall could be postponed if only the visionaries who have the power of the vote would signal that they will allow the curtain to fall sooner rather than later unless the only remaining, viable political party in this country learns to offer something better than a facade of platitudes covering the unimaginitive, nasty fist of brutish state violence.
My hope was not misplaced.
It was just plain folly.
I, like some of my progressive friends, have learned a lesson these past few years.
From now on, the Dark Wraith will not, even for a moment's reflection, relent.
We do not seem to have real choices in our presidential elections. Republican-Democrat -- they fall slimly on either side of the center, which has drifted to the right for recent memory.
As Justice Stevens said on Bush v. Gore, "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law."
I think that is where we stand -- with lost faith in the judiciary and the legislative, and advocate for an oddly transcendent Executive. A very dangerous thing. I was stunned when all the good Libs saw Obama as their messiah -- how absurd!
The only thing to save a fragile democracy is the tight reins of each branch checking the other. We have lost that in our flabby hero worship and cult of personality. American Idol has gone to their heads, alas.
We are naught but a bunch of idolators. How can I knock religion when they carry this same this to their political views -- all of them?! I split with so many of my well-intentioned liberal friends in their blindness.
you'll be pleased to know that a constitutional scholar like jonathan turley has also taken to calling obama "bush 2.0."
tribunals? well, they have, in a very few cases in history worked well. when we were faced with shitloads of german and japanese prisoners the easiest thing for the army and navy to do was to convene a general courtmartial and have at it. in many ways it was structured upon the napoleonic concept of an investigating magistrate. cop/judge/jury all rolled up into one panel.
they would determine charges to be leveled, if any. the accused would be given ample opportunity to mount a defense, translators and attorneys were pressed into service to assist them. the most odious cases were kicked upstairs to the nurmemburg tribunal.
properly run, they could become a reasonable, and constitutional substitute for those cases, where, because of the embarrasment from torture and prosecutorial misconduct the shame of the truth would be simply too much to bear.
Good evening, Minstrel Boy.
As I have noted in the legal and regulatory environment of business classes I teach, the responsible charge of a jury is not to find truth; it is, instead, to determine the facts and then to apply the law to those facts of the case at bar as directed by the court.
It is most fortunate that the truth is not particularly relevant; the facts, in and of themselves, openly disclosed are often more than enough to make the guilty squirm.
It seems to me that quite a few people of official title and station are squirming right now. Perhaps Mr. Obama should take note of how comfortably those judges in their black hoods are at rest in their seats behind the curtains. One day, the facts, openly revealed, may be an enemy far worse to them than any shackled detainee whose admissions were extracted under torture.
The Dark Wraith hopes to live long enough to see that day... and to see the officers of the secret tribunals cry for their constitutional rights as they squirm mightily in their seats.
To be fair, Barry O. has delivered Hope and Change. It's not his fault most people were too delusional to see what that change would be. Jebbie wouldn't have a shot in 2012 or -16 otherwise.
The big banksters have never had it so good. It's beyond their wildest Hopes. But I think this is just placement of pieces on the board.
There is some real Change coming as the oil runs out and the mass of humanity returns to a pre-industrial state over the next 50 years. The royal families- like the Bu$hies- who would rule us are positioning themselves to take real advantage of this turn of the tide.
I stole your graphic once again, sir, but offer you the meager compensation of accreditation. Hopefully it will suffice!
A buddy of mine sez:
"We've traded INcompetent corruption in for COMpetent corruption."
The following statements are not contradictory:
1. Obama was the best option available to the public by summer, 2008, and possibly earlier than that.
2. Obama is Bush 2.0 on questions of civil liberties, among others.
As an aside, DW, are you still broadcasting on Thursday nights? I tried to find your program last Thursday and no link took me there.
One can argue that given a choice of two turd sandwiches, one might actually be tastier than the other.
On this note, Obama may well have been the better pick.
I've had people get mad at me, and ask if I voted for Obama, to which my reply is, "No. I voted against McCain."
And now an article on Obama's Death Squads in Afghanistan...
Cheney's Chief Assassin Is Now Obama's Commander in Afghanistan
Good afternoon, nightshift.
Here is the link to the next show, this coming Thursday night at 10:30 p.m. EDT:
Dark Voices Radio, May 22, 2009
A few hours before a show, I also provide a link from my Twitter accounts:
Pulp Economics on Twitter
Dark Wraith on Twitter
You can also get a reminder for a show from BlogTalkRadio, but several listeners have told me they're getting those reminders after the show, which means you could listen to the recorded version, but you'd miss the live broadcast.
Anyway, the links above should give you several options for getting the show live.
As a side note, I am gathering better audio equipment and software (from eBay, Craigslist, and other low-life places) to make the broadcasts sound better. I'm not sure I've got everything shaken out sufficiently to go to the new stuff this week, but soon the audio will be noticeably cleaner... at least, that's what I hope.
The Dark Wraith is trying his best not to sound like a DJ on an AM station from the 1960s.
R. Hudson Limbaugh WAS a DJ on an AM station in the 60s.
Trust me! You sound betterer!
Dark Wraith, 05/18/09 at 14:07:33
You didn't mention the link you've had up on the right sidebar.
Good evening, Moody Blue.
No, I didn't mention the link in the right sidebar because I thought nightshift had already tried that avenue. Sometimes, those kinds of links don't work because of browser quirks. I know my attempt to put the radio player in the sidebar was a bust, and it wasn't the Flash player so much as it was the result of some weird interaction between the Flash player and something else.
Anyway, my responsive comment to nightshift should give folks all kinds of different ways to listen to the show.
That means there's no excuse not to spend Thursday nights listening to Dark Voices Radio.
Unless, of course, you've been renditioned to a secret prison to get tortured by CIA personnel and local assistants in some Second World country. I don't think they'll let you listen to my show under such circumstances.
Torturers can be awfully mean that way.
The Dark Wraith could probably call them and see if they'd cut detainees some slack on Thursday nights, I suppose.
Good evening, Father Tyme.
From the size of that joint Limbaugh was smoking in that one picture I saw from his DJ days, that stoner was lucky he could even remember where the radio station was.
Interestingly, for a while, the major search engines would bring up that picture as a first- or second-page hit on queries for "Rush Limbaugh," but now it's pretty hard to find any keyword combination that will offer that photo on any page level.
Must be old news, or something.
The Dark Wraith would never accuse an important monopolist like Google or MSN Live of censoring a photo to protect the reputation of a powerful Right-wing extremist.
"Unless, of course, you've been renditioned to a secret prison to get tortured by CIA personnel and local assistants in some Second World country."
I'm finally NOT scheduled to work this Thursday night...of course, the way my life works, I may end up at work anyway, or have some other crisis prevent me from trying to tune in. The prison isn't secret, and it ain't run by the CIA, but the big wigs are all repuglicans AFAIK, and SW VA is really close to a Second World country and the customers are often torture, so can I be excused, pretty please, for not having been able to join on a Thurday yet?
Yes, of course, Wild Clover.
And you are being charitable describing the region where you live as "really close to a Second World country."
Having spent time in the environs of West Virginia, I cannot imagine that it is all that much more civilized out where you are.
The way it was in West Virginia, 'urban sprawl' was when they opened up a new trailer park to accommodate the immigrants from Ohio who'd hit hard times.
The Dark Wraith looks back fondly on his youth.
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