Thursday, July 5, 2012

Obama Fulfills Neo-Con Agenda in His First Term

St. Pete for Peace

- Signed the NDAA into law — assassinating US citizens w/o trial now legal
- Personally oversaw a Secret Kill List
- Waged war on Libya without congressional approval
- Started a covert, drone war in Yemen
- Escalated the proxy war in Somalia
- Escalated the CIA drone war in Pakistan
- Will maintain a presence in Iraq even after “ending” war
- Sharply escalated the war in Afghanistan
- Secretly deployed US special forces to 75 countries
- Sold $30 billion of weapons to the dictatorship in Saudi Arabia
- Signed an agreement for 7 military bases in Colombia
- Opened a military base in Chile
- Touted nuclear power, even after the disaster in Japan
- Opened up deepwater oil drilling, even after the BP disaster
- Did a TV commercial promoting “clean coal”
- Defended body scans and pat-downs at airports
- Signed the Patriot Act extension into law
- Deported a modern-record 1.5 million immigrants
- Continued Bush’s rendition program

The U.S. is NOT leaving Iraq or Afghanistan, as Obama claims
Feb. 7, 2012 – The CIA is expected to maintain a large clandestine presence in Iraq and Afghanistan long after the departure of conventional U.S. troops as part of a plan by the Obama administration to rely on a combination of spies and Special Operations forces to protect U.S. interests in the two longtime war zones, U.S. officials said(read).

Here’s a partial history of Obama’s dealings – listed (roughly) chronologically, most recent first:

  • U.S. beefs up Persian Gulf forces (read).
  • U.S. eyes return to some Southeast Asia military bases (in Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines) (read).
  • Obama Ignored CIA Report Against Afghan Escalation (read).
  • Under Obama, the export of American arms to countries around the world — even those actively repressing their own citizens — is booming. The United States is the world’s top provider of major conventional weapons(read).
  • C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition (read).
  • Drone strikes threaten 50 years of international law, says UN rapporteur (read).
  • Obama asserts presidential powers he once spoke critically of (read).
  • Obama administration rejects FOIA requests from NYT, ACLU for “targeted killing” papers (read).
  • Ex-CIA Official Slams Obama’s ‘Indiscriminate’ Use of Drones (read).
  • What’s behind Obama’s new military base in Chile(read).
  • Jeremy Scahill Says Obama Strikes In Yemen Constitute ‘Murder’ (read).
  • “As shown through his stepped-up drone campaign, Barack Obama has become George W. Bush on steroids.” (read).
  • Obama order set off wave of cyberattacks against Iran (read).
  • Obama Personally Oversees ‘Secret Kill List‘: NYT (read).  Obama and Drone Warfare: Will Americans Speak Out? (read).
  • Obama OKs Proliferation of US “Hunter-Killer” Drone Technology – Administration plans to arm Italy’s fleet of Reaper drones (read).
  • Obama touts American exceptionalism, ‘end of wars’ in Air Force graduation speech (read).
  • Top Obama Officials, Secretive Process Create ‘Assassination List’ - President Obama’s counter-terrorism chief has “seized the lead” in secretly determining who will die by US drone (read).
  • Obama’s ‘Poverty-Relieving’ Plan for Africa a Profit Boon for Giant Agribusiness (read).
  • Obama has opened three new military bases in Honduras (read).
  • Ex-CIA Interrogator: Obama’s War on Terror Is Less Ethical Than Bush’s. ”We don’t capture anybody any more… [Obama's] default option… has been to … take no prisoners…How could it be more ethical to kill people rather than capture them?” (read).
  • Jeremy Scahill: US Has Become ‘Nation of Assassins’ (read).
  • The Drone-Happy President: Obama Escalates in Yemen – Again.  Obama allows the CIA and the military to fireeven when the identity of those who could be killed is not known (read).
  • Obama Administration Again Proposes Polar Bear Extinction Plan - New Rule Echoes Bush Plan Ignoring Polar Bears’ Plight (read).
  • The Obama administration has already launched six times as many drone strikes as the Bush administration in Pakistan alone, killing hundreds of innocent people and devastating families (read).
  • Strip-Searches: Obama Wants You to Bend Over (Or Squat) and Spread ‘Em  (read).
  • Air Force ramps up drone war. New documents reveal plans to more than quadruple Reaper missions by 2016 (read).
  • Obama Signs “Fraud-Friendly” JOBS Act into Law.  Economist: Bill will bring fraud, destroy jobs (read).  Why Obama’s JOBS Act Couldn’t Suck Worse (read).
  • U.S. draws up plans for nuclear drones (read).
  • Our government is watching us more. New guidelines permit the federal counterterrorism investigators tocollect, search and store data about Americans who are not suspected of terrorism, or anything (read).
  • U.S. joins effort to equip and pay ‘rebels’ in Syria (read).
  • Drone strikes in Yemen soar as U.S. stokes ‘secret war’ – America has dramatically stepped up its “secret war” in Yemen with the U.S. ordering dozens of drone attacks on al-Qaida hotspots, which have also killed scores of civilians (read).
  • Obama to fast-track segment of Keystone pipeline, other energy projects (read); Native Americans Forced to Protest from ‘Cage’ (read).
  • Bush’s “Total Information Awareness” data mining program revived by the Obama administration (read).
  • Obama signs Executive Order allowing for control over all US resources (read).  Related: “Obama’s Creepy Executive Order: Permanent War Economy” (read).
  • Obama signs anti-protest trespass bill into law (read).
  • Obama administration moves to aid Syrian opposition (read).
  • Obama’s Attorney General says U.S. can assassinate American citizens abroad (without being charged with anything or given a trial) (read).
  • White House helps pay for NYPD Muslim surveillance (read).
  • Obama sees single-candidate election in Yemen as ‘model’ for Middle East (read).
  • Obama: U.S. in ‘lockstep’ with Israel on Iran (read).
  • U.S. drones targeting rescuers and mourners in Pakistan; Obama indirectly admits that U.S. strikes have killed civilians by claiming the drone campaign a “targeted, focused effort” that “has not caused a huge number of civilian casualties”. . . . (read).
  • We’re #47! After Occupy Journalist Arrests, US Plummets in Global Press Freedom Rankings (read).
  • Yemen dictator allowed into the U.S.  A day after he was granted immunity by the Yemeni parliament, Yemen’s presumably-departing dictator of 33 years, Ali Abdullah Saleh is on his way to the U.S. for treament (read).  (Comparing Yemen’s Saleh to Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi: Saleh killed his own people – people who peacefully protest his tyrannical reign. Gadhafi killed his own people – people who violently rose up against him. Saleh gets to enter the U.S. Gadhafi got murdered – SPFP)
  • 10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free (read).
  • Has Obama taken Bush’s ‘preemption’ strategy to another level? (read).
  • Obama sending 5 US military officers to South Sudan (read).
  • The White House has declared the government of South Sudan eligible to receive weapons and defense assistance from the U.S. The announcement came amid an outbreak of violence between two South Sudanese tribes that may have left thousands dead and some 50,000 people needing aid (read).
  • The White House has declared the government of South Sudan eligible to receive weapons and defense assistance from the U.S. The announcement came amid an outbreak of violence between two South Sudanese tribes that may have left thousands dead and some 50,000 people needing aid (read).
  • President Obama Signs the NDAA Indefinite Detention Bill Into Law         The statute contains a sweeping worldwide indefinite detention provision.  “President Obama’s action today is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU executive director (read).
  • Weapon’s proliferation: In same week $30 billion weapon deal with Saudi Arabia is finalized, Pentagon reaches $3.5 billion weapon deal with UAE (read).
  • White House rejects calls for oversight on drone killings (read).
  • TSA spreading its wings beyond airports (read).
  • The Obama administration has decided in principle to allow the embattled president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to enter the United States for medical treatment (read).
  • National Defense Authorization Act - By signing the ‘anti-terror’ bill the president could end up being worse than his Republican predecessor on civil liberties (read).
  • The Zenith of Civil Libertarian Anger at President Obama (read).
  • Secrecy defines Obama’s drone war (read).
  • Obama asks Iran to return downed U.S. surveillance drone (read).  Stealth drone highlights tougher U.S. strategy on Iran (read).
  • Obama Promises to Label GMOs (read).
  • Inside Romania’s secret CIA prison (read).
  • Obama: U.S. to expand military in Australia (read); 2,500 US Marines to be stationed in Australia (read).
  • Obama Administration Delays Keystone Pipeline Decision to After Election (read).
  • Obama’s Offshore Oil Plan a Disaster for Wildlife, Climate (read).
  • Palestine Wins UNESCO Membership… And Obama Withdraws (read).
  • Obama’s new war in Uganda (read).
  • Obama’s proposal would gut Freedom of Information Act (read).
  • As troops pull out of Iraq, Obama plans more combat forces elsewhere in the Middle East (read).
  • The U.S. will maintain a presence in Iraq even after “ending” of war (read).
  • New Obama Foreclosure Plan Helps Banks At Taxpayers’ Expense (read).
  • US Troop Deaths in Afghan War Under Obama Now Twice That Under Bush (read).
  • Obama sends 100 US combat troops to Uganda to help fight ‘rebels’ (read).
  • Obama vows to seek ‘toughest’ Iran sanctions to punish Iranian officials whom he accused of complicity in an alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States (read).
  • Obama Waives Penalties on Countries That Employ Child Soldiers – Again! (read).
  • U.S. drone strike in Yemen kills U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki.  The lethal strike marked the first known case in which the Obama administration tracked down and killed a U.S. citizen. The raid also killed a second American, Samir Khan. (read).  With the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, the due-process-free assassination of U.S. citizens is now reality (read).
  • Obama accomodates Turkey’s request for drone aircraft in fight against Kurdish separtists (read).
  • Photos & videos of Bin Laden’s killing should not be released because they would reveal military and intelligence secrets and could lead to violence against U.S. personnel, the Obama administration argued (read).
  • Obama quietly renews U.S. embargo on Cuba (read).
  • U.S. drones attack in souther Somalia (read).
  • Obama secretly sold bunker-busting bombs to Israel: report (read).
  • US Resumes Arms Sales to Bahrain.  Less than three months after including Bahrain on a list of human rights offenders requiring the United Nations’ attention, the Obama administration seems to have changed its mind (read).
  • Obama silent as U.S. murders Troy Davis (read).
  • Peace Prize-Winner Obama SavagesSomalia (read).
  • U.S. assembling secret drone bases in Africa, Arabian Peninsula, officials say (read).
  • “Obama cozies up to Uzbekistan dictator” – lobbies congress to sell more military equipment to one of the world’s most repressive leaders (read).
  • U.S. to build new massive prison in Bagram, Afghanistan (read).
  • New American Ally in Somalia: ‘Butcher’ Warlord (read). (Also check out Jeremy Scahill’s extensive piece on U.S. history in Somalia).
  • The United States reserves the right to pursue terrorists unilaterally in other countries, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said in a speech at Harvard Law School (read).
  • The Obama administration has significantly increased the frequency of drone strikes and other air attacks against the al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen in recent months amid rising concern about political collapse there (read).
  • Obama Pushes NAFTA Style Trade Policy Despite 2008 Promise (watch).
  • Obama said that if the Palestinians try to achieve statehood in the UN Security Council, the US will oppose the proposal (read).
  • Obama abandoned a contentious new air pollution rule, buoying business interests that had lobbied heavily against it, angering environmentalists and rejecting the advice of his top environmental regulators (read).  Related: Obama asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw a plan to limit smog pollution that was projected to prevent as many as 12,000 premature deaths from heart and lung complications (read).
  • US kills 30 in airstrikes on Yemen (read).
  • Jeremy Scahill: What’s happening in Libya is essentially a “NATO enforced regime change” and that President Obama is “implementing the Bush domino agenda in the Middle East” (watch).
  • Obama Goes All Out For Dirty Banker Deal (read).
  • A secret war in 120 countries: Somewhere on this planet an American commando is carrying out a mission. Now, say that 70 times and you’re done … for the day. (read).
  • Progressives Complain Obama’s Debt Deal ‘Trades People’s Livelihoods for the Votes of a Few Unappeasable Right-Wing Radicals’ (read).
  • Rep. Luis Gutierrez Arrested Outside White House Protesting Record Deportations Under Obama’s Watch (read).
  • Obama exploits the tragedy in Norway
    “It’s a reminder that the entire international community has a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring,” Obama said prior to learning the identity of the assailant, clearly trying to justify his military strikes in 6 Muslim nations.  No doubt Obama was later stunned, if not disappointed, that the person responsible for the killings in Norway was a non-Arab Christian, and not a ‘Muslim terrorist’.
  • Obama’s escalating war in Yemen - As its government teeters, the impoverished and chaotic Gulf nation is the focus of a U.S. bombing campaign (read).
  • Obama’s approval ratings across the Arab World are 10% or less, according to a Zogby study of about 4,000 people (read).
  • CIA Exhales: 99 Out of 101 Torture Cases Dropped (read).
  • U.S. millions fund world’s newest army, South Sudan, despite worries of its human rights abuses, including killings, most recently in April when hundreds of civilians were killed or wounded by the U.S. ally (read).
  • The Obama administration is expanding its drone war to Somalia, which makes six countries where the United States is using drones to conduct lethal attacks: Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq and Yemen (read).  Also, the US is supplying drone aircrafts to Uganda and Burundi to help them fight in Somalia (read).
  • Obama Admin Warns of “Fines and Incarceration” if U.S. Citizens Set Sail with Gaza Aid Flotilla (read).
  • “Yet tonight, we take comfort in knowing that the tide of war is receding,” Obama trumpeted in his speech announcing his plan to withdraw some U.S. troops in Afghanistan (read).  (Given that George W. Bush had about half as many troops in Afghanistan as Obama will after the withdrawals, this claim is disingenuous.  But what takes Obama’s assertion to the level of Orwellian, is that he makes this claim while he has started new wars in Libya and Yemen, has escalated drone strikes in Pakistan, has ramped up the U.S. proxy war in Somalia, and has begun funding the new army in South Sudan.)
  • Just prior to Obama’s speech on withdrawing some troops from Afghanistan, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $14.2 million contract to a Turkish company to construct an eight-building barracks complex for 12,000 troops at Bagram Air Field.  Completion date is scheduled for fall of 2013 (read).
  • Former CIA Director Hayden: Obama follows in Bush’s footsteps on War Powers (read) in Libya.  In a campaign marked by stinging criticism of President George W. Bush’s alleged executive excess, then-candidate Obama wrote: “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”  Yet Obama is now claiming authority to bomb Libya.
  • Obama overruled 2 top lawyers on War Power in Libya (read).
  • Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul and eight other congress members file lawsuit against Obama for taking military action in Libya without first seeking congressional approval, an apparent violation of the 1973 War Powers Resolution(read).
  • Noam Chomsky: “Both Bush and Obama are terrified of the Arab spring. And there is a very sensible reason for that. They don’t want democracies in the Arab world. If Arab public opinion had any influence on policy, the US and Britain would be tossed out of the Middle East. That’s why they are terrified of democracies in the region” (read).
  • Whistleblowers Suffer More than Ever Under Obama (read).
  • Obama’s support of the repressive monarchy of Bahrain:  The Obama administration approved $200M in military sales to Bahrain in run-up to violent crackdown (read).  Bahrain crown prince meets with Obama in DC - Officials reaffirm the strong US commitment to Bahrain (read).
  • Chicago Tribune editorial writer: Obama and the pursuit of endless war - starting new fights and prolonging the old ones (read).
  • FBI to Expand Domestic Surveillance Powers as Details Emerge of Its Spy Campaign Targeting Activists.  The F.B.I. is giving its agents new leeway to infiltrate organizations, search household trash, use surveillance teams and search databases in domestic investigations. FBI agents will now be able investigate people and organizations “proactively” without firm evidence for suspecting criminal or terrorist activity (watch/read).
  • As chaos engulfs Yemen, the U.S. is diabolically intensifying a secret campaign of airstrikes, according to the New York Times.
  • Report: Over 2,600 Activists Arrested in US Protests since Obama took office (read).
  • In 2007, then-Senator Obama said: “If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I will walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.”…  In 2011, President Obama did not find his shoes to join the massive protests inWisconsin (read).
  • Pentagon to consider cyber attacks an act of war (read).
  • Obama signs Patriot Act extension into law (read).
  • White House: No need for congressional approval for Libya (read).
  • Obama administration praises Israel for its restraint after it kills 20 on the “Nakba” (read).

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