February 24, 2009

Nader 2012?!

The Obama administration's Gitmo whitewash is only the latest in a string of betrayals on civil liberties/political transparency/war on terror issues that, as Glenn Greenwald notes are "piling up so quickly, it's becoming difficult to keep track" (see also: this, this, this and this). Seriously, it's about time for Marty Lederman to either step up or resign in protest.

One consolation in all this has been that, as Greenwald has repeatedly spotlighted (scroll to first break), most Americans have been adamant that they want investigations into whether the Bush administration broke the law in prosecuting the war on terror.

That's why I was sorry to note some depressing news buried toward the bottom of today's New York Times poll [pdf]. The analysis in the newspaper itself focused on economic issues, but the complete results feature these two questions:

Do you want Congress to hold hearings to investigate whether the Bush Administration's treatment of detainees, the use of wiretaps and other Justice Department practices broke the law, or don't you think that is necessary? Want hearings (37), Don't think necessary (58), DK/NA (5)

Some Democratic members of Congress are in favor of holding hearings to investigate the Bush Administration. Do you think the Democrats want to investigate the Bush Administration mostly because they think the law was broken or mostly for political reasons? Law was broken (27), Political reasons (68), DK/NA (6).

Since this runs contrary to several other recent polls, it's possible, if only remotely, that the issue here is whether Congress should be in charge of the investigations. The Times did not ask about criminal or independent investigation, which is what people have said they've supported in the past. Or maybe it's just an anomaly.

Given Obama's horrendous affirmations of Bush's policies, I'm not even sure how I'd respond today to the poll's central question of whether I approve or disapprove of Obama's performance. Certainly in many respects he's been pretty good -- and much better than Bush, though that's a low bar. But the restoration of Constitutional law was my top issue during the election, so I can't just overlook it. Perhaps if Obama were doing unquestionably great on the economy that would tip me into an overall favorable position, but he's actually been more like, "we'll have to wait and see, but it looks like a bit of a mess." Actually I'd struggle with this poll since it breaks everything down into domestic and foreign policy, while the issues I'm discussing are most accurately considered both -- even though they're not the ones typically thought of in discussions of either.

But the most tricky question in the poll? It's this one, on page 18:

Did you vote in the 2008 presidential election, did something prevent you from voting, or did you choose not to vote? IF VOTED, ASK: Did you vote for John Kerry, George W. Bush, or Ralph Nader?

No... but maybe I should have.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Is it too naive to think that Obama simply doesn't want to deal with this now -- fixing the economy being job #1... not screwing up the restoration of human rights a job to tackle when it can be done properly and not screwed up?

@Richard H. That's been the admin's excuse... but it's a smokescreen. Forget about the investigations and just focus on the affirmation of Bush policies... Read the Greenwald posts. In every instance, the Obama administration has NOT said that it needs more time to review the issues (which it can easily do). It has said it has reviewed the issues and endorses the policies as they stand.

Dan --

I agree that everything done to date on this issue is really disappointing, but I still think that Obama will re-open the cases later.

In the meantime, I think he is OK with pissing off liberals in the short term (he seems to favor HuffPo vs Kos, tho maybe not by much). Why? Who else do liberals have to love right now? Obama is a masterful politician and understands that right now this economic crisis threatens everything and everybody. His job as president is to get us through this... and safely. With Republicans united against him, he doesn't want to give them another way to stoke opposition. "Releasing terrorists" right now would not necessarily cause another attack, but if one were to occur in the weeks or months after, he would be torn apart for having "caused" it. True? No. Politically true? Absolutely.

Obama succeeding works for most true Americans... but Limbaugh and thugs like him are still rooting for failure. In the battle between politics and justice, politics, at least for now, wins.

Well said Richard.

Obama is far smarter than me, and I bet you too (no offense, you seem quite intelligent) and I am trusting his instincts so far on how to handle the myriad of challenges in front of us.

Sure, I want torture to end and America's moral compass reset but kick starting the global economy is priority 1, 2 and 3 right now.

And I bet the Republicans will start to rethink their foolish ways with the new polls coming out right now.

Dear Radosh,

Though many moons and stories have passed since our last correspondence, this was sent to me a couple days ago and I thought you'd be interested in seeing this. Much has happened in the last few years to support the thesis of the story, that sex trafficking in general - and the trafficking for sex of minors - is a serious and misunderstood problem in the US. But this operation appears to be the last necessary confirmation.

Sunlight remains the best disinfectant. Even more so in the world of so-called media criticism. The good news for you is that it still costs nothing, both economically and in reporting time, to simply decide that one knows something to be true (or untrue), and to upload it. (Not that that has anything to do with reality.)


Peter Landesman

FBI, police rescue child prostitutes in Ohio, US
Monday, February 23, 2009 8:28 AM

Cities in child prostitution sting

Cities where the FBI and local law enforcement agencies conducted operations last weekend to rescue child prostitutes and arrest their accused pimps:

» Anchorage, Alaska

» Atlanta

» Baltimore area

» Birmingham, Ala.

» Boston

» Charlotte, N.C.

» Chicago

» Cleveland

» Dallas

» Denver

» Detroit area

» Houston

» Jackson, Miss.

» Jacksonville, Fla.

» Las Vegas

» Los Angeles area

» Miami

» Minneapolis, Minn.

» Oakland, Calif.

» Phoenix

» Portland, Ore.

» Sacramento, Calif.

» San Diego

» San Francisco

» Seattle area

» Toledo, Ohio

» Washington

Source: FBI

WASHINGTON (AP) - The FBI has rescued more than 45 suspected teenage prostitutes, some as young as 13, in a nationwide sweep to remove kids from the illegal sex trade and punish their accused pimps.

Over a three-night initiative called Operation Cross Country, federal agents working with local law enforcement also arrested more than 50 alleged pimps, according to preliminary bureau data.

The operation involved authorities in more than two dozen cities, including Cleveland and Toledo in Ohio.

The teenage prostitutes found in the investigation ranged in age from 13 to 17.

Historically, federal authorities rarely play a role in anti-prostitution crackdowns, but the FBI is becoming more involved as it tries to rescue children caught up in the business.

"The goal is to recover kids. We consider them the child victims of prostitution," said FBI Deputy Assistant Director Daniel Roberts.

"Unfortunately, the vast majority of these kids are what they term 'throwaway kids,' with no family support, no friends. They're kids that nobody wants, they're loners. Many are runaways," Roberts said.

Most of the children are put into the custody of local child protection agencies.

Agents in cities from Miami to Chicago to Anchorage, Alaska took part in the operation.

The federal effort is also designed to hit pimps with much tougher prison sentences than they would likely get in state criminal courts.

Government prosecutors look to bring racketeering charges or conspiracy charges that can result in decades of jail time.

"Some of these networks of pimps and their organizations are very sophisticated, they're interstate," said Roberts, requiring wiretaps and undercover sting operations to bring charges.

The weekend's roundup marked the third such Operation Cross Country, and is part of a broader federal program launched in 2003 to crack down on the sexual exploitation of children.

Attention readers wondering why this thread has been hijacked by some troll. The above message was first e-mailed to me this morning. My inclination had been to ignore it, but what do you know -- some people just Will Not Be Ignored.

I don't usually like to reward temper tantrums, but fine, have it your way. I will blog about this tomorrow.

Everyone else please hold your fire until then so that this thread can return to chastising me for not sufficiently trusting the wise beneficence of our new president over the rule of law.

Yo Radosh,

Before criticizing our Commander in Chief, maybe you should think about getting your OWN house in order. Where the hell are the results of the NYACC?

Some of us have no other lives than this, you know.

Rule of law? Hahahahaha.

Oh, but he's black and so smart, so sincere, so articulate, so witty, and those two kids are so cute and the wife so well-educated and dignified. Sean Penn says he’s elegant for crissake! But Obama said right along he would move the (genocidal perpetual profiteers') war from Iraq to Afghanistan, and now he is in the process of doing just that, now that we own Iraq of course. Mosul to Haifa pipeline, Trans-Afghan pipeline, here we come! The domestic public works projects will support Americans through the “depression” and rebuild infrastructure neglected since Reagan, as planned. Soothed by a Harvard-trained silver tongue, America will "tighten its belt" and accept a lower standard of living, grateful to have survived at all, while globalism is feted and “Slumdog” kids stop starving in India, and so on, etc., whateva.

Why does no one question why we pray to the shadowy omnipotent gods of the Federal Reserve whenever there is a crisis? In a country of laws? True, the Federal Reserve Board and its Chairman are appointed by the President, but from a short list provided by -- you guessed it -- the Federal Reserve private bankers themselves. Remember, the Federal Reserve banks are not part of the government, i.e. not federal, and hold no reserves, i.e. no gold or silver bullion or anything else of real value.

JFK had the hubris to attempt sidestepping the "Federal" "Reserve" private "banking" crime syndicate and threatened to dismantle their death squad, the CIA. Bang bang. Every president since has been an errand boy, or at least played nice with the thugs. Lincoln walked away from the pre-Fed central bankers of his time when they quoted him loan shark rates to pay for the Union Army. He had Congress approve the printing of fiat currency, i.e., have the government make the money from thin air instead of letting a crime syndicate do that and give it to the government as a “loan,” and then making the US pay it back, with interest, from funds representing real labor, real products, real property. JFK got capped in front of the world via television coverage as a message to any entertaining the thought of fucking with these people again. Abe got his in a packed theater, the most public venue in his time. In 1835 Andrew Jackson was subject to an assassination attempt after struggling to keep central banking out of the US throughout his administration. The ongoing coup attempts of central “banking” crime syndicates is the real history of this country.

Like his predecessors since Lyndon Johnson, Obama is addressing the economy as if the elephant in the room does not exist: the Federal Reserve banks “lend” “money” from thin air to the US government for its operating expenses, its IRS secret police enforce payback of that smoke and mirrors “loan” with the illegal federal personal income tax. The Constitution makes it clear that Congress has the power to materialize money, but since the 1913 creation of the Federal Reserve and IRS we have a criminal middle man enslaving us instead with the help of government accomplices. Department of the "Treasury" is an Orwellian misnomer. It is actually the Department of the Fake Debt held by the Federal Reserve thugs, and the Secretary of the "Treasury" is in place to legitimize the scam. The 1913 justification for the Federal Reserve was it would save us from future economic crises. That worked well didn’t it?

The Federal Reserve private banking crime syndicate is worth by some estimates $500 TRillion in currency the world is forced by the US military to accept. It is chump change to these people to buy the government from the White House on down. With this war chest they install and topple governments, boom and bust economies, start and end wars, and write history their way.

Of course this is all roundly dismissed as conspiracy theory in the "common wisdom" blared by mainstream media and elite academia, and their minions. The Federal Reserve private banking crime syndicate has since 1917 through the CFR (Rockefeller-owned, formerly chaired by Cheney) sought to control the media and academia, and now mostly does. Whole university departments are funded by money funneled through the CIA, and important credentials and top opportunity are granted only to those dumb enough or clever enough to profess to believe only the official version of the truth. Squawking gasbag shills like Limbaugh and the Faux News harpies make other news organizations seem reasonable and progressive by comparison, but they are all churning out the same fairy tale along with the same "be afraid" and "be confused" messages designed to obfuscate the truth.

Oh yeah, and anybody who brings this up is usually tarred with "you hate the JOOOOOOOOOOZ" and "HITLER, THREAD OVER." Jews have suffered more than anybody under this criminal set up. The shadowy goons with real power employ Jews in finance and media, and scapegoating them is the all-purpose safety valve, throwing them to the mob when bits and pieces of the truth start making too much sense to too many. (As if Bernie Madoff’s paltry $50 billion is even one molecule in one drop in the Federal Reserve criminals’ bucket.)

Obama is not going to rub any Bush/Cheney lackey’s nose in anything -- he is simply continuing the work of his predecessor, who had the 911 inside job as a smokescreen. Now that the public is past caring about strawman Bin Laden, Obama has "the economy" to keep us all in a continuous Code Orange panic. Notice how Obama‘s pat speeches about the economy and the stimulus have the same dead “professional“ delivery as Bush‘s did about 911? Telepromptered, prescripted oatmeal. When shit gets really bad ain't nobody gonna care about some namby pamby egghead liberals whining over a truth tribunal to go over "ancient history" while their kids gotta eat. America by design has no collective memory about anything except Michael Jackson‘s nose and Britney Spears‘ cooder.

Hey, don't get me started ...

A guy who was a serious liberal, I'm talking a real lefty, would never have been elected in this country. Obama's not some super progressive legalize it, kill the rich, God is dead leftwinger, and he never claimed to be. He's a centrist Democrat. If you want a real socialist, don't hold your breath for it on this continent.

We do have to start somewhere, though, and he's a step in the right direction. It's not Obama's job to get revenge for the last 8 years, it's his job to save the country from total ruin. It annoys me I have to hear about how bullshitty it is that Bush hasn't been indicted yet and blah blah blah... If we really wanted to nail Bush and cronies, we should've had Congress get them in 2006, back when something might actually have been provable. Maybe you'll get lucky and B.O. will get caught getting a BJ, and then we can burn him like Clinton and put Sarah Palin in office in 2012.

"The Power of Nightmares" is a revealing three part BBC series based upon governments' use of fear to control the masses. While the focus is the GWOT, it applies to the War on Sex as well, and the several other traditional bugaboos used for politcal control via fear out there.

ralph nader is getting ready for 2012 he has 2 political bestsellers coming out only the super rich can save us and direct democracy and a national book tour and he will be at the miami book fair in november. he is looking to get his platform of lower taxes and less spending out to the american voters

ralph nader is getting ready for 2012 he has 2 political bestsellers coming out only the super rich can save us and direct democracy and a national book tour and he will be at the miami book fair in november. he is looking to get his platform of lower taxes and less spending out to the american voters

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