Tag Archives | President Obama

Heard the One About Obama Denouncing a Breach of International Law?

PANONIAN (CC)

PANONIAN (CC)

International law is suddenly very popular in Washington. President Obama responded to Russian military intervention in the Crimea by accusing Russia of a “breach of international law.” Secretary of State John Kerry followed up by declaring that Russia is “in direct, overt violation of international law.”

Unfortunately, during the last five years, no world leader has done more to undermine international law than Barack Obama. He treats it with rhetorical adulation and behavioral contempt, helping to further normalize a might-makes-right approach to global affairs that is the antithesis of international law.

Fifty years ago, another former law professor, Senator Wayne Morse, condemned such arrogance of power. “I don’t know why we think, just because we’re mighty, that we have the right to try to substitute might for right,” Morse said on national TV in 1964. “And that’s the American policy in Southeast Asia — just as unsound when we do it as when Russia does it.”

Today, Uncle Sam continues to preen as the globe’s big sheriff on the side of international law even while functioning as the world’s biggest outlaw.… Read the rest

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If Obama Orders the CIA to Kill a U.S. Citizen, Amazon Will Be a Partner in Assassination

President Obama is now considering whether to order the Central Intelligence Agency to kill a U.S. citizen in Pakistan. That’s big news this week. But hidden in plain sight is the fact that Amazon would be an accessory to the assassination.

Amazon has a $600 million contract with the CIA to provide the agency with “cloud” computing services. After final confirmation of the deal several months ago, Amazon declared: “We look forward to a successful relationship with the CIA.”

Amazon logo

The relationship means that Amazon — logoed with a smiley-face arrow from A to Z, selling products to millions of people every week — is responsible for keeping the CIA’s secrets and aggregating data to help the agency do its work. Including drone strikes.

Drone attacks in Pakistan are “an entirely CIA operation,” New York Times reporter Mark Mazzetti said Tuesday night in an interview on the PBS NewsHour. He added that “the Pakistani government will not allow the [U.S.] military to take over the mission because they want to still have the sort of veneer of secrecy that the CIA provides.”

The sinister implications of Amazon’s new CIA role have received scant public attention so far.

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State of the Union Or State Of Obama?

Obama SOTUThe political classes in our country seem to relish moments of high ritual and symbolic occasions with TV news routinely bringing these events to a country more engaged with awards shows and sporting contests.

The State of the Union, the annual presidential projection of power, enjoys a special status because it showcases the prowess of the incumbent to weave a self-congratulatory narrative before what is in effect a peanut galley to cheer him on. Widely understood is that the Congress is at a new low in public approval.

Even when half the office holders, cabinet members, Supreme Court Judges (minus 3) and military brass is sitting on its hands, with some glowering hostility, the acoustics make it seem as if the Speechifier-in-chief’s every word is receiving a standing ovation.  His guests joined in to make it appear as if it was a pep rally or he had won the lottery.

Obama may not be a brilliant politician or program implementer, but he is a good speaker and his speech was crafted like a Hollywood script, sprinkled with humor and closing with a crescendo of bi-partisan patriotic adulation for an injured soldier—the modern equivalent of manipulative flag waving.… Read the rest

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Katy Perry Believes In Aliens, Plans To Ask Obama About Them

Photo: oouinouin (CC)

Photo: oouinouin (CC)

Well Katy, do you think that Barry will tell you what he really knows? From her new GQ interview:

She is, in every way, a California gurl. “I see everything through a spiritual lens,” she says. “I believe in a lot of astrology. I believe in aliens.”

Uh, what?

“I look up into the stars and I imagine: How self-important are we to think that we are the only life-form? I mean, if my relationship with Obama gets any better, I’m going to ask him that question. It just hasn’t been appropriate yet.”

Relationship with Obama?

“I might have won Wisconsin for him,” she says. “Actually, I didn’t do too much, but he called on me a couple of times. Which was very nice.”

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Obama Says Marijuana Is Less Dangerous Than Alcohol

192px-President_Barack_ObamaPresident Obama opens up to David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, on a number of fronts, but perhaps most notably he says that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol (with a qualifier of course):

When I asked Obama about another area of shifting public opinion—the legalization of marijuana—he seemed even less eager to evolve with any dispatch and get in front of the issue. “As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”

Is it less dangerous? I asked.

Obama leaned back and let a moment go by. That’s one of his moves. When he is interviewed, particularly for print, he has the habit of slowing himself down, and the result is a spool of cautious lucidity.

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Putin: ‘I Envy’ Obama’s Spy Program

Vladimir_Putin_12015And Vladimir, I envy your forthrightness, notably not a quality that Mr. Obama shares with you. USA Today reports on the Russian President’s latest unscripted statements:

Russia President Vladimir Putin says his government is not working with National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, and defended President Obama over his spying program — sort of.

“How do I feel about Obama after Snowden’s revelations? I envy him, because he can get away with it,” Putin said during a Thursday news conference in Russia.

Speaking a day after a White House advisory panel released a report recommending changes in NSA programs, Putin defended espionage in general.

He called it “one of the oldest professions in the world, just like some other well-known professions — we won’t mention them here,” an apparent reference to prostitution.

But Putin did say regulations, such as those envisioned for the NSA, are necessary: “On political level, it’s necessary to limit the appetite of special services with certain rules.”

As for Snowden — granted political asylum by Russia earlier this year — Putin said: “To speak in professional jargon, operatively speaking, we are not working with him, and we never worked with him…

[continues at USA Today]

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Jeb Bush’s Vatican-Obama Conspiracy Theory

Jeb Bush tweetIt’s hard to remember sometimes, sitting in New York, that Jeb Bush is still capable of engaging the media, but apparently CBS Miami still has a soft spot for him, right down to his latest musings about President Obama, Obamacare, and the closing of the U.S. Embassy in the Vatican:

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has not typically been one to repeat wild conspiracy theories in the past. But that’s exactly what he did this week when he repeated a wild story making the rounds on the fringes of the right wing.

“Why would our President close our Embassy to the Vatican?” Jeb Bush tweeted. “Hopefully, it is not retribution for Catholic organizations opposing Obamacare.”

There are several factual problems with the statement made by Bush, namely the United State isn’t closing its Embassy to the Vatican.

No foreign country has an embassy in Vatican City proper because there isn’t room.

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A Pre-Conspiracy Theory

Obama Nobel Peace Prize 2009 Harry Wad2Veteran journalist Dave Lindorff asks “What if our premature Nobel Laureate President’s having a ’63-style Kennedy moment?” at Counterpunch:

I’m going to engage here in a thought experiment which may make some readers a little queasy, but bear with me.

It’s been half a century since the wrenching experience of having a charismatic young president cut down by bullets in what most Americans apparently still believe was a dark conspiracy by elements of the US government unhappy with the direction he was taking the country in international affairs.

Certainly powerful people like ex-CIA Director Allen Dulles and some of the nation’s top generals, not to mention executives of what prior President Dwight D. Eisenhower had labeled the military industrial complex were outraged that in his third year in office Kennedy was trying to dial back the Cold War, to reduce or even end the threat of actual nuclear war, and that he was even thinking of pulling US troops out of Vietnam and of reaching some accommodation with Fidel Castro’s Cuba.

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Obama Will Launch a Huge Propaganda Blitz – and May Attack Syria Even If He Loses the Vote in Congress

Barack Obama meets Combatant Commanders in the Cabinet RoomGrassroots pressure has forced President Obama to seek approval from Congress for an attack on Syria. But Obama is hell-bent on ordering a missile assault on that country, and he has two very important aces in the hole.

The administration is about to launch a ferocious propaganda blitz that will engulf a wide range of U.S. media. And as a fallback, the president is reserving the option of attacking Syria no matter what Congress does.

Until Obama’s surprise announcement Saturday that he will formally ask Congress for authorization of military action against Syria, the impassioned pitches from top U.S. officials in late August seemed to be closing arguments before cruise missiles would hit Syrian targets. But the pre-bombing hyper spin has just gotten started.

The official appeals for making war on yet another country will be ferocious. Virtually all the stops will be pulled out; all kinds of media will be targeted; every kind of convoluted argument will be employed.… Read the rest

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Obama on Medea: “The words of that woman are worth paying attention to”

11.20.CodePink.WDC.8mar03Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin’s heckling of President Obama during his speech at the National Defense University gains her more notoriety than ever before. From Reuters:

“You are our commander in chief. Close Guantanamo Bay!” Benjamin shouted toward the end of Obama’s address.

“Why don’t you sit down and I will tell you exactly what I’m going to do?” Obama replied. “Let me finish my sentence.

He called on Congress to lift the restrictions on detainee transfers and went on to discuss other steps toward closing the prison. He said he was lifting a moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen.

“Release them today!” Benjamin shouted. “It’s been 11 years!”

“Let me finish,” Obama said. “This is part of free speech. You being able to speak, but also me listening, and me being able to speak.”

He was able to continue for a bit but then Benjamin demanded to know why a teenager had been killed by a U.S.

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