News after Obama was elected to a second term
- President Barack Obama will accept unlimited corporate donations for his Inauguration in January, reversing his position from his first Inauguration (READ).
- Obamacare Architect Leaves White House for Pharmaceutical Industry Job (READ).
- US to leave 10,000 troops in Afghanistan past 2014 (READ).
- Obama ‘drone-warfare rulebook’ condemned by human rights groups (READ).
- Obama says he is “fully supportive” of Israel’s attack on Gaza. “There is no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on from outside its borders” (We
wonder if Obama applies this logic to Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and
Afghanistan where the U.S. is raining down missilles on those countries) (READ).
- Obama Administration: Hamas to Blame for Gaza Violence. Says Israel ‘has the right to defend itself’ (but makes no mention of Palestinians having the same right) (READ).
- Obama-appointed Afghanistan commander supports troops there past 2014 (READ).
- U.S. expands counterterrorism assistance in Cambodia in spite of human rights concerns (READ).
- Julian Assange:
Reelected Obama a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’. “All of the
activities against WikiLeaks by the United States have occurred under
an Obama administration.” (READ).
- 4 More Drones! Robot Attacks Are on Deck for Obama’s Next Term (READ).
- Obama and Civil Liberties: The Prospect of Four More Years (READ).
- US-backed regime in Bahrain
bans all protests. Obama continues to support the brutal Bahraini
dictatorship, valuing ruthless control of the Persian Gulf over
- UN Official: Aspects of US Drone Program Clearly ‘War Crimes’ (read). (Which makes Obama a war criminal.)
- Obama Moves to Make the ‘War on Terror’
Permanent. Complete with a newly coined, creepy Orwellian
euphemism – ‘disposition matrix’ – the administration
institutionalizes the most extremist powers a government can claim (read).
- U.S. Begins Talks to Extend Troop Presence in Afghanistan Beyond 2014 (read).
- Obama implements additional Iran sanctions (read).
- Electronic monitoring by Justice Department on the rise under Obama, ACLU says (read).
- At UN, Obama Falsely Claims America Sides With Democratic Change in Mid East (read).
- New Stanford/NYU Study Documents the Civilian Terror from Obama’s Drones (read). ‘Counterproductive’
drone war “terrorizes” civilians in Pakistan. The drone war has given
rise to “anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities”.
- Obama wins right to indefinitely detain Americans under NDAA (read).
- Obama administration to spend an estimated $350 billion on nuclear weapon upgrades (read). (But the US doesn’t acknowledge its hypocrisy in sanctioning & threatening Iran for pursuing nuclear energy).
- AIPAC thanks Obama for ‘steadfast support’ (read).
- Obama Admin Appeals Overruling of Indefinite Detention Under NDAA (read).
- Rahm Emanuel: President Obama supports me against striking teachers in Chicago (read).
- Obama has kept his promise to not prosecute CIA torturers, leaving them unaccountable (read).
- Suspected U.S. drone strike kills civilians in Yemen, officials say (read).
- Obama Gives Shell Green Light to Start Risky Arctic Drilling (read).
- Obama sends 200 Marines to Guatemala to fight drug trafficking (read).
- Obama authorized covert support for Syrian rebels, sources say (read).
- Obama signs law increasing aid to Israel day before Romney trip to Holy Land (read).
- Obama in Yemen: Killing Civilians, Bolstering Dictatorship, and Bombing in Secret (read).
- Obama signs executive order giving himself control of all communication systems in America (read).
- U.S. beefs up Persian Gulf forces (read).
Lesser of Two Evils Contest Winners
Thanks to everyone
who submitted slogans and voted for the best way to respond when
someone says, “I’m going to vote for Obama because he’s the lesser of
two evils.” As voted by you, here are the winners of the contest.
- If you vote for either man you vote for more war
for the lesser of two evils may be acceptable to you, but it’s not to
the people around the world who are being bombed by Obama
- Obama 2012 – Four More Wars!
- 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).
The U.S. is NOT leaving Iraq or Afghanistan, as Obama claims
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).
- 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 fire even 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 to collect, 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
- 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 Savages Somalia (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).
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
- 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
- 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).
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 in Wisconsin(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).
May 2011 – Obama’s hypocritical speech on the Middle East
“The United States opposes the use of violence and
Read statement from ANSWER coalition Director Brian Becker (Read)
- U.S. kills Bin Laden hours after NATO killed Gadhafi’s son and 3 grandchildren (read).
|It’s moments like these that some people expected Barack Obama to act differently than George W. Bush or John McCain|
killing Bin Laden, Obama could have claimed victory and announced that
the wars would come to an immediate end. Instead, he’s doing what
Bush or McCain would have done: Continue the wars in Afghanistan
and Iraq, and the drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen; pronounce that
Bin Laden’s death justifies all the wars; repeat the lie that 9/11 was
the start of the war; and declare that the ‘war on terror’ must
- Obama administration refuses to accept the Palestinian unity deal which brought Hamas and Fatah together (read).
- Obama approves of armed Predator drone strikes in Libya (read).
- WikiLeaks: Obama administration tried to stymie U.N. probe of possible Israeli war crimes in Gaza (read).
- “Don’t Punish the Poor” Economist Jeffrey Sachs Slams Obama-GOP Budget Deal (read).
- Obama’s military action in Libya contradicts his words from 2007:
“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” (read)
- Obama Administration Approves Fourth Gulf Deepwater Drilling Permit (read)
- Obama Defends Detention Conditions for Bradley Manning (read)
- Obama Approves Indefinite Detention Without Trial (read)
- America’s secret plan to arm Libya’s rebels: Obama asks Saudis to airlift weapons into Benghazi (read). (This is the same Saudi Arabia who in the same week declared all protests illegal).
- Obama honors George H.W. Bush with Medal of Freedom. “We celebrate an extraordinary life of service and of sacrifice” (read).
- Obama’s $3.7 Trillion Budget Calls for Military Spending Increases and Deep Cuts to Social Service Programs (read). Obama Budget Proposal: Cuts To Target Working Poor, Middle Class & Students (read).
- Obama heaps praise on Ronald Reagan: Reagan advanced “the cause of freedom, democracy and security around the world” (read), and Reagan was a man with a “unique ability to inspire others to greatness” (read).
- The Obama administration has publicly confirmed it is continuing the Bush-era policy of opposing the return of Haiti’s ousted former president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was overthrown in a 2004 U.S.-backed coup (read).
- Obama Eyeing Internet ID for Americans (read).
- The Obama administration is telling federal agencies to take aggressive new steps to prevent more WikiLeaks embarrassments (read).
- Obama Gives ‘Lump of Coal’ to Polar Bears (read).
- Obama administration readies indefinite detention order for Guantanamo detainees (read).
- Big Brother
gets bigger under Obama. The FBI is building a database with the
names and certain personal information, such as employment history, of
thousands of U.S. citizens and residents whom a local police officer or
a fellow citizen believed to be acting suspiciously (read).
- Obama Flip-Flop: FCC Vote Could End Net Neutrality (read).
- Obama’s VP Joe Biden likens WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to a “high-tech terrorist” (read).
- Obama calls WikiLeaks “deplorable” (read).
- Expansion of Anti-Terrorism Law Will Target Activists (read).
- Obama reaches agreement with congressional Republicans to extend Bush’s tax-cuts for the wealthy (read).
- The Obama administration has abandoned its effort to persuade Israel to renew a settlement construction freeze (read).
- Obama administration orders government workers not to read WikiLeaks cables – even from home (read).
- Obama and GOPers Worked Together to Kill Bush Torture Probe (read).
- The Obama administration launched a full-bloodied assault on Wikileaks (read).
- Obama proposes salary freeze for 2 million federal workers – excluding those in the military (read) [NOTE:
Obama said the salary freeze would save $28 billion over 5 years —
that amount is about what the U.S. spends on war every 2 weeks.]
- Obama stands by controversial air security screening methods – says body scans and pat-downs necessary (read).
- White House Says Child Soldiers Are O.K., if They Fight Terrorists (read).
- Obama Administration Claims Unchecked Authority to Kill Americans Outside Combat Zones (read).
- The US is building a $12 billion super military base on the Pacific island of Guam. Another $200 million will go for upgrades to U.S. base in Diego Garcia (read).
- U.N. votes 187-2 to end Cuba trade embargo – U.S. and Israel lone dissenting votes (read).
- WikiLeaks Docs Raise Questions of Obama Policies — Despite Obama’s public commitment to eschew torture, U.S. forces turned detainees over to Iraqi forces even after signs of abuse (read).
- Obama administration pushing for wider role of CIA in Pakistan – efforts rebuffed by Islamabad (read).
- Obama administration to sell $60 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia (read).
The sale, which is the largest overseas deal in U.S. history, is part
of a strategy spearheaded by the George W. Bush administration and
expanded by President Barack Obama (read).
- Obama administration lifts deepwater drilling moratorium (read).
- Report: White House squelched reports of BP oil spill estimates (read).
- Obama endorses new film “Waiting for Superman” which attacks teacher’s unions and promotes charter schools (read).
UN probe said there was clear evidence to back prosecutions
against Israel for killing and torture when its troops stormed a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May. The vote was 30-1, with the U.S. as the lone dissenter (read).
- Obama’s government attacks dissent. As
the Obama administration escalates its undeclared wars in Pakistan and
Yemen under the guise of protecting freedom and democracy, the
administration is simultaneously escalating its attack on activists in
the US who exercise their First Amendment rights. St. Pete for
Peace stands in solidarity with activists in Chicago and Minneapolis
whose homes were raided by the FBI (read). This is particularly troubling but sadly just the latest attempt by the government to silence dissent:
- The Obama administration is drawing up legislation to make it easier for US intelligence services to eavesdrop on the Internet, such as social networking websites like Facebook, messaging software like Skype and email transmitters like BlackBerry (read).
- The Progressive Magazine’s Matthew Rothschild revealed that a recent FBI report shows the ease in which political protesters are labeled as “terrorists” (read).
- A report that the Pentagon’s spy unit has begun rebuilding the controversial TALON database that was shut down three years ago after it was used to monitor US peace activists (read).
- The ACLU recently reported that the Obama administration is permanently enshrining into law many of George W. Bush’s most controversial policies (read). (And of course, there have been no attempts to repeal the Patriot Act.)
- White House Enacts Rules Inhibiting Media From Covering Oil Spill (read).
- Former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya accused the United States of being behind the 2009 coup that ousted him (read).
- US Ignores Calls for End to Gaza
Siege. The Obama administration is refusing to join international
calls for a complete end to the Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip (read).
- The Pentagon’s spy unit
has begun rebuilding a controversial database that was shut down three
years ago after it was found to have been used to monitor US peace
- Obama Administration Keeping Blackwater Armed and Dangerous in Afghanistan – another $120M contract awarded (read).
- With Rumored Manhunt for Wikileaks Founder and Arrest of Alleged Leaker of Video Showing Iraq Killings, Obama Admin Escalates Crackdown on Whistleblowers of Classified Information (read).
- With a strong push from
the Obama administration, the United Nations Security Council
voted to impose a fourth round of sanctions on Iran (read).
- Obama Administration Might Hold Non-Afghan Detainees at Bagram Indefinitely — Administration Should Not Re-Create Gitmo, Says ACLU (read).
- Obama secretly deploys US special forces to 75 countries across world (read).
The dramatic expansion in the use of special forces go far beyond the
covert missions authorized by George W. Bush. Countries
include Iran, Georgia, Ukraine, Bolivia, Paraguay, Ecuador, Peru,
Yemen, Pakistan and the Philippines.
- In the days since President Obama announced a moratorium on permits for drilling
new offshore oil wells, at least seven new permits for various types of
drilling and five environmental waivers have been granted (read).
- James Carville on Obama’s response to the Gulf oil spill: He is risking everything with ‘go along with BP strategy’ (read).
- U.S. troops executing prisoners in Afghanistan: Seymour Hersh (read).
- Obama gives CIA authority to expand strikes by unmanned aerial vehicles in Pakistan (read).
- Government Exempted BP from Environmental Review (read).
- An amendment to increase Congressional oversight of the Federal Reserve failed following pressure from the White House (read).
- Obama approves targeted assassination of an American citizen (read).
- Obama signs law allowing weapons in National Parks (read).
- Obama: Drill, Baby, Drill.
Obama to open offshore areas to oil drilling — In June
2008, then-Sen. Obama told reporters in Jacksonville, Florida, “when
I’m president, I intend to keep in place the moratorium here in Florida
and around the country that prevents oil companies from drilling off
Florida’s coasts” (read). Obama said offshore oil drilling is “not risky” (read).
- Obama: 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan by summer 2010 (will bring total to about 100,000) (read).
- US-backed Indonesian
armed forces, who carried out a series of assassinations of civilian
activists in late 2009, are slated for renewed aid by the Obama
- US-Backed Somali Troops Prepare Major Offensive (read).
- Obama signs Patriot Act extension without reforms (read).
- Obama unveils plans to build new nuclear power plants (read).
- School bombing exposes Obama’s secret war inside Pakistan (read).
- Obama administration raises stakes on Iran by sending in ships and missiles (read).
- Obama administration steps up arms sales to Persian Gulf allies (read)
- Obama seeking $44 billion increase in military budget – including $5b for nuclear arsenal (read).
- 15 killed in US drone strike in northwest Pakistan (read).
- Blackwater in Pakistan: Gates confirms (read).
- U.S. Moves Missiles And Troops To Russian Border (read).
- France accuses US of ‘occupying’ Haiti as troops flood in (read).
- Obama Ordered U.S. Military Strike on Yemen (read).
- Conservative praise for Obama’s Nobel speech.
“If Bush had said these things the world would be filled with
violent denunciations… when Obama says them, people purr. That is
fine by me.” (read).
- Obama signs military bases agreement with Colombia (read).
- Obama Seeks PATRIOT ACT Extensions (read).
- Administration Seeks to Keep Terror Watch-List Data Secret –As of last Sept., the list included 1.1 million names and aliases corresponding to 400,000 individuals (read).
is not a war of choice, this is a war of necessity. Those who attacked
America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the
Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which
al-Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans. So this is not only a war
worth fighting. This is fundamental to the defense of our people.” (read).
- Obama administration asks Supreme Court to block release of torture photos (read).
- Obama’s Military Is Spying on US Peace Groups, by Amy Goodman (read).
- The Obama
administration has declined requests from U.N. human rights
investigators for information on secret prisons and for private
interviews with inmates at the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo Bay (read).
- Obama announced the nomination of Robert Hormats, a vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International, to a top economic position at the State Department (read).
- Senior Obama Official Backs Cheney and CIA, Says Concealment of Assassin Program Legal (read).
- Some Guantanamo Bay Detainees May Be Held Indefinitely (without prosecution) (read). Also, military tribunals at Gitmo resume (read).
- Obama Goes to Bat for Bush Wiretap Program (read).
- Obama Slides Further Down Bush’s Hill on Indefinite Detention (read).
- About Face: Obama to Proceed with Bush-Era Cybersecurity Plan (read).
- Obama Administration Backs Bush White House on Cheney Interview (read).
- Obama administration seeks to quash suit by 9/11 families (read).
- In his May, 2009 speech in Cairo,
Egypt, Obama denounced retaliation and force in discussing how
Palestinians should respond to Israel. Given that Obama’s
government sells weapons to Israel, has escalated violence in
Afghanistan and has increased the number of drone attacks in Pakistan,
his request of Palestinians is void of any credibility. Obama
also proudly proclaimed that US troops would be out of Iraq by 2012 (as
if three more years is acceptable), and he again did not mention how
many mercenaries would remain, and of course, he didn’t discuss US
military bases in Iraq.
- Obama OK’s Mountaintop Removal.
With the election of Barack Obama, environmentalists expected to see
the end of the “Appalachian apocalypse” — their name for exposing coal
deposits by blowing the tops off of whole mountains. But in recent
weeks, the Obama administration has quietly decided to open the way for
at least two dozen more “mountaintop removal” projects. (read).
- Obama embraces Bush’s immigration policy.
In recent days, for example, the administration has announced it will
expand a $1.1 billion program begun under President George W. Bush to
check the immigration status of virtually all people booked into local
jails over the next four years. Obama will continue a “zero-tolerance”
program that charges and jails any illegal immigrant caught crossing
parts of the U.S.-Mexico border. And the administration will resume
construction of a $8 billion “virtual” fence of tower-mounted sensors
and cameras along the border (read).
- Obama pledges to keep U.S. ‘dominance’: We will maintain Americas military dominance and keep you the finest fighting force the world has ever seen. (read).
- Obama administration sides with Bush, Cheney and Rove in the case of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame (read).
- Obama to Keep Israel’s Nuclear Secrets (read).
- Obama Endorses Indefinite Detention
Without Trial for Some. President Obama acknowledged publicly for the
first time yesterday that some detainees at Guantanamo Bay may have to
be held without trial indefinitely, siding with conservative national
security advocates (read).
- Obama does U-turn on Guantanamo Bay
terror trials – will restart military tribunals for a small number of
Guantanamo detainees, reviving a Bush-era trial system he once assailed
as flawed (read).
- Little Known Military Thug Squad Still Brutalizing Prisoners at Gitmo Under Obama (read).
- Afghan President Hamid Karzai called on the U.S. to halt air strikes in his country (read). Unfortunately, the Obama administration rejected Karzai’s demand and said that U.S. airstrikes will continue (read)
- Obama renews U.S. sanctions on Syria (read).
- Photographs of prisoner abuse which Barack Obama is attempting to censor include images of apparent rape and sexual abuse (read).
- McCain backs Obama (read).
- Obama pledges to protect CIA torture operatives (read).
- President Obama is asking Congress for $83.4 billion in funding for the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The request marks a complete reversal for Obama from two years ago,
when he voted against war funding as a senator under former President
George W. Bush (read).
- Obama Administration Embraces Bush Position on Warrantless Wiretapping and Secrecy (read).
- Replace “Afghanistan”
with “Iraq” and Obama sounds like Bush . Barack Obama made an
impassioned plea to Americas allies to send more troops to Afghanistan, warning that failure to do so would leave Europe vulnerable to more terrorist atrocities (read).
- Obama quietly gave Blackwater $70 million in February, despite Iraq saying it doesn’t want the company there (read).
- President Barack Obama declared today that the United States will maintain our military dominance.
We will have the strongest armed forces in the history of the world.
And we will do whatever it takes to sustain our technological advantage
and to invest in the capabilities that we need to protect our interests
and to defeat and deter any conventional enemy. (read).
- Obama extends sanctions against Iran for one year, saying it continues to pose a threat to US national security (read).
- Even though Obama has repeatedly pledged to ban congressional earmarks, his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has 16 such projects, worth about $8.5 million, in the bill the Senate is considering (read).
- Suspend Military Aid to Israel, Amnesty Urges Obama after Detailing US Weapons Used in Gaza (read).
- Obama backs Bush: No rights for Bagram prisoners (read).
- Obama Sides With Bush: Tries to Kill E-Mail Case (read).
- Obama Expands Missile Strikes Inside Pakistan (read).
- Obama Lets CIA Keep Controversial Renditions Tool (read)
- Obama lawyers set to defend Yoo (read).
- Obama Energy Secretary Nominee: Coal, Nuclear an ‘Important Part’ of Power Mix (read).
- Obama picks Raytheon VP as deputy defense secretary (read).
- Obama attends neo-conservative dinner party with William Kristol, David Brooks, among others (read); but refuses to meet with Hamas or to criticize Israel for Gaza attacks (read).
- “His task, will be to
develop an overall strategy for America in this period, when really a
New World Order can be created. Its a great opportunity it
isn’t’t a crisis. He (Obama) has appointed an
extraordinarily capable group (of advisers and staff) in both foreign
and economic fields” ~ Henry Kissinger (YouTube)
- Obama Wants Bush Pentagon Appointees to Stay (read).
- Cheney lauds Obama’s choice of national security team (read).
- Obama choice of evangelical pastor to give invocation at his inauguration has gay rights groups angry (read).
- Obama’s Pro-Nuclear
Pick for Energy Secretary Steven Chu has a keen interest in energy
efficiency and solar power and other clean forms of renewable energy,
Chu is a staunch advocate of nuclear power (read).
- Obama’s Dept. of Ag. choice Vilsac is pro-GMO.
- Campaign Promises on Ending the War in Iraq Now Muted by Reality
“I said that I would remove our combat troops from Iraq in 16 months,
with the understanding that it might be necessary – likely to be
necessary – to maintain a residual force to provide potential training,
logistical support, to protect our civilians in Iraq,” Mr. Obama said
this week as he introduced his national security team (read).
- Barack Obama’s kettle of hawks
The absence of a solid anti-war voice on Obama’s national security team
means that US foreign policy isn’t going to change – “What does it say
that, with 130 members of the House and 23 in the Senate who voted
against the war, Obama chooses to hire Democrats who made the same
judgment as Bush and McCain?” Neoconservative leader and
former McCain campaign staffer Max Boot summed it up best. “I am
gobsmacked by these appointments, most of which could just as easily
have come from a President McCain,” (Jeremy Scahill, 12/1/08).
- Karl Rove praises Obama’s economic team – “Thanksgiving Cheer From Obama – He’s assembled a first-rate economic team” (read).
- “Hawks For Hillary”
The New Republic: Why Are Conservatives Praising Obama’s Pick For
Secretary Of State? Newt Gingrich, Iraq war architect Richard Perle (read).
- Gov. Janet Napolitano
of Arizona is reportedly set to be offered the position of Homeland
Security secretary. She is a two-term governor, as well as a former US
attorney and state attorney general for Arizona. She was the first
governor to call for National Guard troops to secure the US-Mexico
- President-elect Obama
is also expected to tap billionaire Penny Pritzker to serve as Commerce
secretary. Pritzker is a longtime friend of Obama’s and served as his
national finance chair. Pritzker was involved in running and overseeing
the Illinois-based Superior Bank, which collapsed in 2001. The bank has
been described as being at the forefront of turning subprime loans into securities, the risky practice at the heart of the financial crisis (read).
- Obama sends Madeleine Albright
to represent him at the G20 summit. Albright is the person who,
when told that a half million Iraqi children had died due to sanctions,
said “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the
price is worth it.” (read).
- Obama continued the
fear-mongering that pushes this country into multiple wars when he told
60 Minutes: “I think it’s important to get a national security team in
place because transition periods are potentially times of vulnerability
to a terrorist attack,” (read).
- Obama reportedly to keep Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense (read).
- University of Chicago economist Austan Goolsbee will be U.S. President-elect Barack Obama’s choice to lead the White House economic team (read).
- Obama wants embattled U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman to remain in the Senate Democratic caucus (read), and fellow democrats follow and allow Lieberman to keep a key chairmanship (read).
- Obama vowed to shut down Guantanamo
– this is good news, and maybe something a John McCain presidency
wouldn’t have done. But what is Obama going to do with those held
without charge at Guantanamo? And what about torture centers at Bagram
and Diego Garcia? And will he shut down the School of the
Americas torture training center in Ft. Benning, Georgia? And
what about the torture American prisoners face in US jails?
- Chomsky on Obama appointments
“Obama’s choices to [run his economic team] were Robert Rubin and Larry
Summers from the Clinton–Secretaries of Treasury under Clinton. They
are among the people who are substantially responsible for the crisis.
One leading economist, one of the few economists who has been right all
along in predicting whats happening, Dean Baker, pointed out that
selecting them is like selecting Osama Bin Laden to run the war on
terror.” (read or listen to the entire speech).
- Obama supports $700 billion bailout of toxic financial institutions. (Sep ’08)
- Barack Obama has now declared — to Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, no less — that Bush’s “surge” in Iraq
has “succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.” He also proclaimed his
“absolute” belief in the “War on Terror,” and said “we have to go after
them” (in Pakistan and Afghanistan). (WATCH or READ)
- As riot police were assaulting and
arresting innocent activists outside the Democratic convention, Joe
Biden was inside saying “Barack will put more cops on the street” (Aug ’08)
- Georgia/Russia: Obama sides with Georgia – position similar to Bush and McCain. (Aug ’08)
- Would keep a residual force (possibly 60,000-80,000) in Iraq after 2010 to train military personnel, provide security for U.S. interests and thwart terrorist threats. (Jul ’08)
- “A nuclear Iran
would pose a grave threat and the world must prevent Iran from
obtaining a nuclear weapon,” “Iranians need to understand that whether
it’s the Bush administration or the Obama administration, this is a
paramount concern to the United States,” (Jul ’08)
- Wants 10,000 more troops for Afghanistan. (Jul ’08)
- Making sure Iran
does not have the capability to build a nuclear weapon would be “a
number one priority” in an Obama presidency…. Iran policy must
“combine much tougher threats of economic sanctions with direct
diplomacy,” (Jul ’08)
- Supports legislation granting legal immunity to telecommunications companies that cooperated with the Bush administration’s program of wiretapping without warrants. (Jul ’08)
- Wants to expand faith-based programs. (Jul ’08)
- Voted in favor of $162 billion more for Iraq & Afghanistan wars. (Jun ’08)
- At his first stop after winning the primaries, Obama wore a U.S/Israeli flag lapel pin at AIPAC. (Jun ’08)
- Neoconservative leader William Kristol
said: “Obama’s not for pulling troops back from our forward positions
around the world, with the exception of Iraq. Obama and McCain don’t
actually differ, at least on paper, even on Iran” (Jun ’08)
- Reverses his pledge and opts out of public financing. (Jun ’08)
- “But as president of the United States, I would be willing to lead tough and principled diplomacy with the appropriate Iranian leader at a time and place of my choosing if and only if it can advance the interests of the United States.” (Jun ’08)
- “I have said repeatedly that I think that the death penalty should be applied in very narrow circumstances for the most egregious of crimes,” (Jun ’08)
- Supports a military ‘surge’ in Afghanistan. (May ’08)
- “I will maintain the embargo (on Cuba).
It provides us with … leverage…” “Never, in my lifetime, have
the people of Cuba known freedom. Never, in the lives of two
generations of Cubans, have the people of Cuba known
democracy.” (May ’08; also, read Fidel Castro’s response)
- Obama Exposed: Facts about Obama from the African People’s Solidarity Committee
- “I think that when you look back at George H.W. Bush’s
foreign policy, it was a wise foreign policy. In how we executed the
Gulf War, how we managed the transition out of the Cold War, I think
it’s an example of how we can get bipartisan agreement.” (Apr ’08)
- Would “take no options off the table when it comes to preventing [Iran]
from using nuclear weapons or obtaining nuclear weapons, and that would
include any threats directed at Israel or any of our allies in the
region.” (Apr ’08)
- “The truth is that my foreign policy
is actually a return to the traditional bipartisan realistic policy of
George Bush’s father, of John F. Kennedy, of, in someways, Ronald
Reagan.” (Mar ’08)
- Said the 2008 violence in Gaza was the result of Hamas’ decision to launch rocket attacks on Israeli civilians (Mar ’08)
- Said the US should not meet with (the democratically elected) Hamas leadership (Mar ’08)
- Would not rule out using mercenaries (private military companies) like Blackwater in Iraq. (Feb ’08)
- Said that US troops should be “relieved of the burden of policing someone else’s civil war,” and that Iraqis need “to take responsibility for their own future.” (Jan ’08)
- He skipped the vote on Attorney General Michael Mukasey. (Nov ’07)
- “It is important to have tough sanctions on Iran, particularly on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which supports terrorism,” (Oct ’07)
- Voted to expand NAFTA to Peru. (Oct ’07)
- Would not pledge to have all troops out of Iraq by the end of his first-term. (Sep ’07)
- Was “a strong supporter of the war in Afghanistan”. (Aug ’07)
- “I strongly support the expansion of our ground forces by adding 65,000 soldiers to the Army and 27,000 Marines.” (Apr ’07)
- “We lead the world in battling
immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good,” said Obama.
“We must lead by building a 21st-century military… to advance the security of all people.” (Apr ’07)
- “No President should ever hesitate to use force unilaterally if necessary to protect ourselves and our vital interests when we are attacked or imminently threatened.” (Apr ’07)
- Said the United States must be willing to strike al Qaeda targets inside Pakistan. (Apr ’07)
- “[W]e must preserve our total commitment to our unique defense relationship with Israel
by fully funding military assistance and … related missile defense
programs, he said. This would help Israel maintain its military edge
and deter and repel attacks from as far as Tehran and as close as
Gaza.” (Mar ’07)
- Voted for Robert Gates (of the Iran-Contra scandal) to be Defense Secretary. (Dec ’06)
- “[L]aunching some missile strikes into Iran
is not the optimal position for us to be in given the ongoing war in
Iraq. On the other hand, having a radical Muslim theocracy in
possession of nuclear weapons is worse. So I guess my instinct would be
to err on not having those weapons in the possession of the ruling
clerics of Iran.” (Oct ’06)
- Voted for building a fence along the U.S./Mexican border. (Sep ’06)
- Said the government must crack down on employers who hire ‘illegal immigrants’. (Sep ’06)
- Supported Israel’s war against Lebanon. (Aug ’06)
- Voted for Patriot Act II. (Mar ’06)
- Voted for Bush’s 2005 energy bill which sent billions of dollars in subsidies to oil companies. (Jun ’05)
- Voted to allow credit card companies to raise interest rates to over 30%. (Mar ’05)
- “Military strikes on Pakistan should not be ruled out if violent Islamic extremists were to take over” (Sep ’04)
- “[T]he big question is going to be, if Iran
is resistant to these pressures [to stop its nuclear program],
including economic sanctions, which I hope will be imposed if they do
not cooperate, at what point . . . if any, are we going to take
military action?” (Sep ’04)
- “There’s not much of a difference between my position and George Bush’s position” on Iraq. (Jul ’04)
- Said it was time “to end the embargo with Cuba” because it had “utterly failed in the effort to overthrow Castro.” (Jan ’04)
- Two weeks after the Iraq war started he said, we “absolutely want to make sure that the troops have sufficient support to be able to win.” (Mar ’03)
- “I am not opposed to all wars, I’m opposed to dumb wars.” (Oct ’02)