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Obama's backtracking and the politics of torture

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by rhadamanthus, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Member

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    Not sure where else to put this, but here is an excellent (and long) article from GQ on Holder and Obama's slow abandonment of his principles and commitments.

    Hope. Change. Reality.

    Excerpts:

    Above anything else, this is Obama's number one failing, his primary lie in the campaign. He has repeatedly protected the previous administration, and effectively endorsed every torture policy Bush put into place. He has, similarly, pardoned (for all intents and purposes) those who obviously and intentionally committed crimes.

    For those complaining about my "lost vote" in the deficit thread, this is much more in the forefront in my mind. And it's totally indefensible.
     
    #1 rhadamanthus, Nov 12, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010
  2. jo mama

    jo mama Member

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    you arent going libertarian on us are you? :cool:
     
  3. SunsRocketsfan

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    Libertarians FTW
     
  4. SunsRocketsfan

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    well in all seriousness I realized it really doesn't matter who is in power. They really are all quite the same. I don't get why one side gets so worked up the other side won. Will it really affect your personal life and change any of the policies? How different has Obama really been from Bush? We probably would be in a very similar situation as we are in now if Bush was still in power instead of Obama. But instead of having pissed off folks from one side we will get it from the other side.
     
  5. SunsRocketsfan

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    and back to the topic. Never a advocate for torture although sometimes in really heinous crimes I sometimes feel someone deserves to be tortured. Anyways I can see the reasons why the Obama administration doesn't want to pursue prosecuting individuals in the past since they don't want to further divide the country and alienate people.
     
  6. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Member
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    I am disappointed that the Obama Admin. hasn't prosecuted members of the previous Admin. but at the same time can fully understand why they didn't. The spectre of the Obama Admin. prosecuting members of the previous Admin. might very well paralyze government at a time when he was dealing with a struggling economy and trying to get health care passed.
     
  7. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Member
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    We have a health care bill passed. I would say that is pretty different than the previous Admin..
     
  8. DFWRocket

    DFWRocket Member

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    He may also be privy to information that he previously had no knowledge of when he was a candidate - its easy for the rest of us to critique the President..but honestly we probably don't know a 10th of the information he uses when making decisions - Especially involving foreign affairs, the wars, and intelligence.
     
  9. weslinder

    weslinder Member

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    For what win?
     
  10. Bandwagoner

    Bandwagoner Member

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    After it passed I remember you saying you wished it had not been because it was so weak?
     
  11. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Member

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    Translation:

    "I know what they did was illegal and morally reprehensible. I acknowledge that innocent men were tortured, and all our most basic civil liberties ignored. I know that those who conducted this affair deserve to be prosecuted.

    But I, like the president, choose cowardice instead of conviction. After all, this may have hurt his chances at reelection and made the republicans upset."
     
  12. dylan

    dylan Member

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    Now that's just not fair. I completely agree with you that Obama's backtracking on civil liberties/torture reform has destroyed whatever hope I had for his presidency but quoting what rocketsjudoka said and "translating" it like that is dishonest. It is not a matter of cowardice to decide that healthcare and economic stimulus is more important than torture, etc. It is a shifting of priorities. As I said, I think it is a bad shifting of priories, and I think it would have been best for America if Obama had truly gone after the previous administration, TSA, Patriot Act, etc, but it is not necessarily about cowardice or getting re-elected.
     
  13. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Member
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    He probably does but I wouldn't just dismiss what he does based on the idea that he knows more than we do. As a voters we have to make decisions based on what we know.
     
  14. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Member
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    I think you might be confusing me with another poster. I have stated that the law was weak but I didn't say I was hoping it hadn't passed.
     
  15. Major

    Major Member

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    Either that, or he decided that 40 million people having health care was more important than criminal prosecutions. You seem a lot like glynch in this regard - you seem more interested in fighting the fight than getting results. I think Obama is the opposite - his goal is to get stuff done, rather than fight on principle and get nothing done.

    In case you didn't notice, the choice he made - to get 40 million people health care - also hurt his chances at re-election and made Republicans upset. So the idea that he just made a purely political calculation doesn't hold up with the facts.
     
  16. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Member
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    Its not his chances for reelection its his chances for getting all the other stuff that he campaigned on. The sad truth is that most Presidents only get a short window of time to get something big done before they expend most of their political capital. It is highly unlikely things like health care or much else gets done while prosecuting the previous Admin.. You can call it cowardice but then you have to decide was Obama elected to try to enact an agenda or was he elected to exact justice on the previous Admin.?
     
  17. DonkeyMagic

    DonkeyMagic Member
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    i would say that was torture.
     
  18. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Member
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    Well put as usual. Other posters have frequently railed that Obama spent too much time and political capital on Health Care rather than just focusing solely on the economy. Others have complained about him not spending more effort on energy independence. While Obama ran on all of those things Health Care was the one that the Democrats considered the most critical.

    While perhaps many wanted Obama to prosecute the previous Admin. I don't think that was even a major issue for Obama and if I recall correctly he ruled out prosecutions of people like GW Bush and Cheney even during the campaign. For as much as Obama's campaign themes were vague it should also be clear that they weren't about exacting justice on the previous Admin..
     
  19. ghettocheeze

    ghettocheeze Member

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    This the number one reason why Obama is losing the vote of confidence among the American people. Obama ramped up the Anti-Bush rhetoric to such an extent that he set himself up to be in opposition of every single Bush policy. But then he gets elected and what does he do? He follows pretty much everything the previous admin did in carrying out the war on terrorism. But Obama's greatest weakness now is that his policies do not match his rhetoric and his constant attack on Bush. The nail on the coffin is his public approval to assassinate American citizens without due process while he continue to publicly demands blood of the Bush DOJ for what seem like petty crimes in comparison such as water-boarding and suspension of habeas corpus.

    People have seen that now and they are having buyers remorse. Obama would have been wiser to recognize that carrying out the war on terror is a tremendously difficult job which requires the president to make same very tough choices. I think in the long run, history will be much kinder to Bush than it will be to Obama. For Bush had the strength to stand tall and face the criticism for doing what was necessary in the war on terror. Ob]n the other hand, Obama is stuck at a point where his word and campaign promises do not match his actions and policies. That is a weakness which will plague the rest of his presidency.
     
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  20. DonkeyMagic

    DonkeyMagic Member
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