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by Quasit

The Day That NPR Lost Me

2:37 pm in Uncategorized by Quasit

A week or two ago I was doing the dishes and listening to NPR. It was a panel show, four experts chatting with a host. The topic was the Obama Administration’s drone warfare program.

As I busily washed the dishes, it slowly occurred to me that everyone on the show approved of the current drone program. Even the representative from a so-called human rights organization praised drones as superior to the alternative. And all of them agreed that the the only alternative to drone assassinations was all-out total warfare with massive artillery fire.

But that dichotomy is pure bullshit! Drones are being used to kill some people, including American citizens and minors, who are far from a battlefield and not engaged in action against the United States. It’s almost certain that in many cases such persons could be arrested and tried, if that was even appropriate. And in any case, the drone program is unaccountable to anyone – it gives the sole, godlike power of life and death to the Chief Executive and anyone that he designates – secretly, if he so chooses (and he does so choose).

We had a revolution against a King who faced far more strict checks and balances. And now? We’re entrusting absolute power – life and death without trial, accountability, or even public awareness – to an office which virtually every American will agree could be won at any election by some utterly irresponsible hack. Yet not a word is being breathed against this insane development.

The thing that really sent a chill down my spine was that not a single one of NPR’s experts or the host said one single WORD about the morality of the drone program. All they did was share happy horseshit about how good it was, how necessary unrestricted drone assassinations were to maintain global order and the global economy.

The final nail in the coffin came a few hours later. I was driving in the car, listening to another NPR news show. The announcer was discussing the nomination of John Brennan as CIA director. He proclaimed, with an indulgent chuckle in his voice, that Brennan embraced “tough interrogation practices just like Vice President Dick Cheney”. At that moment I snapped. If someone had offered me the chance to watch that fatuous news-whore undergoing “tough interrogation practices” – or rather, since I’m not a whore and will call it what it is, torture – I would have seriously considered it.

But since the option wasn’t available, I reprogrammed my NPR pre-sets to music stations. They’ve lost me for good. It’s all I can do, and I’m all too aware that it won’t do a thing to stop the rapid transformation of the USA into a brutal surveillance and torture state. But I won’t stand by and listen to the elite’s propaganda as everything falls apart.

I’m absolutely furious at what’s been done to our national principles. I won’t support torture, a surveillance state, or assassination. That’s not the America that I was born into, and I did not agree to this. Read the rest of this entry →

by Quasit

The Constitutional Case for the Impeachment of Barack Obama

8:36 pm in Uncategorized by Quasit

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” – US Constitution, Article Two, Section One, Clause Eight (1)

President Barack Obama stands in repeated and flagrant violation of his Presidential oath of office. Specifically, he has violated the Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2):

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.” (2) (emphasis added)

The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was signed by President Ronald Reagan on April 18, 1988. It was ratified by the United States Senate on October 27, 1990 (4). Although there is a mechanism in the Convention to allow signatories to denounce and thereby withdraw from the convention (Part I, Article 31), the United States has not done so. Part I, Article 12 of the Convention clearly states that

“Each State Party shall ensure that its competent authorities proceed to a prompt and impartial investigation, wherever there is reasonable ground to believe that an act of torture has been committed in any territory under its jurisdiction.”

Rather than investigating allegations of torture, however, the Obama Administration has done little to hide its deliberate attempts to hinder such investigations. Photographic evidence has been destroyed. (5) Videotaped evidence has been willfully destroyed despite judicial injunctions forbidding that destruction; although the destruction took place before President Obama assumed office, he has refused to authorize a meaningful investigation of that destruction and prosecution of the offenders. (6)

Recent revelations from Wikileaks have shown that the Obama Administration even colluded with Republican Senator Mel Martinez of Florida to intimidate the judiciary of Spain in order to suppress their investigation of alleged US acts of torture (7). This goes far beyond mere failure to investigate torture – it is, in fact, a willful act to protect torturers. There have also been many additional allegations of torture, including most recently the mistreatment of detainee Bradley Manning.

By repeatedly violating the United Nations Convention Against Torture, President Obama has violated the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution. He is in direct violation of his oath of office. Therefore it is the Constitutional obligation of each and every member of the House of Representatives (per their own oaths of office) to begin impeachment proceedings.

That they have not and will not does not remove their legal and moral responsibility to do so. By refusing to take action, the House has declared itself and the Presidency above the law. A tacit conspiracy, intentional or not, between the legislative and executive branches, and between the Democratic and Republican Parties, has cemented into place the foundations of a tyranny far more absolute and brutal than that of King George III.

The state of the union is dire, if not terminal.

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1) Presidential Oath of Office – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oath_of_office_of_the_President_of_the_United_States
2) Supremacy Clause – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supremacy_Clause
3)  United Nations Convention Against Torture – http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/cat.htm
4) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torture_and_the_United_States
5) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/05/binyam-mohamed-guantanamo-evidence-photographs
6) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/17/washington/17intel.html
7) WikiLeaks: How U.S. tried to stop Spain’s torture probe – http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/12/25/105786/wikileaks-how-us-tried-to-stop.html