The Open Dimension

Commentary on social issues; politics; religion and spirituality

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Location: Laguna Hills, California, United States

I am a semi-retired psychotherapist/psychiatric social worker and certified hypnotherapist. Originally a practicing attorney, I changed careers during the 1980's. My interests include history, constitutional law, Hindustani classical music, yoga, meditation and spirituality.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Barack Obama : High Above Human and Divine Law

Osama bin Laden was a fanatical mass murderer who believed that his grievances against American imperialism justified the indiscriminate killing of thousands of civilians, American and non-American. Bin Laden's reprehensible career came to an abrupt end yesterday- at the hands of Barack Obama- or rather, at the hands of Obama's most elite assassination team, a special unit of the Navy Seals.

Obama wasted no time in sauntering down the red carpet of the White-House East Room to announce the demise of bin Laden to the world. Obama indicated that bin Laden had been shot to death "after a fire fight"- not during a gun battle but "after." I think that it would be more than a safe bet to assume that Obama had ordered bin Laden to be executed and that that had been done. My question is whether Obama had the right to assassinate him or whether he should have had him captured and arrested and brought to justice before the eyes of the world.I don't have much more to say about bin Laden. But I do have some comments regarding Barack Obama and his predecessor, George W. Bush.

The American presidency has largely become a refuge for sociopathic misfits. If you've got very little conscience and are deep into the pockets of Wall Street and the major corporations and you can lie and fabricate with a winning style, then the White House may well be in your future. There was Nixon with his burglaries and hush money and obstructions of justice. There was Clinton with his Oval Office sexual infidelities, his perjuries and his deregulatory handing over of the country to Wall Street and the major corporations. Clinton turned the American people into economic serfs for generations to come. And then we had George W. Bush with his phoney wars of blood for oil, slaughtering hundreds of thousands of human beings for no reason at all. Bush, with his redistribution of the wealth of the nation to one percent of the population. Bush, whose lies and fear-mongering created a nation of insecure subjects all-too-willing to give up their rights and privileges and surrender to the agents of the corporate agenda. Bush, who placed the nation into well-nigh insurmountable debt.

And now we have Barack Obama. Yes, I voted for him, as I've admitted- probably too often. But within a few weeks of Obama's inauguration I was writing blogs urging Progressives and others to re-assess Obama in view of what increasingly appeared to be developing into a neo-Bushian mode of governance. ( See )

Obama is The Great Pretender. His basic mode of operation runs something like this: "Let me appear to be doing this, but let me really be doing that." Or, more particularly: "Let me appear to be serving the interests of the American public, but let me really be catering to the greed for unlimited profit of Wall Street and the major corporations which put me in office." Take a serious look at Obama's purported "health-care reform" and "financial reform" and see whose interests they really serve. Americans are paying more and more for less and less with each dawning day. And take a look at how active Obama really was in defending the bargaining rights of public employees in Wisconsin and in other states- a complete no-show despite his campaign rhetoric. And how much has his establishment of a state of permanent warfare made for the banks and war industries? Approaching $2 trillion to date.

And how many have died for the profit of Obama's corporate backers? God only knows.But what is human life when compared to ever-increasing profit?That's the point we've arrived at.And it's very sad indeed.

Barack Obama is a graduate of Harvard Law School. What were they teaching there when Obama was a student? That war crimes should not be prosecuted? I don't think so. That devastating financial fraud should be exempt from legal process? I hardly think so. That summary assassination is the proper remedy for terrorists and suspected terrorists even if they happen to be American citizens?No, I wouldn't want to slander Harvard. Yet Obama has not prosecuted one Bushian war criminal. Obama has not prosecuted one Wall-Street thief. And he has issued kill orders against American citizens suspected of terrorist activities. This man is truly trigger happy. This man doesn't have even a child's idea of right and wrong. And this is a lawyer and a Harvard lawyer to boot? Is this really what Harvard has been teaching : Do not prosecute crimes and kill freely to avoid legal complications? No, Harvard would certainly not teach that, but Obama learned it somewhere- perhaps from George W. Bush, who appears more and more to have been Obama's true mentor.

The number of human beings killed as the result of Bush's unjustified wars and Obama's escalation of that warfare will no doubt be never known; but it has to approach one million. All for misdirected revenge and vainglory and corporate profit.

And the blood on Bush's and Obama's hands will never wash off despite their lies and their pompous self-justifications. These two should be shunned as pariahs by every American of good conscience.

I was heartened to see that many families of 9/11 victims experienced some degree of closure at the news of bin Laden's death. But I have never been much of a believer in "closure." Grief and sorrow remain and the world is never the same after such bereavement.

Would the relief of these families have been of similar degree had they seen bin Laden captured and arrested and taken away in shackles to face the courts of justice? I'm not sure.

The one thing I am sure of is that we can't afford to become as bad or worse than our enemies. And we have already made far too many "exceptions" to the rule of law, particularly under the administrations of Bush and Obama.

Barack Obama made a campaign speech in which he stated that, if bin Laden were located, his priority would be "to kill bin Laden." The video of the speech was presented on one of the cable channels yesterday. Obama hasn't delivered on many of his campaign promises. Did he make sure to make good on that one?

What were Obama's precise orders regarding the assault? Attempt to capture - and kill only if necessary? Don't take him alive? Was bin Laden armed and/or firing when he was shot? And so forth. The truth will probably never be revealed, but the questions need to be asked pointedly and persistently.

And we need to ask ourselves: Do we really believe in the rule of law or not? Are Americans presidents permitted to execute whom they will? Is what may be permitted during a declared war also allowed during what has been loosely referred to as a "war?" --- the "war on terror"; "the war on drugs"; etc. (clearly not I would say). The questions are manifold.

The larger question may well be: "Why should we care?" My answer to that is that if the law is only applied if convenient, then in effect there is no law at all. And sooner or later any one of us is liable to become a victim one way or another.

We need to do much less accepting and far more questioning -- serious questioning.