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.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Barack Obama : Law Reformer

One of President Obama's greatest accomplishments has in my opinion been given too little attention, even by the corporate media, which have generally been so supportive of him. I am speaking of Mr. Obama's singular successes in the area of law reform. I believe that history will attest to the fact that Barack Obama will have shown himself to be a true revolutionary, a guiding light, in reforming antiquated concepts of law and justice which had been hampering the progress of our nation.It would require volumes to describe fully Mr. Obama's law-reform accomplishments; in the interest of brevity I will outline only a sampling of what I will designate as "Obama's New Principles of Law."

Obama's New Principles of Law

1.) The President Has The Right To Determine An American Citizen's Guilt Even Before Trial And Conviction.

President Obama had the wisdom to keep Bradley Manning in solitary confinement for months after Manning had been accused of leaking confidential Pentagon records to the website Wikileaks. Several witnesses described the conditions under which Manning was being held as torture. At a recent fundraiser the president was confronted by a group of demonstrators who were protesting Manning's treatment. President Obama responded that Manning "broke the law" and that therefore his retention in solitary was appropriate. Well, the corporate media didn't report Mr. Obama's remarks, but somehow some bleeding hearts caught wind of it all and got all aflutter, complaining that Obama had "pre-judged the case" and was "presuming an accused person to be guilty," and so forth. The whole controversy was no doubt provoked by Pacifica or one of those fringey stations. Can't these people understand that President Obama was just attempting not to waste time and to get to the justice of a matter without legal complications? Manning may be an American citizen entitled to "due process," but the fact is that he embarrassed the Obama administration. Isn't that the fact? So who better than our president to decide his guilt or innocence and to mete out the appropriate punishment? My advice is not to get involved in this kind of thing. Just go shopping and let our rulers do what they need to do. And please memorize this first principle and all the Obama Principles to follow.

2.) The President Has The Right To Order The Execution Of American Citizens Suspected Of Terrorist Activities.

No extensive discussion is required here. The president has the intelligence resources to know who is guilty and who is not. Accordingly, President Obama has issued "kill orders" against Americans whom he has deemed culpable. Again, expediency is the issue here. Arrests, prosecutions and imprisonments are simply too costly and time-consuming, and President Obama has the decisiveness to know how these matters need to be handled. Don't be concerned. Just be a bit careful in terms of becoming a suspect. For instance, be careful about making charitable contributions: An innocent-appearing agency may in fact be linked to terrorist sympathizers. Contributing to such an agency could get you on the wrong list --- and on the wrong end of a bullet. But don't worry - It may just get you on the no-fly list. President Obama knows how to judge these matters.

3.) Moving-Forward Is A Valid Defense Against Prosecution For Criminal Activity.

This was the first principle announced by President Obama shortly after his inauguration. And what a superbly all-embracing principle it is. Yes, it may be that in November of 1994 the United States adopted the Convention Against Torture as the law of the land and that every act constituting torture under the Convention was made a criminal offense under the law of the United States and no exceptional circumstances may be invoked as a justification for torture - Yes- That is the law. But President Obama from the first recognized the need to be realistic. Both Bush and Cheney admitted to authorizing torture and a host of military and civilian personnel appear clearly to have been involved in torture during the Bush years. But what was President Obama to do? Initiate investigations and criminal prosecutions? Would that have put a feather in the cap of American exceptionalism? Would that have been pleasing to Mr. Obama's Wall-Street and corporate backers, particularly the war industries? Of course not. And so President Obama announced the principle of moving-forward : We should ignore serious criminal activity if said activity should be embarrassing to the United States and/or if the prosecution of said criminal activity should be displeasing to a president's corporate funders. Do you see the perfect sense of Mr. Obama's decision? Are we going to get bogged down in medieval concepts of truth and justice or are we going to get ourselves re-elected? Let us move forward. Truly a transcendent vision, Mr. President.

4.) War-making Is A Presidential Prerogative And Congress Need Not Be Consulted Nor Its Approval Sought.

Yes, there is a law requiring the president to consult with Congress and secure its approval within a prescribed time limit before engaging in a foreign war. President Obama did not consult with Congress or secure its approval with regard to Libya, and a few liberals, most notably Dennis Kucinich, are talking about impeachment. Kucinich is clearly opposed to the LIbyan operation, but there are even some who, though in favor of the military intervention, believe that Mr. Obama should have gotten Congressional approval first. Mr. Obama has not troubled himself much with the matter, merely issuing a rather vague statement to the effect that he has been "in conformity" with relevant law. That's the spirit, Mr. President. You don't need to explain yourself to Congress or go kowtowing to them. Look at their popularity rate. And if you started taking all these laws seriously all you'd be doing would be getting legal briefings on every move you made all day. George W. Bush had the right idea about the law --- so many pieces of paper.

5.) First-Degree Murder Is Permissible If The Victim Is A Bad Guy.

This is one of President Obama's most innovative and decisive law reforms. I have been gratified to see that there has been very little criticism of President Obama's handling of the Bin Laden raid. We just don't waste chains and handcuffs on a bad guy like Bin Laden. Yes, he was unarmed and could have been easily arrested and confined by about 25 Navy Seals. But that was not President Obama's order. Armed or unarmed, Bin Laden was to be shot and killed - period. Bin Laden was a monumental bad guy, and Mr. Obama's law reform would appear to dictate that common-law and statutory prohibitions against first-degree murder do not apply where such a bad guy is concerned. Mr. Obama's reform will I'm sure come to be known as the "bad-guy exception" to first-degree murder. And let's be frank, if you were Mr. Obama would you want to go down in history as the man who arrested Osama Bin Laden or the man who killed Osama Bin Laden? No contest. And, look, don't worry. Unless you can be defined as a bad guy, anyone who kills you with premeditation can be prosecuted for first-degree murder --- well, unless he comes under another Obama exception. I'll tell you one thing : Anyone considered by our president to be a bad guy better be shaking in his or her boots - It's open season and the posse is on its way.

6.) Anti-War Protestors And Government-Agency Whistleblowers Are Grave Threats To The Nation And Should Be Investigated And Prosecuted To The Full Extent Of The Law.

The corporate media have given little or no attention to President Obama's valiant efforts to hunt down and prosecute anti-war activists and government whistleblowers. The public is generally unaware that anti-war activists across the nation have been subjected to home invasions and detentions by the FBI during these Obama years. Excellent work getting the best of these crazy throwbacks to the 1960s, Mr. President. And Mr. Obama has initiated the most extensive anti-whistleblower campaign in American history. Transparency may be one thing, but embarrassing the Obama administration is quite another. Isn't that right, Mr. President? I am so glad to see that Mr. Obama has done so much to preserve the legacy of Richard M. Nixon.

Well, let's keep moving forward.

( Note: An excellent resource for research into many of the issues discussed in this blog is )