Sunday, April 24, 2011

Guilty, I Say . . . and Not Even a "Whoops"

Why not just hang a sign around his neck that says "Guilty" or maybe a tatoo on his forehead. Or let's put a sign over his cage that he's a guilty man. Remember Bradley Manning, the guy the military has had locked up without charges for almost a year now in the Wikileaks case? Well, our president probably thinks some public proclamation of Manning's guilty is probably a fine idea. After all, he's publicly pronounced the man guilty himself. In answer to a question about Bradley Manning after a speech he'd given at a Democratic fundraiser, Obama had this to say:
We're a nation of laws. We don't let individuals make their own decisions about how the laws operate. He broke the law.
Can you believe this? Glenn Greenwald and a number of others could not either. Greenwald scoffs at the idea that Obama should invoke the old "we're a nation of laws" chestnut.
But even more fascinating is Obama's invocation of America's status as a "nation of laws" to justify why Manning must be punished. That would be a very moving homage to the sanctity of the rule of law -- if not for the fact that the person invoking it is the same one who has repeatedly engaged in the most extraordinary efforts to shield Bush officials from judicial scrutiny, investigation, and prosecution of every kind for their war crimes and surveillance felonies. Indeed, the Orwellian platitude used by Obama to justify that immunity -- Look Forward, Not Backward -- is one of the greatest expressions of presidential lawlessness since Richard Nixon told David Frost that "it's not illegal if the President does it."
 Why don't we just declare Obama a lost cause and be done with it? The only thing worse in the White House is one of these psycho Republicans, which, I might observe is about all that party has to offer these days.
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