Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Repulsive Progressive Hypocrisy

It's the same title as the one in the Salon article by Glenn Greenwald from which I got the inspiration for this entry. In short, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, so-called "progressives" are lined up behind Obama's war on terrorism. Which, it must be observed, is even more repulsive than George W. Bush's--and that is saying something. Here are the basics: 53 percent of so-called liberal Democrats support keeping Guantanamo prison open and filled with suspected terrorists. Remember when that place was an affront to the Constitution? Remember when Obama with great fanfare on his first day in office signed papers to close the prison within a year? Well, that's all gone. The used-to-be symbol of blatant disregard for civil liberties enshrined in our foundational document is now part of Obama's policy.

Even worse, from my perspective, is the fact that fully 77 percent--savor that number--of so-called liberal Democrats approve of Obama's extensive use of drones to kill suspected enemies and innocents alike.
Obama has used drones to kill Muslim children and innocent adults by the hundreds. He has refused to disclose his legal arguments for why he can do this or to justify the attacks in any way. He has even had rescuers and funeral mourners deliberately targeted. As [Bush CIA and NSA chief Michael] Hayden said: ”Right now, there isn’t a government on the planet that agrees with our legal rationale for these operations, except for Afghanistan and maybe Israel.”
And the crowning offense, he has even suborned the killing of American citizens via drones without due process of law. Hell, when Bush was in office, liberals went nuts over his eavesdropping on citizens without a court order, now by a count of over sixty-five percent in favor, they approve of executing US citizens without due process.

All of this just disturbs me no end. For if a Democratic president employs such extraordinary unconstitutional means to wage war, what in heavens name will this allow future presidents of either party to do in secret without the slightest pretense of legality? I just never tire of repeatedly pointing out that one of war's most horrifying aspects is the way it dehumanizes its participants. Every war does this. It turns humans into animals,* and it doesn't matter whether the participant is on the battlefield or sitting in the Oval Office.

It's the height of hypocrisy to damn the actions of the other guy when your guy does the same and even worse. It's shameful, and I won't do it. And I'm glad there's an outcry about this from the true remaining progressives in this country.

*A stock phrase, which I'm actually sorry to lose because it risks insulting animals, who are far more honorable than human beings.
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