Prev-IndexNL-Next

Nederlog


 
May 31, 2013
Crisis: Obama vs Nixon
"There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel."
   (V. I. Lenin)
"Politics, as the word is commonly understood, are nothing but corruptions."
   (Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on various subjects)






Prev- crisis -Next
Sections
Introduction
1. Obama vs Nixon
2. What do I think of it?
About ME/CFS


Introduction:

I believe I am still somewhat paying back my walk of 5 weeks ago, but I also seem to be getting out of it.

Then again, I keep sleeping too little, which is pretty frustrating because it diminishes my chances of recovering somewhat and because it is difficult to fight against because it may have several reasons: M.E., keratoconjunctivitis sicca, and the mB12 protocol, to name the three most prominent.

Anyway. For the moment a piece about who is worse: Obama or Nixon - which is not such a badly posed question as the naive readers may believe, because Obama has realized very little of his promised "Change!" ("Yes, we can!",
"YES, WE CAN!"), and because of various other reasons of which I will now only deal with one.

1.
Obama vs Nixon

My source is a piece on Democracy Now! called
that you'll find under the link. I will quote some of it, but should tell you that my original source is Alternet.org, and it seems as if Democracy Now! has presented its original as a video.

Also, I am deleting most things about Assange, because this complicates my own story, and also because Democracy Now! has a fine video about him, which is an intersting interview with him of 40 minutes, that you'll find here
So to the real subject of this piece: Is Obama worse than Nixon? The question is less bad than either fanatic Democrats or laid back persons might be inclined to think.

To sketch in the background, I quote from the beginning of the interview, after qualifying that - at least here - the comparison is specifically about Obama's treatment of the press, and not in general terms about policies, or about other policies, both of which are (or at least: seem) to be quite different.

The background Democracy Now! gives starts as follows - and I have made some links to Wikipedia e.g. for my readers who are too young to recall this:

The Justice Department’s disclosure that it had secretly subpoenaed phone records from the Associated Press has prompted a wave of comparisons between President Obama and Richard Nixon. Four decades ago, the Nixon administration attempted to block The New York Times from publishing a secret history of the Vietnam War leaked to the newspaper by whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. Two days after the Times first published excerpts of what became known as the "Pentagon Papers," the Nixon government asked for and received a Supreme Court injunction against the newspaper, arguing that publication of the documents posed a "grave and immediate danger to the security of the United States."
Here I do suppose my readers to know about the subpoenaing of the phone records of Associated Press.

Next, in the same original paragraph Democracy Now! introduces its main subject - and again I've added links to Wikipedia, and also to the Journalism Press's blurb on the internet about Mr. Goodale's book, that was published on April 30, 2013.

And since this is really important, here is the text of the
First Amendment to the Constitution, where the latter is the supreme law of the United States:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Finally, for those who may think Mr. Goodale may be young and naive: He is a former Vice Chairman of the New York Times; a leading First Amendment lawyer, and will be 80 in a less than 4 weeks. 
We speak to James Goodale, the general counsel at The New York Times during the Pentagon Papers crackdown. Goodale is a leading legal expert on the First Amendment and has just published a new book, "Fighting for the Press: The Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles." Goodale said he wrote the book in part because of the work of Julian Assange of the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, and how he is likely being targeted by the U.S. government in an ongoing grand jury probe. "My book is meant to be a clarion call to the journalist community: Wake up! There’s danger out there," Goodale says. "You may not like Assange, but wake up! The First Amendment is really going to be damaged. If Obama goes forward and succeeds, he will have succeeded where Nixon failed."
Next, I suppress rather a lot, including a perfectly justified, clear, reasonable set of four polite questions to president Obama, that started with "I'd like to ask you about the Justice Department".

But I'll quote all of the President's answer:

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, yeah, I’ll let you guys engage in those comparisons. And you can go ahead and read the history, I think, and draw your own conclusions. My concern is making sure that if there’s a problem in the government, that we fix it. That’s my responsibility. And that’s what we’re going to do.
I hope you found that as enlightening as I did. I skip a goodly amount, and arrive at Mr  Goodale:
JAMES GOODALE: (..) And the theory was that the New York Times reporter conspired with those antiwar protesters, and he was going to indict them for conspiracy. 

So, now, fast-forward. What is Obama doing? He’s convened a grand jury. We haven’t heard about it; I think it’s still there. I think it may have even indicted Assange in secrecy. But what’s the charge? Conspiracy.
The main reason is - by the way - that conspiracy is a much easier trial than the alternative charge espionage, and that anyway the press is unlikely, in the present climate, to get more access than they get in the trial against Bradley Manning, where they have almost no access, and, if they do, no right to make notes (!).

I skip a brief bit and arrive at more by Mr Goodale:
So, my book is meant to be a clarion call to the journalist community: Wake up! There’s danger out there. You may not like Assange, but wake up! The First Amendment is really going to be damaged, if Obama goes forward. And as I said at the beginning of the show, if he does and succeeds, he will have succeeded where Nixon failed.
And that is the comparison Obama vs Nixon - that may sound a lot more reasonable now. Here is a final bit by Mr Goodale, though not the the end of the interview, and with an initial bit surpressed, but with the information that the first "he" = Julian Assange:

JAMES GOODALE: (..) And he’s quite right about talking about the threat to journalism with respect to the way Obama is going about prosecuting him. What lawyers like to say is that if in fact the prosecution goes forward, as Julian Assange has said, it criminalizes news gathering, because I talk to you and ask you to give me a secret, or anything, but in fact that anything may be classified; we’re all both going to go off to the hoosegow. And, you know, Obama has classified, I think, seven million—in one year, classified seven million documents. Everything is classified. So that would give the government the ability to control all its information on the theory that it’s classified. And if anybody asks for it and gets it, they’re complicit, and they’re going to go to jail. So that criminalizes the process, and it means that the dissemination of information, which is inevitable, out of the classified sources of that information will be stopped.

Here it should be noted that Mr Goodale is a lawyer, and he mentioned another crazy thing Obama has done, apart from subpoenaing the Associated Press's records, telephone conversations etc.: He has classified, in one year, seven million governmental documents.

So there you are: The government of the United States has classified very much information, the discussion or mere publication of which will make the reporters who are doing this almost certain to go to jail.

2. What do I think of it?

You may not think this is very serious, or think that Mr Goodale is selling a book, or think that if he is not very young, he is very old, and more such things.

I think that he is quite right to worry, though indeed not quite for his own specific reasons, at least not those he stated.

My own reasons are that I do not trust Obama. In fact, that started already in 2009. This is Dutch, and the part about Obama translates as "Obama's weakness" (in which I may have been wrong, although the ways to find this out have probably been classified by him, meanwhile):
And since I am still not very strong and quite tired I will restrict myself to gathering some more of my own writings.

In 2010 I wrote mostly about ME, and canīt
find "Obama" a title, though there are the following three important files from the end of December 2010:
In 2011 there are three in a sequence in July
and from the end of the year
In 2012 there is quite a lot, and I only choose a few:

These are from the times in which I had no or yet no major eye problems. Here are three from the times I had major eye problems
And from the end of 2012
From 2013, right at the beginning, the important
And there is this, from January 22 about the second inauguration speech
This ended with this statement

Four years ago I had more to say, but then I was more optimistic about Obama than I am now. I think now and then that he was the better candidate for the job, and that he probably means well, but he has a very curious habit of compromising, that gives the Republicans much more than they should have.

Also, I am against drone killings, against concentration camps, against rendition, against arbitrary arrest,  against torture, against protecting corrupt and incompetent bank managers, and against deregulation.

I expect more of the things I am against the coming four years - but yes, matters would probably have been considerably worse under Romney, and yes again, a considerable part of the problems he and the rest of the world has was inherited from the Bush years.

I'll leave it at that, for the moment, though by now it is no longer fair to blame Bush, at least for quite a few things: Obama did spectacularly unwell, at least, given his campaign promises. [1]
---------------------------------
Note

[1] But OK... (i) you must be quite stupid to believe these: In fact, they are as carefully, craftily and secretly worked out as advertisements, just as in the cases of Clinton and Blair - see Thatcherism - and (ii) it is all a game of lies and propaganda anyway. Then again, it would be nice to have money out of politics, and to get something (back) like "a real democracy", or at least a state of affairs where the politicians and the papers lie only because they want to, and not because they have to or else are jailed for 10 years or so.

About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which is a disease I have since 1.1.1979:
1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

2. Malcolm Hooper THE MENTAL HEALTH MOVEMENT:  
PERSECUTION OF PATIENTS?
3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
9.
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)


       home - index - summaries - mail