Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Why Obama has such a bad human-rights record

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Barack Obama, for all his Democratic credentials and Constitutional scholar background, has taken quite a regressive stance toward civil liberties, supporting the Presidential Assassination Program (PAP), which operates with no judicial review or due process and allows him to order the murder of American citizens as he wishes, imprisoning people indefinitely (and, in some cases, for life) with no charges, trial, or appeal, refusing to allow recourse to innocents that the US kidnapped and either tortured directly or turned over to our dictator allies for torture, refusing any investigation in wrong-doing by the US government even though such investigation is required by law), and so on. Really, a sorry spectacle and not that different from other authoritarians one could name.

So: why? Why on earth would a person who seems to have good will and who seems to hold decent principles, embrace such totalitarian stances.

A possible reason just occurred to me: What if, when he became President, he was brought into a room and presented with a detailed picture and schedule of what the world is headed for as climate change really takes hold and catastrophic crop failures become common? Certainly all the data are available: we can see and measure what’s happening, we know the cause and we know that nothing will be done, and we see crop failures already happening.

The world is going to become a very ugly place, and surviving governments are likely to have to use strong measures to keep order. So Obama has to take a bitter pill and recognize that these tactics are going to be needed and soon—certainly within a decade, based on what we see happening already.

The question naturally arises: If the nation is truly headed for this sort of catastrophe, why are we not being told? I can think of several possibilities:

First, the powerful seem to have considerable contempt for the powerless, viewing them as some sort of lesser species whose suffering and death doesn’t mean much. If the powerless were really worth anything, the reasoning goes, they would be powerful. And as the income gap between the wealthy and the rest increases—for in the US, money is power—the distance between the powerful and the people increases, and the powerful see no reason to involve the people in decisions that will affect their lives.

Second, many companies are still making big money from industries that are exacerbating the problem, and they want to continue making money. So we see them fighting in public to destroy any efforts to combat global warming, and you can be sure that they are fighting even harder in back rooms with our (seemingly) easily-purchased legislators.

Finally, if people were told what’s coming, they would grow angry and demand changes. Changes!!! The very word strikes terror in the heart of the powerful. They owe their position and power to the status quo, and you can bet that they will fight to retain those. So the first thing is to keep people uninformed, or at the very least ill-informed. And that’s going quite well in the US.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 February 2011 at 2:34 pm

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