Is Barack Obama turning into George W. Bush?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 10:04 PM

Please see below an article by Doug Thompson, founder of Capitol Hill Blue. No, Barack Obama is not turning into G.W. Bush. Obama is the same as he was before, to wit, a new star among the Democratic establishment in Washington and one hell of a great communicator. The problem is that too many of his fair-minded and optimistic listeners like Thompson decided to hear whatever they wanted most to hear during the interminable presidential campaign and to fill in the blanks from Obama's vague, endless talk of "change" with their own dreamy, must-have specifics. 

Like G.W., Obama is essentially a front man, nothing more. He can do only so much. He certainly cannot do the impossible. At the top of the list of the impossible things he cannot do is (a) shut down the so-called "war on terror" and (b) tell the truth about what is driving U.S. Middle East policy and (c) call to account the foreign policy of Dick Cheney and G.W. Bush, because that would be blowing the lid off the "Israel Lobby", which is the biggest special interest group in America and which virtually owns both political parties. 

Another thing Obama cannot do is wave a magic wand and make disappear the economic mess created by Cheney-Bush in the past eight years, which mess was enabled and abetted by the rotten establishment Democrats in Congress. A prime contributory factor in driving the country to ruin has been the self-fulling, extravagantly expensive "clash of civilizations" and "war on terror" aforesaid. Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.

Why did Washington invade Iraq in 1991? Why did Washington impose an economic embargo on Iraq in the aftermath? Why were we hit on 9/11? Why did Washington invade and occupy Iraq in 2003? Why did Washington wholeheartedly support Tel Aviv's attack on Lebanon in 2006 and its attack on the colossal concentration camp of Gaza just several weeks ago? If Thompson and many others like him knew the correct answers to those basic questions, then they would not be wondering why they have soured on Obama barely a month into the game. On the other hand, perhaps they do not comprehend that they have been fooled and have overlooked/misdiagnosed what is destroying what is left of America.


Published on Capitol Hill Blue (

Is Barack Obama turning into George W. Bush?

Doug Thompson, Capitol Hill Blue // Created 02/18/2009

Those who want former President George W. Bush imprisoned, drawn and quartered or just gutted on national TV have expressed outrage at President Barack Obama's reluctance to unleash the hounds on his predecessor.

They can't understand why Obama won't join them in prosecuting members of the Bush administration for condoning torture or other abuses of human rights in the so-called "war on terror."

We may have an answer. Obama doesn't want to send Bush to the slammer because he plans to use some of the same abuses in his own war on terror. Don't look now but the candidate of change may have turned into the President of more of the same.

Reports The New York Times [1]:

In little-noticed confirmation testimony recently, Obama nominees endorsed continuing the C.I.A.’s program of transferring prisoners to other countries without legal rights, and indefinitely detaining terrorism suspects without trials even if they were arrested far from a war zone.

The administration has also embraced the Bush legal team’s arguments that a lawsuit by former C.I.A. detainees should be shut down based on the “state secrets” doctrine. It has also left the door open to resuming military commission trials.

And earlier this month, after a British court cited pressure by the United States in declining to release information about the alleged torture of a detainee in American custody, the Obama administration issued a statement thanking the British government “for its continued commitment to protect sensitive national security information.”

These and other signs suggest that the administration’s changes may turn out to be less sweeping than many had hoped or feared — prompting growing worry among civil liberties groups and a sense of vindication among supporters of Bush-era policies.

When you add these indicators to Obama's growing list of broken promises and flip-flops, it looks more and more like that the great black hope is turning out to be just another political whitewash. At this point, the Obama Greek Chorus usually rises up in righteous indignation with the usual mantra that "hey, give the guy a break. He's only been in office a few weeks."

Maybe so, but in those few weeks Obama has reneged on his promise to keep lobbyists out of his administration, appointed a number of scandal-tainted Washington old-timers to key posts and talked the bipartisan talk while walking the partisan walk. Now we see he may want to treat the Constitution as toilet paper -- just like Bush.

Am I disappointed? Damn right I am. Am I worried that we've been had? Yep. Obama's decision to continue many of the flagrant abuses of the Bush cabal is an act of treason not only to the Americans who put him into office but also to the Constitution he swore to uphold.

If Obama does not reverse the abuses of the Bush administration when it comes to treatment of prisoners then neither he or the Democrats can claim any moral or high ground when it comes to pursuing Bush or others involved in such abuses.

If Obama continues to operate under the same cloak of secrecy that marked the Bush administration he is no better than the former President when it comes to disgracing the Constitution and nation.

Since becoming President, Obama has not shown any willingness to roll back the many abuses of the rights-robbing USA Patriot Act. He did vote for some rollbacks as a Senator but also voted to reauthorize the act which -- in itself -- raises questions about his commitment to protecting the rights of Americans.

So far, Attorney General Eric Holder has played lip service to questions on torture, defining water-boarding as torture but leaving the door open to employ "aggressive interrogation techniques" against prisoners in the future.

This is not change. It is not a new hope for America. It is simply the same old political bullshit.

A word of advice to the Obama choir. Your shrill defense of anything he does sounds more and more like the GOP's rabid defense of Bush's abuses of power and disregard of the Constitution during his first term. Many of Bush's die-hard supporters later regretted their steadfast defense.

Obama has said he will make mistakes but continuing Bush's abuses of human rights from the "war on terror" is more than a mistake. It's treason and should be treated as such.

(Updated at 2:21 p.m. to add additional thoughts)