Barack Obama the presidential candidate and Barack Obama the president hold markedly different stances on some important topics. Specifically, topics involving the use of executive power, which a president could change in an instant. Obama promised to protect due process, protect privacy rights, and to refrain from unilaterally making war. Before being elected president, Senator Obama:
- promised to “strengthen privacy protections for the digital age and … to hold government and business accountable for violations of personal privacy.” (source)
- promised “no more illegal wiretapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient.” (source)
- was adamantly against unchecked executive power to declare war. “The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” Obama said. (source)
- denounced the use of extraordinary rendition, writing, “To build a better, freer world, we must first behave in ways that reflect the decency and aspirations of the American people. This means ending the practices of shipping away prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in far-off countries, of detaining thousands without charge or trial, of maintaining a network of secret prisons to jail people beyond the reach of the law.” (source)
Yet Obama drastically reversed course once in power. As president, Obama renewed the Patriot Act, permitting warrantless spying on Americans. He has done nothing to curb the breathtaking amounts of spying power held by the NSA. He unilaterally launched a war against Libya, and ramped up the drone-bombing campaign across the middle east to unprecedented levels. Despite hollow promises, the American secret rendition program has continued.
How did that happen? Some suggest that Obama never had any intention of following his campaign promises. Others suggest that his idealistic platitudes couldn’t withstand the realities of running the country, so he changed his mind.
Another possibility is that the president was coerced to change his positions.
That’s what Ray McGovern posits. He says that President Obama has been intimidated by forces within the government; specifically the CIA, the agency for which McGovern worked for nearly 30 years. McGovern became a whistleblower and political activist following 9/11, as the age of the War on Terror paved the way for all sorts of unchecked abuses and foreign policy disasters.
On WBAI’s “Law & Disorder” radio show, Mr. McGovern — who appears to be a credible witness following his body of activist work — provided an anecdote from a ‘good friend’ who heard Obama say something revealing at a dinner party. The radio transcript is as follows:
MCGOVERN: Which leads to the question, why would [Obama] do all these things? Why would he be afraid for example, to take the drones away from the CIA? Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s afraid. Number one, he’s afraid of what happened to Martin Luther King Jr.
And I know from a good friend who was there when it happened, that at a small dinner with progressive supporters – after these progressive supporters were banging on Obama before the election, Why don’t you do the things we thought you stood for? Obama turned sharply and said, “Don’t you remember what happened to Martin Luther King Jr.?” That’s a quote, and that’s a very revealing quote.
The other thing is, I’ve always been kind of shocked that when he came into office, not only did he not prosecute the torturers, the kidnapers, the people with the black [unintelligible], even the people who violated our Fourth Amendment rights, but he left them all in place. I suspected at the time, now I’m pretty convinced the president of the United States is afraid of the CIA. That’s why he got John Brennan in place. He thinks John Brennan owes more personal loyalty to him than all those other thugs out there who did the torture and so forth. That’s a questionable thing. But Obama thinks that. And that’s why he fought so hard so that Brennan would be in place.
Now does he have any reason to fear the CIA? Well he sure as heck does. For those of your listeners who have not read James Douglass’s JFK and the Unspeakable, you need to read that, because it’s coming up on 50 years. The mystery has not been solved in the mainstream press. After reading James Douglass, who took advantage of all the previous studies, plus all the more recent information released by Congress, I’m convinced that John Kennedy was assassinated largely by Allan Dulles whom he cashiered as the head of the CIA after the Bay of Pigs, and a coterie of joint chiefs of staff, FBI, even some Secret Service folks who thought that JFK was being soft on Communism by back channel communications with Krushchev, that he was playing games with Fidel Castro…to repair the relationship, and worst of all he was giving Southeast Asia to the Communists.
Now is there evidence for this? There sure as heck is. John Kennedy signed two executive orders just a month or so before he was killed. One of them said we’re pulling out 1000 troops out of South Vietnam by the end of the year, the year being 1963. The other said we’re going to pull out the bulk of the troops by 1965, we’re finished in Vietnam. That’s a matter of record. Was that a unanimous decision? Well if you say the president makes a one person decision, you know it’s unanimous. Everybody else thought he was crazy, especially the joint chiefs of staff.
So you need to read this book, and then you need to reflect on Obama. If he is sort of a wuss or a wimp or a person who just has no real principles but is rather a politician through and through– and he’s got two small kids and he doesn’t want to get killed. I have to say I never thought I would hear myself saying this, but it is the only logical explanation for why he is so afraid, unless you say the man is a through and through charlatan, that he actually is acting on behalf of these forces of darkness. I don’t believe the latter. I think he’s just afraid and he shouldn’t have run for president if he was going to be this much of a wuss.
— Ray McGovern, June 3, 2013
This allegation, if true, would come as a remarkable admission of the powers that influence the president. This is not to make a case for Obama’s virtues or pureness of political intentions, nor is it a comparison of Barack Obama to Dr. King. However, if the president were intimidated by his own agencies, it would certainly be something the American people ought to know about, in the best interests of preserving the republic.
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By the way, just what did happen to Martin Luther King, Jr.?
In a practically unknown civil trial that took place in 1999, after hearing 4 weeks of testimony from 70 witnesses, 12 jurors decided unanimously that Dr. King fell victim to a high-level conspiracy backed by the U.S. Government. The jury determined that state, local, and federal agencies were involved, and that James Earl Ray was a patsy. (source)