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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Guess I Just See These Things Differently

The Justice Department is actually supposed to be independent from the Presidency and the Attorney General isn't supposed to make prosecutorial decisions based on political considerations. I'm sure you can find clips on YouTube in which President Obama explains these things to you. Look, torture is a war crime, war crimes are crimes, we ourselves wrote and signed the treaties that made them so, and prosecuting crimes is what happens when there is reasonable suspicion that they have been committed.

Of course President Obama and Rahm Emmanuel have been making conciliatory let's look forward not backward political noises exactly as they have done in respect to pretty much every topic imaginable at this point -- maybe you've noticed? -- it isn't exactly clear to me why people are losing their lunch over this stuff.

Frankly, it isn't even clear to me why people think Obama should actually be telegraphing prosecutorial intentions in respect to numbers of high-level officials in the administration immediately preceding his own even if he has them -- he may indeed not have them, in which case I disagree with him without finding his obvious reasons entirely unreasonable -- certainly I don't think he should post Wanted signs up on post office walls with pictures of the war criminals of the Killer Clown Administration on them just because if he doesn't Naomi Klein (whose books I love, by the way, and actually teach in my critical theory classes, so give it a rest, please) is sure to write another article reminding us that Obama doesn't poop ponies just in case, presumably, we are unaware of that stunning fact and in consequence of which certain usually more reliable people of the left will momentarily lose their minds again.

Are people claiming that Obama's general let's solve this problem and then work on the next problem m.o. constitutes undue political pressure on Attorney General Holder? Are people worried that Holder is too caught up in political considerations himself to exercise his proper job in these matters? I mean, that's why we appoint special prosecutors, right? You know, there are actually processes literally in motion right now in Congressional committees that look to me easily as facilitative as frustrating to eventual justice on these questions. That's not far from how things should look in a relatively functional republic of laws, if you ask me.

But since no pixie dust is in evidence I guess it just plain makes sense that impatient Americans who've lost that lovin' feelin' would interpret Obama's focus on upcoming EFCA and healthcare battles instead of warcrimes prosecutions for neocons as clear signs that he is finally more or less the same as Bush and that "true" progressives should vote for unelectable Greens from here on out and leave the governance of the country to a marginal white racist patriarchal corporate-militarist theocratic rump party or perhaps take to the hills in some sort of leftist Red Dawn scenario or whatever it is that is driving all this immoderate freaking out about a President who is doing more good while coping with more evil awfulness than any in living memory, consummately holding together a diverse and sometimes divided pampered and sometimes infantile nation of hundreds of millions of opinions and guns soaking in the blood of its immoral wars and the steaming shit of a Greenhouse future it made and trying to make something better. Deny it if you will, I guess I just see these things differently.

6 comments:

thanatz p. said...

..."prosecuting crimes is what happens when there is reasonable suspicion that they have been committed."

If you're talking about those unbearable poor folk and the swarthy darkies, then this point might carry with it some semblance of truth. If, however, you're talking about crimes, especially warcrimes, perpetrated by members of the corpro-militarist elite, I have literally no idea what planet you're seeing things differently from.

But go ahead and keep marginalizing progressive discourses that don't focus on your core issues as Unserious and a waste of time, while, in the same damn sentence, invoking the spectre of the very same "rump" party that could be discredited by the prosecutions those of us afflicted by the pixie dust are calling for.

Please stick to eviscerating Anissmiov.

Dale Carrico said...

Nuremberg happened on my planet.

I'm not the least bit less aware of injustices in this white racist patriarchal corporate-militarist society than you are, although it is unclear to me if your cynicism is really so stark that you are forced into advocating armed revolution or if, ultimately, you must trust the same processes I'm admitting I trust, but you just want to pretend to be more hard-core and unrelenting about it because that's the trip you're on.

I'm not the least bit less eager for prosecutions of warcrimes than you are, I'm just not indulging in the "progressive" fantasy that in a better world such prosecutions would be unilaterally and instantly implemented by an enlightened despot who happens to agree with you.

thanatz p. said...

So which one is it, am I a prospective militant (copy this down San Francisco fusion center, oh wait you're already on it) or "in the tank" for BlackReagan SooperJesus? One of these things is not like the other.

Anyhow, the extent of my cynicism be damned, my frustration with your post arises from the fact that it is exactly because real-talk legal adjudication exists within the realm of the democratically Possible and NOT based on some decree of divine right that I think the blogosphere reaction you have previously discounted is not only justifiable but necessary. In fact I don't think it'd be much of a stretch to say that the White House's walkback on Rahm's "This Week" statements that you JUST posted about is to no small extent directly related to that very outrage. What was that jazz you posted a couple weeks ago about FDR and "making him do it"? How is this too far off?

thanatz p. said...

And, lest you lecture me on the unitary executive, I'll preemptively state that my use of the word "him" in my previous post was not an error but merely an implication that my cynicism extends to believing the howler that Holder's strings are being controlled by the White House and that Congress is simply inept.

Dale Carrico said...

So which one is it, am I a prospective militant (copy this down San Francisco fusion center, oh wait you're already on it) or "in the tank" for BlackReagan SooperJesus? One of these things is not like the other.You tell me? I doubt you're really a literal violent revolutionary -- so I think you're probably either a bit confused or hypocritical or both -- but if you were such a militant you would indeed be relinquishing the field, pointlessly and at the very moment when the world starts moving in the direction that you presumably desire, to the right-wing rump, so I'm not sure that these things are quite so different as you imply anyhow.

[T]he extent of my cynicism be damned, my frustration with your post arises from the fact that it is exactly because real-talk legal adjudication exists within the realm of the democratically Possible and NOT based on some decree of divine right that I think the blogosphere reaction you have previously discounted is not only justifiable but necessary.Well, frustration is fine, clearly I'm frustrated too. More to the point, I just simply disagree with you about this claim. The blogospheric reaction that annoys me seems paranoid to no purpose and a bit ignorant or even dismissive of the process through which we should actively want to arrive at more just outcomes.

I agree that pressure from the left and from all people with relevant facts is always important, but premature declarations of Bush-Obama equivalency and blanket cynicism about legitimate processes aren't facilitative they're divisive and counterproductive in my view.

I do know that the latest paranoid freakout was triggered by the Emanuel statement. The outrage was premature and misplaced, and flies in the face of readily discerned factual evidence of ongoing process. Neither Obama nor Emanuel are the AG, and the AG as well as the Congressional Committees tasked Constitutionally with this work are and should be independent and they provide no support for dark fantasies of warcrime impunity.

That's precisely why I posted it. The outrage was based on errors and confusions and was a potentially divisive waste of energy. Fortunately, the right-wing is in crazy town altogether these days and in any case Obama is out ahead of all this nonsense as usual and there has been no real damage. Again.

Dale Carrico said...

[M]y cynicism extends to believing the howler that Holder's strings are being controlled by the White House and that Congress is simply inept.Controlled entirely? Inept entirely? Do you believe that Obama approves warcrimes and would actually disapprove their prosecution? Again, either this has to be just big talk that you think makes you sound more pure or hard-core or some such nonsense, or you should probably take to armed revolt if you really feel that way. Ask yourself why you aren't and then adjust your discourse accordingly.