Obama: A Legacy of Ashes -a James Corbett film
Published on Jan 20, 2017
Obama’s legacy is measured in ashes. From wars of aggression to a police state on steroids, banking bailouts and Obamacare, Obama has been the perfect captain to carry the New World Order football further down the field. But as Americans prepare for a new liner to be placed in their gilded bird cage, today we remember how the Deep State tricked the public in 2008 by giving them what they thought they wanted.
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Speaking with the hubris and complete inversion of reality that has defined his entire political career, Obama ends his time in office exactly as he started it: lying through his teeth.
OBAMA: I am very proud of the fact that we will, knock on wood, leave this administration without significant scandal.
But this lie about a “scandal-free presidency” is especially galling because it encapsulates all of the lies of the past 8 years.
In reality, as even a cursory examination of the record demonstrates, the administration of President Barack Obama has been nothing but 8 years of unrelenting lies and scandals.
There were the big lies:
OBAMA: I’ve taught the constitution for 10 years. I believe in the constitution, and I will obey the constitution of the United States. We’re not going to use signing statements as a way of doing an end-run around Congress, alright?
NEIL CAVUTO: Well that was candidate Obama, this is President Obama now. He just issued a signing statement on Friday, attaching it to the 2011 budget bill. In fact, he has issued nearly 20 such signing statements since taking office.
There were the bigger lies:
OBAMA: When there’s a bill that ends up on my desk as president, you the public will have five days to look online and find out what’s in it before I sign it. (Crowd cheers). So that you know what your government’s doing.
LOUIE GOHMERT: Madame Speaker, in order to figure out what we’re doing, how much damage to the country, I tried to get a copy of the bill. We have out here on the table 2454 that has 1,090 pages in it, but I’ve understood since debating here that there’s another 300 pages that were added in the middle of the night. My inquiry is: How do I get a copy of the other 300 pages that people out here on the floor haven’t had a chance to hear or see?
NANCY PELOSI: But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it away from the fog of the controversy.
There were the brazen lies:
OBAMA: You can keep your plan if you are satisfied with it.
OBAMA: If you like the plan you have, you can keep it.
OBAMA: If you like your plan, and you like your doctor, you won’t have to do a thing. You keep your plan.
OBAMA: If you like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your healthcare plan.
OBAMA: If you’ve got health insurance, you can keep it.
OBAMA: But for the average person, many folks who don’t have health insurance initially, they’re going to have to make some choices. And they might end up having to switch doctors.
The lies from his first months in office:
OBAMA: But if you are ready for change then we can go ahead and tell the lobbyists their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. They have not funded my campaign, they will not run my White House and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I’m president of the United States of America.
CAMPBELL BROWN: Just this weekend the New York Times published a list of names. A rather long list of names of people who are working on Obama’s transition team or who have accepted jobs in his White House who are either former lobbyists or who have close ties to lobbyists.
The lies from his first day in office:
OBAMA: Let me say it as simply as I can: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.
OBAMA: This is the most transparent administration in history.
JAMES CORBETT: Originally scheduled to be bestowed on the President in a publicly scheduled ceremony at the White House during Sunshine Week, that ceremony was cancelled at the last moment and the award, supposedly a token of praise for Obama’s stated commitment to government openness, was itself bestowed on the president in a secret, off-the-record meeting, to which the press was not invited.
JAMES EVAN PILATO: James, one of the other things we discovered on this “Sunshine Week” in addition to not only are they exempting themselves from FOIA requests, but the Obama administration sets even a new record for denying and censoring government files. James, change you can classify.
And the lies from before he was even in office:
REPORTER: Mr. President, could you please react to the reports of secret government surveillance of phone and internet, and can you also assure Americans that your government doesn’t have some massive secret database of all their personal online information and activities.
OBAMA: When I came into this office I made two commitments that are more important than any commitment I make. Number one: To keep the American people safe. And number two: To uphold the constitution.
OBAMA (2007): I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our constitution and our freedom.
OBAMA (2013): The programs that have been discussed over the last couple of days in the press are secret in the sense that they’re classified, but they’re not secret in the sense that when it comes to telephone calls every member of congress has been briefed on this program.
OBAMA (2007): That means no more illegal wiretapping of American citizens.
OBAMA (2013): What the intelligence community is doing is looking at phone numbers and durations of calls.
OBAMA (2007): 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.
OBAMA (2013): What the intelligence community is doing is looking at phone numbers and durations of calls.
OBAMA (2007): No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient.
OBAMA (2013): But by sifting through this so-called metadata, they may identify potential leads with respect to folks who might engage in terrorism.
But despite the endless litany of broken promises that Obama has left in his wake, his most striking betrayals of the public’s trust weren’t lies at all. Instead, the strange mass hysteria that surrounded his ascent to the Oval Office–that “hope and change” delirium that swept up untold millions–caused others to project their ideas and ideals on to him. Suddenly he was being anointed as a man of peace before making a single substantive decision:
THORBJORN LAGLAND: The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to engage in international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.
As farcical as that announcement seemed at the time, how much more galling does it seem now, after Peace Prize Obama has gone down in the history books as the first and only president in U.S. history to be at war every single day of his eight-year administration?
Indeed, for people around the world, Obama will be defined by the wars of imperial aggression that he waged across 7 different theaters during his time in office. There was the war in Afghanistan, now the longest ever military engagement in the history of the United States:
JAMES CORBETT: October 7, 2016 marks the 15th anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan by US-led NATO forces. 15 years since the bombs began raining down on the country. 15 years of drone strikes and civilian massacres, detainees and prison torture, insurgency and bombings, warlords and druglords and CIA kickbacks. 15 years of death. 15 years of destruction. And still, like a decades-long nightmare, it continues.
OBAMA: I’m announcing an additional adjustment to our posture. Instead of going down to 5,500 troops by the end of this year, the United States will maintain approximately 8,400 troops in Afghanistan into next year through the end of my administration. The narrow missions assigned to our forces will not change. They remain focused on supporting Afghan forces and going after terrorists. But maintaining our forces at this specific level, based on our assessment of the security conditions and the strength of Afghan forces, will allow us to continue to provide tailored support to help Afghan forces continue to improve.
SOURCE: What You Are Not Being Told About the Afghanistan War
The war against Libya, undertaken without even Congressional approval and waged under false pretenses:
K. CAMERON LAU: Fox News has revealed today that a bipartisan group of lawmakers headed by Representatives Dennis Kucinich and Walter Jones will be filing a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration addressing the constitutional and legal justifications for military action in Libya. The announcement comes the day after the release of House Speaker John Boehner’s publicized warnings to the president in the form of a letter urging Mr. Obama to provide an explanation for the continued engagement in the region and refusal to acknowledge the congressional role in military operations.
We are staring not only into the maelstrom of war in Libya; the code of behavior we are establishing sets a precedent for the potential of evermore violent conflicts in Syria, Iran, and the specter of the horrifying chaos of generalized war throughout the Middle East. Our continued occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan makes us more vulnerable, not less vulnerable, to being engulfed in this generalized war.
OBAMA: The Libyan opposition and the Arab League appealed to the world to save lives in Libya. And so at my direction America led an effort with our allies at the United Nations Security Council to pass an historic resolution that authorized a no-fly zone to stop the regime’s attacks from the air and further authorized all necessary measures to protect the Libyan people.
JAMES CORBETT: If this compassion for the plight of men and women in Libya was so heartfelt, why is it that you have heard nothing whatsoever about Libya in the last two years from the same politicians and talking heads who persuaded you that dropping bombs on the country was the only way to save it? Is it because the situation was resolved with the death of Gaddafi and the virtuous western-backed freedom fighters have established a happy, prosperous, functioning society of peace and happiness? Of course not.
RORY SUCHET: Libya is on the way to becoming a terrorist outpost for possible future attacks on Europe. The prospect has been raised by Libya’s former Prime Minister who came to power following the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime. He recently fled the country where rival militias run rampant and are in de facto control of the state.
PEPE ESCOBAR: The way R2P was manipulated to legitimize the invasion, bombing and fragmentation of Libya because this is what’s happening nowadays. Look at what Libya is post-NATO intervention. It’s a totally failed state run by militias. And nobody cares about what’s going in Libya. Proof #1: It disappeared from the news cycle completely. Proof #2: What only matters to the so-called “international community”–which as we know is comprised of the US, Britain, France, Tel Aviv and the Persian Gulf monarchies and nobody else (maybe Turkey sometimes, or Japan or South Korea), this is the “international community”–the only thing that mattered for them was the oil, gas, and further on, the water, of course. This is in terms of the three major French water companies. And nobody cares what’s going to happen to Libya. Libya’s going to be mired in civil war for years and probably decades from now on, but nobody cares.
The war in Pakistan, waged with drone strikes on civilians:
RAJA PRADAHN: A United Nations team says more than 400 civilians have fallen victim to military drone strikes against Islamic militants. Members of the team urged US leaders to release data on casualties in the interest of transparency. The United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights asked the team to compile a report on the US drone program in countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen. UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emerson says at least 400 civilians have been killed in Pakistan since 2004.
KAMRAN YOUSAF: Anger on the streets of Pakistan against the US drone campaign. Human rights activists and representatives from religious parties have demonstrated in Pakistani cities including the capital, Islamabad, to condemn what they see as the violation of their country’s sovereignty. Numerous protests have been held in the past since the US began its drone strikes in 2004 under the so-called “war on terror.” Pakistanis are also angry at the US drone campaign and the civilian casualties that they have caused. Demonstrators say that the attacks by the unmanned aircraft must end in Pakistan, and that the mere condemnation by the government is not enough.
DEMONSTRATOR: We want our government to take action to stop the violation of our country’s sovereignty because it was the government that allowed the US to launch its drone strikes. Authorities should inform us about the steps needed to stop these attacks.
OBAMA: The Jonas Brothers are here. They’re out there somewhere. Sasha and Malia are huge fans. But boys, don’t get any ideas. I have two words for you: Predator drones. You will never see it coming. You think I’m joking.
The war against Syria, a war waged in conjunction with the ongoing war in Iraq and fought via Al Qaeda-linked proxy forces and an Islamic State militia trained by American forces:
RAND PAUL: There is a great irony here in the sense that if you wanted to believe in an expansive definition of the 2001 AUMF. It says go after Al Qaeda and associated forces. Well, Al Qaeda and associated forces are opposing Assad. So if you want to believe in an expansive definition of the 2001 AUMF, you might believe that you could actually support Assad with arms. That the original use of authorization of force actually would justify giving arms to Assad. And I’m not proposing that, but I am proposing that you will be giving arms to the side that is fighting against Assad that has elements of Al Qaeda.
BEN SWANN: So if Al Qaeda is our sworn enemy, why is the United States supporting Al Qaeda fighters as part of the Syrian opposition, just as we did Al Qaeda fighters in the Libya uprising. Well that was the question I posed to President Obama during my one-on-one interview with him.
BEN SWANN: You mentioned about Al Qaeda during your speech. Going after Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, certainly going after them in Yemen as well. And yet there’s some concern about the US funding the Syrian opposition when there are a lot of reports that Al Qaeda is kind of heading up that opposition. How do you justify the two?
OBAMA: Well, I share that concern. And so what we’ve done is to say, “We will provide non-lethal insurance to Syrian opposition leadership that are committed to a political transition, committed to an observance of human rights.”
ARYN BAKER: Well in the video the commander, he goes by the name of Abu Sakkar, he has found a man, a soldier from the Syrian army, dead, by bullet I’ve been told. He took a knife and he cut out a hole in the chest and pulled out the lungs and the heart, and while being videotaped he held up the lung and said, “You dogs of Bashar, this is how we will treat you. I’ll eat your hearts and your livers.” And he took a bite in the video, and uhhh…it was meant as a message to the regime.
LT. GENERAL MCINERNEY: “Syria we backed, I believe in some cases, some of the wrong people, and not in the right part of the Free Syrian Army and that’s a little confusing to people, so I’ve always maintained and go back quite some time that we were backing the wrong types.
I think it’s gonna turn out maybe this weekend, in a new special that Brett Baer’s gonna have Friday, it’s gonna show some of those weapons from Benghazi ended up in the hands of ISIS.
So we helped build ISIS. Now there’s a danger there and I’m with you.”
ANYA PARAMPIL: Several weeks ago former director of the Defence Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn made waves in the media when he told Al Jazeera the Obama administration turned a blind eye to warnings that the self-proclaimed Islamic State was on the rise. Speaking about a declassified DIA memo which predicted the Islamic State’s rise as a result of the west’s policy of backing Syrian rebels, Flynn told Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan that the administration ignored his analysis, saying: “I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision.”
Narrator: WikiLeaks released audio from a September 22, 2016 meeting in which John Kerry admitted to allowing the growth of ISIS.
JOHN KERRY: The reason Russia came in is because ISIL was getting stronger. Daesh was threatening the possibility of going to Damascus at some point and that’s why Russia came in. Because they didn’t want a Daesh government and they supported Assad. And we knew that this was growing, we were watching. We saw that Daesh was growing in strength and we thought Assad was [indecipherable]. We thought however, that we could probably manage that Assad might then negotiate. Instead of negotiating, he got Putin to support him.
The war in Somalia, a military action justified by the President in a move that is as utterly ridiculous as it is insulting to the intelligence, as “self-defense.”
DANIEL RYNTJES: September 11th, 2001, the world changed when members of Al Qaeda hijacked passenger planes, slamming them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. Now a few days later the US Congress passed a sweeping new law called the “Authorization for Use of Military Force,” the AUMF. It provides the president with broad authority to “use all necessary and appropriate force” against those nations, organizations or persons he determines “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or “harbored such organizations or persons” in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States.
Now, it’s important for you to hear the actual language of that law because it shows just how you can justify certain US military and intelligence activities around the world if there is a connection somehow with Al Qaeda.
Now to Somalia. We know the US has recently increased its on-the-ground military activity against Al-Shabaab forces in support of Somalian African Union forces, but up until now those activities has mostly been justified as being in “self-defense.” Some analysts have pointed out that it’s now a pretty thin legal justification given that the US appears to be actively involved in battlefield situations. So now the New York Times, citing unnamed US officials, says that as part of the president’s regular letter to congress listing updates to current US military operations abroad, he will include Al Shebab as part of the groups defined under the AUMF law. If that happens it will provide US forces soon to be under a Trump administration more power to actively pursue Al-Shabaab using “all necessary and appropriate force.”
And the war in Yemen, yet another military involvement that the average American doesn’t even know about, let alone understand the reasoning for, and that has, inevitably, embroiled the American military in yet more war crimes.
KYLE KULINSKI: At least 13 people were killed in a US drone strike in Yemen. There was a convoy of vehicles traveling in Rada’a, which is the capital of Al Bayda province, and where were they going? A wedding. There was a group of vehicles that was driving to a wedding, the US thought that it was Al Qaeda but it was a party. The strike “left charred bodies and burnt-out cars on the road.”
AMY GOODMAN: Documents obtained by Reuters show the U.S. government is concerned it could be implicated in potential war crimes in Yemen because of its support for a Saudi-led coalition air campaign. The Obama administration has continued to authorize weapons sales to Saudi Arabia despite warnings last year from government lawyers that it might be considered a co-belligerent under international law. This comes as a Saudi airstrike on a funeral hall in Sana’a on Saturday killed at least 140 mourners and wounded more than 500 others. Survivors spoke of back-to-back bombings during a funeral service for the father of an official with the rebel Houthi government, which controls Sana’a.
WAHEEB AL-SARARI: [translated] This is a heinous crime one can barely imagine. No one ever thought they would strike a mourning hall. Can anyone imagine hitting people mourning to death? The battle is taking place on the borders and several other places, yet they bomb a hall. And now they deny it was their missiles. We are all here. Our homes are nearby. We heard the missiles and the planes. There were two planes and four airstrikes, not just two.
AMY GOODMAN: Thousands of Yemenis gathered at the United Nations building in Sana’a on Sunday calling for an international investigation into the assault. The attack was carried out with warplanes and munitions sold to the Saudi-led coalition by the United States. The U.S. Air Force continues to provide midair refueling to Saudi warplanes.
At home, meanwhile, Obama will be known for aggressively expanding the militarized police state that Bush brought in after the false flag events of September 11, 2001.
CENK UYGUR: Well that’s not who we’re supposed to be but that’s exactly who Barack Obama is. That’s who he is. Change? Look, people sometimes say “Oh no, no, no he never promised not to spying on you.” Yes he did, he promised it right there in the ’08 campaign. So this is like a big faux pas like “Oh no, don’t do it.” He lied. It’s not subtle. He said, “there will be no spying on citizens who are not suspected of a crime.” He lied. There is spying on all of us and we’re not suspected of a crime. Barack Obama is a liar. Can I make it clearer? That’s like a big thing to call a politician a liar. Yes, Obama’s a politician. He’s Big Brother and he’s a liar. ”
TERROJA KINCAID: Wow, Obama’s seems like he’s really against this wiretapping thing huh? Man, when he gets into office he’s gonna fix it. Yeah, it’s gonna be a bright new day for America once we get Bush out and put Obama in. He ******** sounds like just as pissed-off about this illegal wiretapping as we are. Well guess what? We voted him in, twice, and he didn’t do jack **** about the illegal wiretapping. Oh, I’m sorry, he did do something about it, he expanded it!
JAMES CORBETT: Each year the United States Department of Defenses Budget and Expenditures are approved by Congress which must pass a National Defense Authorization Act in order to fund the DoD. The most recent bill however, the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2012, shocked many by containing an extraordinary provision allowing for the indefinite detention without trial of anyone even suspected of providing support to individuals or groups identified as terrorists. Although this represents little change for the U.S. government’s modus operandi in waging the so-called “Global War on Terror”, many were amazed to discover that this provision specifically applies to American citizens, who can now be detained by American military personnel anywhere in the world including on U.S. soil and held indefinitely without trial.
Perhaps it is not surprising that President Obama chose New Years Eve as the date to sign the NDAA, as the revelry of the holiday predictably distracted Americans from the event. Particularly remarkable is the fact that this legislation has been almost universally identified as as an overt act of tyranny by commentators of all political stripes, perhaps most importantly from sources that traditionally defended the actions of Obama and his administration.
FOX NEWS REPORTER: The ACLU said that Mr. Obama’s decision to sign the National Defense Authorization Act or NDAA, including the controversial detainee provisions, would tarnish his Presidency.
President Obama’s action is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the President who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law.
CENK UYGUR: I will choose in my administration not indefinitely detain U.S. citizens, meaning another administration can choose to do so, meaning that the bill says “Yes, the President has the authority and the option of detaining U.S. citizens without a trial indefinitely.” This is definitive. It is not just my interpretation, it is not just Glenn Greenwald’s interpretation. As we told you yesterday, the team of lawyers at the ACLU who’s job it is to protect our civil liberties says that it is definitely the correct interpretation and it is hideous. Now today more people are piling on.
LAWRENCE WILKERSON: My understanding is that when Carl Levin thought that the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee thought in the Senate that the provisions for it being applicable to American citizens on American soil was striped out, the White House had it put back in which is just dumber than mud. I can’t understand how we’d want to go back to re-construction days. I mean that’s the last time we destroyed Posse Comitatus.
RT REPORTER: But this the White House that thinks that it’s OK to assassinate U.S. citizens abroad without due process as in the case of Anwar al-Awlaki.
LAWRENCE WILKERSON: That’s very true.
RT REPORTER: So why wouldn’t they want that in because this is codifying powers that they already determined that they have.
LAWRENCE WILKERSON: That’s very true.
DEMOCRACY NOW REPORTER: On Tuesday the New York times published a major expose about how President Obama personally oversees a “Secret Kill List” containing the names and photos of individuals targeted for assassination in the U.S. drone war. According to the Times, Obama signs-off on every targeted killing in Yemen, Somalia and the more complex or risky strikes in Pakistan. Individuals on the list include U.S. citizens as well as teenage girls as young as 17 years old. Glenn can you comment on that?
GLENN GREENWALD: Well we of course have known for a long time that the President of United States believes that he has the power to order people killed, assassinated. In total secrecy without any due process, without transparency or oversight of any kind. I really do believe it’s literally the most radical power that a government and a President can seize and yet the Obama administration has seized this power and exercised it aggressively with very little controversy.
Surveying the flaming wreckage of the last eight years, Obama’s duped supporters will now be the first to tell you that you can’t blame everything that happens on the president. The same people who voted Obama into office in the earnest belief that he would change the system now solemnly intone that he was just one man, up against an entire system.
But if a leader is defined by those they appoint, Obama failed with flying colors there, too. Just look at the warmongers and criminals that he and his financial and corporate string pullers stuffed into his administration:
OBAMA: When I first started assembling this administration, I knew we were about to face some of the most difficult years this country has seen in generations. The challenges were big and the margin for error was small. Two wars, an economy on the brinks of collapse and a set of tough choices about issues that we had put-off for decades. Choices about healthcare and energy and education and how to rebuild a middle-class that had been struggling for far too long. And I knew that I needed somebody at my side, who I could count on, day and night to help get the job done. In my mind there was no candidate for the job of Chief-of-Staff who would meet the bill as well as Rahm Emanuel.
In this case the mainstream press hasn’t failed. They’ve mentioned the fact that Rahm Emanuel is a principal node in the Israel lobby campaign contribution network. That he wasn’t necessarily really behind Obama until he switched sides in June, away from Hillary Clinton, probably because it looked like she wasn’t going to be viable. (He) then introduced Obama to the power-elite of AIPAC at their annual conference and ever since then and this is why I say that it’s a remarkable mirror of the Kennedy administration. Of course he’s been named Chief-of-Staff, we know all about his father’s illustrious past as–the press calls it gun-running I would call it something different, with the Irgun—and his own participation in Israel’s war efforts back in the ’91 Gulf War etc etc. But what people don’t understand is the following: Obama’s made some pretty implicit promises about winding-down the confrontational approach to the Middle East as well as getting troops out of Iran but yet he’s appointed Rahm Emmanuel as his Chief-of-Staff.
RAHM EMMANUEL: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste and what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”
OBAMA: “Today though, I’m looking ahead to my second term and I’m very proud to announce my choice for America’s next Secretary-of-State, John Kerry. In a sense John’s entire life has prepared him for this role.”
TIM RUSSERT: “You both [Kerry & Bush] were members of Skull and Bones, a secret society?”
JOHN KERRY: “Yeah.”
TIM RUSSERT: “What does that tell us?”
JOHN KERRY: “Ah not much because it’s a secret.”
ANDREW MEYER: So amidst all these reports of phony bogus stuff going on, how could you concede the election on the day? How could concede the 2004 election on the day? In this book it’s says there was 5 million votes, that there were suppressed, that you won the election. Didn’t you want to be President? I’m not even done yet, I have 2 more questions. If you were so against Iran how come you were not saying “Impeach Bush Now, Impeach Bush Now” before he can invade Iran? Why don’t we impeach him? Impeach Bush. Clinton was impeached for what a blowjob? Why don’t we impeach Bush? Also, were you a member of Skull and Bones in college with Bush? Are you in the same secret society ….
OBAMA: So, Joe, for your faith in your fellow Americans. For your love of country and for your lifetime of service that will endure through the generations, I’d like to ask the military aide to join us on stage. For the final time as President, I am pleased to award the nations highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
GLENN BECK: I don’t remember what I said to my on-air partner Pat, we were talking about it and I said ‘You know what? How fast was the PATRIOT Act? How did they write that? How many pages was that?’. I hadn’t even thought, this was in the innocent days. Who wrote the PATRIOT Act? Because we know who wrote the Stimulus Act and that was the Apollo Alliance. We looked it up. Does anybody here in audience know wrote the PATRIOT Act or when it was written? This will blow your mind. It was written in 1995. 1995, including the wiretapping and everything else. America, you know who wrote it? One of the biggest union guys of them all, Joe Biden.
But in a nutshell Joe Biden in 1995 wrote this legislation, which basically is in a nutshell the PATRIOT Act. They re-arranged some of the paragraphs but it’s pretty much almost verbatim the language that is in the PATRIOT Act. So it existed some 7 years before 9/11.
OBAMA: So here’s the thing, Hillary Clinton, she’s been a First Lady. She’s been a Senator. She’s been my Secretary-of-State. She’s been in the room when tough decisions were made. She’s knows how those decisions can affect a veteran or a soldier or a kid who needs a great education or a worker who’s fighting for a good job or a raise or a decent retirement. And I will tell you that even in the middle of a crisis she is calm, cool and collected.
CBS REPORTER: I mean so that is the land of unconfirmed videos …
HILLARY CLINTON: Yes we came, we saw, he died!
This record of crime, deceit, and aggression is enough to make all but the most psychopathic recoil in disgust. But none of Obama’s shameful actions as “commander-in-chief” should be remotely surprising to those who were willing to look beyond the hype and look squarely at the facts.
His supporters on the left imagined him to be an answer to the outrageous criminality of the banksters on Wall Street, even as those very same banksters were his top campaign contributors. He even took time out of his 2008 campaign to show his complete support for the disastrous banker bailout that was snaking its way through Congress:
REUTERS REPORTER: As Republican John McCain and his Democratic rival Barack Obama head to Washington to help broker a deal on a Wall Street rescue plan, McCain speaking in New York at the Clinton Global Initiative said a deal must be achieved by the time financial markets open on Monday.
JOHN McCAIN: The debate that matters most right now is taking place in the United States capital and I intend to join them. Senator Obama is doing the same. America should be proud of the bi-partisanship that we’re seeing.
REUTERS REPORTER: Speaking to the same group via satellite in Florida, Barack Obama agreed with McCain that the $700 billion bailout for the troubled financial industry needs some modifications but eluding to the White House meetings taking place later in the afternoon Obama said now is not the time for partisanship.
OBAMA: This goes beyond traditional election-time politics. Now’s the time to come together. Democrats and Republicans. In a spirit of cooperation on behalf of the American people.
HOUSE SPEAKER: On this vote the yays are 263. The nays are 171. The motion is adopted. Without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table.
OBAMA: Now, while there is plenty of blame to go around and there are many in Washington and Wall Street who deserve it. All of us, all of us have a responsibility to solve this crisis because it affects the financial well-being of every single American. There will be time punish those who set this fire but now is not the time to argue about how it got set or did the neighbor sleep in his bed or leave the stove on, right now we want to put out that fire and now is the time for us to come together and do that.
And then his supporters acted surprised when his administration failed to prosecute anyone at all for the largest swindle in the history of the planet.
NARRATOR: So far in civil proceedings the government has levied several billion dollars in penalties for misconduct in a crisis that caused investors and home-owners many hundreds of billions of dollars. But to date, not one senior Wall Street executive has been held criminally liable by the Department of Justice for activities related to the financial crisis.
CENK UYGUR: So, Eric Holder went in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday and they asked him about that. The same Eric Holder who was saying earlier ‘Yeah I can drop a drone on you if you’re a regular citizen. I don’t need a trial…stinking trials I don’t need ’em right? I’m mean just execute ’em.” But when it comes to bankers this is what he said instead.
ERIC HOLDER: I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge it will have a negative impact on the national economy perhaps even the world economy. And I think that is a function of the fact that some these institutions have become too large.
CENK UYGUR: Amazing! In actual Senate testimony he says, ‘Well yeah OK they’re too large but what can you do? So it’ll hurt the global economy so we’re not going to do our job. Get out of jail free card, here you go, use it anytime you like. Not only did we not prosecute you for past-crimes we’re telling you right here in public we’re not going to prosecute you for future crimes. Have at it, Hoss!’
But just in case there was any doubt as to who put Obama in power and whose interests he was working for, the Podesta email leak confirmed that not just Attorney General Holder, but almost the entirety of Obama’s cabinet was hand-selected for him by CitiGroup:
LEE CAMP: So this particular Wikileaks email is from a month before Obama first became President and it’s between John Podesta, who was then head of Obama’s transition team for President, and Michael Froman who was at the time an executive of CitiGroup, CitiBank’s parent company. Froman emailed Podesta a list of people who would be good choices for Obama’s cabinet. Keep in mind this is a month before he won the election. As writer David Dayen put it:
“The cabinet list ended up being almost entirely on the money. It correctly identified Eric Holder for the Justice Department, Janet Napolitano for Homeland Security, Robert Gates for Defense, Rahm Emanuel for Chief-of-Staff, Peter Orszag for the Office of Management and Budget, Arne Duncan” …
Alright let’s skip ahead, no one gives a **** about Arne Duncan. Arne Duncan doesn’t care about Arnie Duncan.
For the Treasury, three possibilities were on the list: Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, and Timothy Geithner.
Tim Geithner ended up being Treasury Secretary and the other two played prominent roles. So think about that. An executive at CitiBank’s parent company, one of the most powerful banks in the world gave Obama nearly his entire cabinet, including his economic team, immediately following the 2008 collapse cause by the greed of the big banks. Obama then went on to let Wall Street entirely off the hook for destroying the lives of millions of Americans or to put that in a more polite way:
“Geithner and friends dictated the Obama administration’s light-touch policy on bank misconduct (which resulted in no serious legal or fiduciary consequences for the major players).”
Do you see what this leaked email says? The big banks literally decide who runs our economy and our country at least a month before the election even happens.
Why should it come as any surprise at all, then, to learn that Obama’s signal “accomplishment” during his time in office, Obamacare, was written by the insurance companies themselves?
SEN. MAX BAUCUS: I want to single out one person and that one person is sitting next to me. Her name is Liz Fowler. Liz Fowler is my chief health council. Liz Fowler has put my team together, the healthcare team. Liz Fowler worked for me many years ago in the private sector and came back when she realized that she could be there in the creation of healthcare reform. She wanted to, in a certain sense that been her professional lifetime goal. She put together a white-paper of last November 2008, an 87 page document which became the basis, the foundation, the blueprint from which almost all healthcare measures and all bills both sides of the isle came from. She’s an amazing person, she’s a lawyer, she’s a PHD, she’s just so decent, she’s always smiling, she’s always working, she’s always available to help any Senator, any staff and I just thank Liz from the bottom of my heart and in many ways she typifies, she represents all of the people have worked so hard to make this bill such an accomplishment.
JAMES CORBETT: “So what?” you’re thinking. “So who is this Liz Fowler anyway and why is it so important to be bringing up this, well, gushing and rather embarrassing phrase from Senator Baucus on the House floor?” Well, it’s because Liz Fowler is not just someone who was formerly in private industry, as he tangentially made mention of in that speech, but someone who had a very interesting history and one that we can even pick up from mainstream sources like NBCNews.com which had a post back a few years ago Fact or Fiction? Senate chairman has ties to big insurer:
Elizabeth Fowler, now serving as counsel to Baucus on the Finance Committee, worked as an executive, not a lobbyist, for WellPoint, the largest publicly traded commercial health benefits company from 2006 to 2008. Prior to that, she’d worked for Baucus. Committee spokeswoman Erin Shields called Fowler “one of the brightest health care minds in the Senate and she and the Finance Committee staff have been working day and night” to reach the goal of reform that “lowers costs and ensures quality affordable health care coverage,” which is Baucus’s priority. Shields added that “the only factor that influences his decisions and the decisions of his staff is whether a policy is right for his state and for the American people.” According to Senate records, Michelle Easton, former chief health counsel to the Finance Committee under Baucus, is lobbying for WellPoint for her firm Tarplin, Downs & Young.
Well, of course that MSM post obviously downplays the important aspects of this. The fact that Liz Fowler, the person who Baucus was gushing about and who was absolutely essential in bringing the Affordable-Care Act to the American public, was not just a lobbyist for America’s and the world’s largest publicly-traded heath benefits company but was in fact an executive for them and if we wanted to be even more specific, which, oddly, NBCNews.com decided not to be, she was a former Vice-President of WellPoint. So here we have someone in the very heart of the private insurance world coming into write the very Affordable-Care Act which is supposed to provide all of this wonderful mana from heaven free healthcare to the public. Except for the fact that it’s going to cost the average American much, much, much more to get insured under this new regime.”
JONATHAN GRUBER: John Kerry said “no, no we’re not going to tax your health insurance, we’re going to tax those evil insurance companies. We’re going to impose a tax that if they sell health insurance that’s too expensive we’re going to tax them and conveniently the tax rate happened to be the marginal tax rate under the income tax bill. So basically it’s the same thing. We tax the insurance companies they pass on the higher prices which offsets the tax-break that we get and it’s ends up being the same thing. It’s a very clever base-exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.”
And why should it be a surprise that the military-industrial complex has benefited from yet another Obama “accomplishment?”
ANYA PARAMPIL: A report released recently by the Center for International Policy found that the Obama administration has shattered existing records when it comes to international weapons sales. The report outlines how in President Obama’s first 5 years in office, new agreements under the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program, the largest channel for U.S. arms, exported totaled over $169 billion. So even after adjusting that for inflation that number pales in comparison to only $30 billion in deals cut by the Bush administration in it’s entire 2 terms in office. Meaning that Obama administration bares the honor of having approved more weapons sales than any other since World War II.
JAMES EVAN PILATO: As U.S. National Security Susan Rice said the proposed military aid package to Israel is larger than any the United States has ever offered to any country. Under the headline ‘America’s $40 Billion Aid Package to Israel is Largest Ever’ . The 10 year aid program would give Israel up to $40 billion to upgrade it’s military aircraft and missile defense systems to defend against rocks … I mean militants in Lebanon and the Gaza strip and Al-Qaeda and Islamic State and it’s affiliates in Syria and Egypt.
GARY FRANCHI: The Saudis, an arms deal with them worth $1.29 billion has been approved. The United States has approved a $1.2 billion deal to replenish the Saudi air-force’s arsenal depleted by it’s controversial bombing campaign against rebels in Yemen. Congress has 30 days to block the sale but is unlikely to do so and shipment of more than 19,000 smart-bombs is urgent with strikes continuing daily.
The simple fact is that the real power in the American oligarchy isn’t wielded by the president. Obama was just a smiling, affable teleprompter reader for the powers behind the throne: the Deep State.
And thanks to NSA whistleblower Russell Tice we now know that Obama was wiretapped and, presumably, blackmailed, not by the Russian government, but by the NSA itself:
OBAMA: And by the way with respect to my concerns about privacy issues. I will leave this office at some point, sometime in the next 3 and half years and after that I will be a private citizen. I suspect that on a list of people who might be targeted so that somebody could read their emails or listen to their phone calls, I’d probably be pretty high on that list. But it’s not as if I don’t have a personal interest in making sure my privacy is protected.
JAMES CORBETT: Last week NSA whistle-blower Russell Tice conducted interviews on Boiling Frogs Post and The Corbett Report where he revealed shocking new details of the NSA spying scandal. In addition to detailing how the NSA is collecting and storing the contents of all electronic communications passing through the United States, he also revealed for the first some of the specific targets of past NSA wiretapping operations, including senior Congressional leaders, the former White House press-secretary, high-ranking military generals, the entire Supreme Court and even then Senator from Illinois and future President, Barack Obama.
RUSSELL TICE: Yeah it was journalists, it was members of Congress both houses, Senate and the House, especially on the Intelligence Committees, in the Armed Services Committees and on Judiciary Committees and as well as the senior leadership in both the House and the Senate. It was judges, federal judges and every member of the Supreme Court, all 9, of which I held the initial targeting of Judge Alito in my hand when Judge Alito was being put up for his position on the Supreme Court. So I saw the Alito paperwork in my hand, physically. It was a few members of Bush’s own staff in the White House. They went after lots of lawyers and law firms I noticed.
JAMES CORBETT: In your interview on Boiling Frogs Post you mentioned specifically General Petraeus?
RUSSELS TICE: Yes. They went after senior military leaders. With my satellite stuff I saw how they went after the State Department and they went after Colin Powell, Secretary of State. They went after General Shinseki and then on the terrestrial side I saw that paperwork as they were going after General Petraeus.
JAMES CORBETT: Was Barack Obama targeted by this?
RUSSELL TICE: Yes he was as a matter of fact. That was in 2004, probably late-summer time frame and he was a candidate for Senator. He’s already won his primary in Illinois and that’s when I saw Barack Obama’s name.
In the end, Obama’s personal failings and foibles are secondary to his main attribute: his willingness to enact the agenda of those who pulled his strings. It is ever so.
But the real question is: what have people learned from the disaster of the Obama years? Do they understand the true nature of deep state power? The true continuity of agenda that takes place even as the pendulum swings from left to right? Or are they simply going to fall for the same trick, again and again, until the final nail is placed in the coffin of human freedom?
JOHN WHITEHEAD: Well I’ve come out of the Bush era where he signed into law the USPATRIOT Act, which allowed the government to listen in on your phone calls, download your emails, come in your home while you’re not there and snoop in your home and leave, and all kinds of egregious things which I opposed vocally. So when Obama came around I thought, “Wow. This can be a new era.” And he actually talked about limiting government power and stopping war and all those things, so I said, “Hey, maybe this is the chance we need.”
He got the Nobel Peace Prize, but he was the first president, actually, to conduct eight years of war, believe it or not. Last year alone he dropped 26,000 bombs in the Middle East. Now this is a guy that early on — The early analysts from the left wing who dealt with what they call the military-industrial complex said, “Hey, he’s working with the military-industrial complex. We’re really surprised.”
So what I would say is a lot of times with candidates you have to wait and see what they do before you heap all this praise on them because it builds an expectation and then people buy into a myth. I mean people are still talking about “greatest president ever” but when I look at his record, under the most recent National Defense Authorisation Act that he re-upped, he added an anti-propaganda centre. Now they’re going to be watching what we say, what we do, if we’re so-called going against the interest of America. Well, anybody out there who’s a peace activist that’s against war and stuff like that is going to be watched even closer now.
And the Justice Department just a few days ago under Obama signed a provision allowing the NSA to share all of our information with 16 federal agencies. That’s amazing. Remember with Snowden it wasn’t Bush’s NSA that he was opposing it was Obama’s NSA.
So if you add up at the end of the day all of the things that we see happening — The militarised police grew exponentially under Obama. All of this military equipment flowing to local police in this country, tanks…
So this all happened under Obama, it all built up under Obama, but I’ll say this: Bush started the ball rolling, Obama pushed it faster and bigger, and now we’ve got Donald Trump. He hasn’t stepped into the presidency yet but do I think he’s going to pull back on this power that he has now? Obama’s sending troops into Poland now as the final act of his presidency without congressional approval. That violates the constitution.
So what we’re facing, in my opinion–and I’ve said it over and over–we’re facing a government that’s out of control. It started under Obama. If we really believe in freedom it’s time to step up and act now, America, I’m telling you.
LARRY PINKNEY: So the color card was played very insidiously and effectively by Barack Obama and his handlers, whether it was Lockheed Corporation, Goldman Sachs, I mean it’s an endless list that won’t be missed, alright? But we have to understand that they have–when I say “they” I’m talking about the national and global, what I call “power elite,” that 1% or 1.5%, whatever. They keep us corralled, if you will, James, on a plantation. Democrat/Republican plantation. As if that’s left and right, it’s not. What it is, simply, is evil. It’s a plantation of blood-suckers, and I don’t care what they call themselves. There are now people talking about “We should have Elizabeth Warren!” No we should not have Elizabeth Warren. No, we should not! We don’t need Democrats or Republicans. We need each other. And how long will it take the people in this country, in the United States, to understand that what it’s about is divide and conquer? Play each other off against each other, use each other, manipulate through fear, through disinformation–I reapeat, disinformation!–and that way control us.
Eight years on from that day of infamy, we are left to sort through the ashes of the Obama administration. They are the ashes of the lives destroyed, the families torn apart, the countries ruined by yet another willing servant of the American imperial project.
But if there is any ray of hope it is that we have here an opportunity to learn a lesson once and for all.
Until people stop falling for the lie and refuse to participate in the deep state approved spectacle of the elections, voting for smiling figureheads on the back of trite toothpaste advertisement slogans like “Hope And Change” or “Make America Great Again,” the people of the United States, and the people of the world will get exactly what they ask for.