Saturday, November 16, 2013

Protecting Citizens From The Truth

In a 2008 campaign speech, Senator Obama famously declared "I'll make our government open and transparent so that anyone can ensure that our business is the people's business. No more secrecy. That is a commitment that I make to you as president."  Rhetorically, President Obama has emphasized the importance of transparency and on June 13 of this year (video, below) acknowledged "But the mere fact that you have the legal power to keep something secret doesn't mean you should always use it." He promised "I will also hold myself as President to a new standard of openness and transparency."

Or maybe not. reports

If the U.S. gets its way, the world will never know the details of top-level discussions between George W. Bush and Tony Blair that paved the way for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

An exclusive report released Thursday by The Independent reveals that the White House and U.S. State Department have launched a fierce battle against the release of a four-year government-ordered investigation into the lead-up and aftermath of British participation in a war now widely viewed in the UK as a catastrophe.

The inquiry, led by Sir John Chilcot, is believed to take aim at the official version of events, including misrepresentation of Iraq intelligence, as well as questions about whether former British Prime Minister Tony Blair engaged in secret negotiations with the Bush administration while lying to the British people.

Yet, the U.S. government is forbidding the release of communications between Blair and Bush in the lead-up to the war, declaring it classified information and pressuring British Prime Minister David Cameron to wipe this information from the report.

The Independent reports that the hidden documents "are said to provide crucial evidence for already-written passages that are highly critical of the covert way in which Mr Blair committed British troops to the US-led invasion."

The paper goes on to quote a top-level diplomat, who declared, “The US are highly possessive when documents relate to the presence of the President or anyone close to him... this is not Tony Blair’s or the UK Government’s property to disclose.”

There are signs that the British government is poised to cave to U.S. pressure, in a bid to protect the 'special' relationship between the two countries.

The U.S. government position is designed to protect Bush Administration officials- the same gang Senator Obama criticized while pleading for the votes of Democrats in primaries, and for Democrats and independents in the general election.  But no matter. Now he is President and has been enthusiastic about extending the national security state.  A cynical Digby comments "If President Obama thinks that doing this will protect him from similar revelations when a Republican president takes over he's delusional. They don't play by the same rules as anyone who observed the Ken Starr Circus should understand."

No, they don't.  The only thing which will protect Obama and his henchmen, if a Repub is elected President, is that he or she (oh heck, he) will want to go beyond even where the current president has taken us. And so yet again, President Obama is paving the way for a resurgence of conservatism in America.

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