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Torture and Lies: What's Obama Trying to Hide NOW? Why's Hillary Helping?

Sarah's picture

From the Daily Mail:

Hillary Clinton has threatened to end intelligence sharing with Britain if the High Court publishes its findings on what happened to former terror detainee Binyam Mohamed.

Letters from the U.S. Secretary of State and the CIA to the Government warn they will cease co-operation with British counterparts if two judges release details about Mr Mohamed's alleged torture.

Human rights campaigners yesterday claimed the threat - which could put British lives at risk - was merely a ' smokescreen', but Foreign Secretary David Miliband insisted it was serious.

Read more:

Yeah, it's old news -- what wad done to Binyan Mohamed hasn't been a real secret since 2005. But why is the Obama administration threatening to break off intelligence sharing with the UK if Britain's high court reveals its findings in the case? Could it be that torture isn't over yet, and that the refusal to investigate, indict, and prosecute those responsible arose from just how high in the new government the corruption of the old reached? Guardian writer Andy Worthington sums it up neatly: That the White House authorised 'waterboarding' is disturbing. But that no one in mainstream US politics seems to care is worse.

Well, it appears the Obama government does care -- about keeping the coverup in place.

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Submitted by lambert on

... Because much as I came to admire Hillary's grit and grasp of policy, at the end of the day she was only two ticks to the left of Obama. This shows it.

Submitted by jawbone on

I figured Obama was 1) getting her out of domestic politics by getting her out of the Senate where her voice would be heard loud and clear, and 2) he was going to call the shots and she would bear the brunt of criticism. She did not say this on her own, even if she came up with the idea. No SecSt goes out on this kind of limb without presidential backing.

If she doesn't agree, her only recourse is to argue as strongly as she can against the policy; then, either resign or toe the line.

By standing with this policy she gets tarred with the ugliness of the policy.

Given that it's exactly what Bush pulled with the Brits, it's clearly not new. There's no question Obama has taken up other Bush policies re: the WOT; the question is does Hillary agree.

Ultimately, it does not matter. Given her role I could no longer support her as president.

I don't think that will be an issue, but this is a deal breaker for me.

Big question

Who is there who could be a good president and be elected??

Submitted by hipparchia on

and this still would have been the administration's policy.

not to relitigate the primariez or anything, but the democratic party leadership are just kindler, gentler warhawks. hillary was slightly to the left of obama on domestic policy and i would have loved to have a grrrl president, but dennis kucinich and mike gravel were the only 2 dem candidates this time around who were seriously anti-war, anti-empire, and anti- all the trappings that go along with war and empire-building.

Submitted by lambert on

(though I frankly have no evidence for this).

I think she saw the clusterfuck coming, knew she'd be powerless to stop it, and got out of the way. I think that was completely sensible and I don't blame her for it one iota (despite a little heartburning at the time).

That said, this sort of thing comes with the territory. There it is. Ending the empire wasn't exactly a campaign issue if you recall.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Her relative strength was always on domestic issues - I think that was her electoral strength to - and she's managed to be in a place where she's relatively safe on those issues. Doing this shit still sucks, but it does come with the territory and as bad as this is, it does not surprise me the least that she's doing it.

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Submitted by vastleft on

I'm not a huge fan of her foreign policy. I supported her primarily because of her domestic policy and that she at least had more experience than Obama. She's not worse than the Village, but she mirrors the Village on most issues (so does Obama). And what I think we need is someone who doesn't do that. However, I recognize that such person is never going to be considered for President or SOS. At least with Clinton, we'll get a focus on women's rights so that's an improvement over some.

Here's what I wrote upon her confirmation in February:

Hillary's hawkishness was never a selling point for me, and it made SoS not my first choice for her role in the new administration. I supported her over Obama because I found her more progressive on domestic issues and overall framing, more aware of the hazards of the "vast right-wing conspiracy," and simply less of a bullshitter. I saw little reason to trust Obama to be the peace-monger he's been made out to be, and his selections of Biden and Hillary — as well as his own provocative statements about Iran and Israel and his gushing about the surgalicious "success" — should clear up any misapprehension, once and for all, that he repudiates their hawkishness.

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Submitted by mass on

on FP:

Every administration says they will focus on womens rights, but Hillary actually see's it as crucial to FP. I think that's unique. I once heard Bill Clinton say that the solution to most of the world's major problems; poverty, extremism, disease, war etc. started with giving women an education and a chance in the economy. I think Hillary believes that and I think she is acting on it. So, I don't think she's a poor Secretary of State or something.

I do think she should not be helping Obama, or certainly advising him, to cover about torture, and bully other nations into helping us do so. I think that's terrible policy.

Submitted by lambert on

Simple as that; give Bush credit for ripping the veil off. Somebody linked to Chalmers Johnson today, now I can't find it.

And ending the empire isn't even on the same continent as the table, let alone off it.

tedraicer's picture
Submitted by tedraicer on

Bringing up Hillary is a red herring. Unless someone has evidence she argued for this with a reluctant Obama, this isn't Hillary policy, it is Obama policy, and as a member of his administration she has to carry it out.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Odds are this won't be the worst thing she's asked to do.

Of course, she'd be resigning to destroy the party, prepare for a run in 2012, and give the Vince Foster treatment to all the world's ponies...

mass's picture
Submitted by mass on

And, I think I know why now. Diplomacy ain't bean bag. Yes, everyone knows this guy was tortured. However, it's one thing for some journalists to report the where and how, it's another thing for the British High Court to. Probably, the intelligence community went ballistic with reports the Court would make public its findings because it probably makes our few friends in the region, Saudi Arabia particularly, highly vulnerable. They are probably legitimately worried about government collapse and instability in a region where we have few friends.

So I know it's not the moralistic stand, but I can see, from a diplomatic stance, why the WH and State would want to quash this.

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

If she opposed Obama's policy she, as VL stated earlier, could have simply resigned. She didn't. Thus, it's also her policy. It doesn't mean we're scapegoating her, let alone engaging in rabid smear campaign the right-wing and then the "progressives" did to her. We're just seeing the reality, that's all.

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Submitted by TreeHugger on

who claimed that he didn't resign because he thought he could have a positive inflluence on foreign policy and thus do more good by remaining as SOS under Bush? Perhaps (probably) one reason she accepted SOS is that she views Obama as dangerously underexperienced in geopolitics in general and the grand game in particular. I suspect Clinton will use some variation of the Powell rationale one of these days. Her 'hawkishness' for lack of better word always has seemed a bit incongruous to me, but I guess 8 years on the armed services committee only strengthened her instincts in that direction. Sigh....

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

and Obama's foot-dragging (quelle surprise!)

During the campaign the Obama Administration had originally had a similar pullout strategy, saying they would have all troops out by May 2010. This was quickly revised after taking office, however, to removing all combat troops from the nation. This was further revised to note that the troops remaining would still be conducting combat missions, but wouldn’t be officially called combat troops.

Though his administration has hardly removed any troops at all since taking office, President Obama maintains that the pullout remains “on schedule.” The Reese memo will almost certainly raise further questions of whether that schedule needs dramatic revision, particularly at a time when Maliki is openly talking about keeping the troops in Iraq past 2011.