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Forum Post: John Cusack Interviews Law Professor Jonathan Turley About Obama Administration’s War On the Constitution

Posted 2 years ago on Sept. 1, 2012, 4:55 p.m. EST by LeoYo (5866)
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John Cusack Interviews Law Professor Jonathan Turley About Obama Administration’s War On the Constitution

Saturday, 01 September 2012 08:28 By John Cusack, Truthout | Interview

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/11264-john-cusack-and-jonathan-turley-on-obamas-constitution

I wrote this a while back after Romney got the nom... in light of the blizzard of bullshit coming at us in the next few months I thought I would put it out now

Now that the Republican primary circus is over, I started to think about what it would mean to vote for Obama...

Since mostly we hear from the daily hypocrisies of Mitt and friends, I thought we should examine "our guy" on a few issues with a bit more scrutiny than we hear from the "progressive left", which seems to be little or none at all.

Instead of scrutiny, the usual arguments in favor of another Obama presidency are made: We must stop fanatics; it would be better than the fanatics—he's the last line of defense from the corporate barbarians—and of course the Supreme Court. It all makes a terrible kind of sense and I agree completely with Garry Wills who described the Republican primaries as " a revolting combination of con men & fanatics— "the current primary race has become a demonstration that the Republican party does not deserve serious consideration for public office."

True enough.

But yet...

... there are certain Rubicon lines, as constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley calls them, that Obama has crossed.

All political questions are not equal no matter how much you pivot. When people die or lose their physical freedom to feed certain economic sectors or ideologies, it becomes a zero sum game for me. This is not an exercise in bemoaning regrettable policy choices or cheering favorable ones but to ask fundamentally: Who are we? What are we voting for? And what does it mean?

Three markers — the Nobel prize acceptance speech, the escalation speech at West Point, and the recent speech by Eric Holder — crossed that Rubicon line for me...

Mr. Obama, the Christian president with the Muslim-sounding name, would heed the admonitions of neither religion's prophets about making war and do what no empire or leader, including Alexander the Great, could do: he would, he assured us "get the job done in Afghanistan." And so we have our democratic president receiving the Nobel Peace Prize as he sends 30,000 more troops to a ten-year-old conflict in a country that's been war-torn for 5,000 years.

Why? We'll never fully know. Instead, we got a speech that was stone bullshit and an insult to the very idea of peace.

We can't have it both ways. Hope means endless war? Obama has metaphorically pushed all in with the usual international and institutional killers; and in the case of war and peace, literally. To sum it up: more war. So thousands die or are maimed; generations of families and veterans are damaged beyond imagination; sons and daughters come home in rubber bags. But he and his satellites get their four more years.

The AfPak War is more H. G. Wells than Orwell, with people blindly letting each other get fed to the barons of Wall Street and the Pentagon, themselves playing the part of the Pashtuns. The paradox is simple: he got elected on his anti-war stance during a perfect storm of the economic meltdown and McCain saying the worst thing at the worst time as we stared into the abyss. Obama beat Clinton on "I'm against the war and she is for it." It was simple then, when he needed it to be.

Under Obama do we continue to call the thousands of mercenaries in Afghanistan "general contractors" now that Bush is gone? No, we don't talk about them... not a story anymore.

Do we prosecute felonies like torture or spying on Americans? No, time to "move on"...

Now chaos is the norm and though the chaos is complicated, the answer is still simple. We cant afford this morally, financially, or physically. Or in a language the financial community can digest: the wars are ideologically and spiritually bankrupt. No need to get a score from the CBO.

Drones bomb Pakistani villages across the border at an unprecedented rate. Is it legal? Does anyone care? "It begs the question," as Daniel Berrigan asks us, "is this one a "good war" or a "dumb war"? But the question betrays the bias: it is all the same. It's all madness."

One is forced to asked the question: Is the President just another Ivy League Asshole shredding civil liberties and due process and sending people to die in some shithole for purely political reasons? There will be a historical record. "Change we can believe in" is not using the other guys' mob to clean up your own tracks while continuing to feed at the trough. Human nature is human nature, and when people find out they're being hustled, they will seek revenge, sooner or later, and it will be ugly and savage.

In a country with desperation growing everywhere, everyday — despite the "Oh, things are getting better" press releases — how could one think otherwise?

Just think about the economic crisis we are in as a country. It could never happen, they said. The American middle class was rock solid. The American dream, home ownership, education, the opportunity to get a good job if you applied yourself... and on and on. Yeah, what happened to that? It's gone.

The next question must be: "What happened to our civil liberties, to our due process, which are the foundation of any notion of real democracy?" The chickens haven't come home to roost for the majority but the foundation has been set and the Constitution gutted. Brian McFadden's cartoon says it all.

Here's the interview.

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3 Comments


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[-] 2 points by NVPHIL (664) 2 years ago

Well said. That's why I believe we shoudn't vote for obama or romney. What we can do is vote for another presidential candidate. If we can get 10 to 20 percent of the presidential vote split between non dem/rep candidates the power structure and the people will notice. This will be seen with fear by the former and hope by the later.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

Sounds about right to me. I hold no hope that this will change with Obama. All I can hope for with him is that political pressure will force him to call off the FED's incessant money printing and raise wages. If he doesn't do both these things by November, I'm not voting for anyone.

In 2016, the dems better damn well have someone with the balls to shut down the CIA (hired thugs that sell drugs, break international law, terrorize people like the SS did, and launder money) and place a wall between Wall Street and the pentagon. No more contractors of any kind for military or law enforcement. And EO12333 need to go to the supreme court, but that needs to happen before 2016.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

The whole process is bullshit, and voting is nothing more than pitting one evil against the other. Yet, and that's always the devil's deal, if Romney-Ryan carry the election, the whole mess will deteriorate further. Or will it?

That's the threat, but we know that Obama has delivered on almost none of his promises. Maybe all of us would be better off concentrating any voting efforts on the House and Senate, where with luck, at least, a stalemate can be reached.