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Forum Post: Obama is the new Nixon

Posted 11 months ago on May 16, 2013, 9:18 p.m. EST by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

By Jonathan Franklin

Without going over the edge to Rush Limbaugh territory, the internal spying on reporters and politicization of the IRS do raise the question. Could Obama be trumping “Tricky Dick” on the latter’s home turf? Few politicians can match Richard Milhous Nixon for obsession with leaks, propagation of secret wars and creation of a list of enemies.

Let’s consider the evidence thus far and remember first that an indignant bi-partisan Congressional investigation, a ferocious press well beyond Woodward and Bernstein and a public that was riveted to the hour-by-hour testimony exposed Nixon’s dirty tricks.

Obama’s penchant for secrecy has allowed only snippets of the most deadly policies to be revealed. Without even the most basic details on essential policies including execution of Americans, targeting criteria for lethal drone strikes and offensive cyber warfare ops, it will be hard to given Nixon an even playing field in the comparison, but “Nixon vs. Obama, who was worse?” is a question that many people are starting to ask.

On the zeal for tracking down leaked information, Richard Nixon’s obsession is legendary. He reacted to the leak of the Pentagon Papers by first asking the FBI to organize secret break ins, and when the FBI refused created his own “a special investigations unit,” a secret group of top aides to combat the leaking. They were latter known as “The Plumbers.” Led by the obsession to find dirt on Daniel Ellsberg, a former aide to the Secretary of Defense who passed the Pentagon Papers information to the New York Times, Nixon’s aides organized a series of break-ins culminating in the arrests of burglars at the Watergate offices in Washington, D.C. We all know how that story ends.

Obama’s record is still a work in progress, but he shows great potential to top Nixon. Not only has the Obama administration punished leakers, but has also targeted legitimate whistleblowers to a far greater extent than any President in recent memory. Last year, the Obama administration charged John Kiriakou, a former CIA agent, under the Espionage Act for telling reporters details about waterboarding torture techniques used on suspected terrorists. Kiriakou’s decision to share details (few if any of them top secret) is hardly more revealing than Ellsberg’s handing over of a vast store of Pentagon Vietnam War strategy and assessments.

Obama’s latest foray into leak investigations exploded with the recent admission by the Department of Justice that they have been digging through the records of an estimated 100 phones of reporters working for the Associated Press. These phones include main numbers in Washington, New York and Hartford, Connecticut as well as cell phones, private home phones and likely quite a bit more.

The intrusion was apparently an attempt to determine who was leaking classified information to the AP about terrorist plots in Yemen. Revelation of the spying has exploded across the Twittersphere. But now the story showed signs of exploding into another political minefield – did the Obama Justice Department monitor the telephones of Congress?

California Congressman David Nunes dropped a bombshell on May 14 when he insinuated that telephones in the House of Representatives were also monitored. “They [DOJ] went after the phone records, including right up here in the House Gallery…. So you have a real separation of powers issue,” said Nunes in an interview on May 14. “Did this really rise to the level that you would have to get phone records that would, that would most likely include members of Congress?”

Calls for a full explanation have thus far been largely ignored by Justice. Attorney General Eric Holder has passed the buck, alternately saying it was policy enacted by his deputy, that at some point he recused himself, yet in the same breath justifying the surveillance of the Associated Press. As this scandal develops, will Holder be Obama’s John Mitchell? Comparing Nixon and Obama on their obsession with leaks, with the caveat that much of the Obama administration’s actions are still secret, I’d stil say it’s hard to top Nixon, give this round to the Dick.

Re Secret Wars, who is worse? Nixon’s ability to bomb nations on the sly, including the campaign vs. Cambodia and Laos is difficult to top. Three million tons of bombs, an estimated 500,000 Cambodians killed and an entire military campaign falsified to pretend the bombs were being used inside Vietnam. That’s an impressive list and does not even include Nixon’s secret forays vs. Chile and military action in other cold war hot spots.

But Obama’s team has risen to the challenge. The Obama drone campaign with its thousands of uncounted victims, many of them civilians, is just the tip of the spear. As outlined in Jeremy Scahill’s new book “Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield”, pretty much anywhere humans can be tracked, targeted and killed in combat zones the Obama team has secret assassination squads at work. With assassination enshrined as national policy and plans to institutionalize the never ending Global War on Terror, Obama has been far more methodical in his ability to institutionalize secret warfare. Who wins? Call this round for Obama.

Whose enemies list would you rather be on Nixon or Obama? Nixon’s political enemies list which began at a list of a modest 20 people expanded to nearly 600 and was designed to be used in conjunction with IRS Audits of politically unacceptable thinking (sound familiar??) but in reality the IRS hammer was rarely if ever implemented. The Nixon crew was unable to organize reprisals against the vast majority of people on the list, leading those on the list to rank it not as punishment but as a cool social status. Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson was indignant that he was not on the list, “I would almost have preferred a vindictive tax audit to that kind of crippling exclusion.”

The folks on Obama’s enemies list are not saying that, in fact they are not saying anything because most of them are dead. Call it the “Secret Kill List”, the “Hit List” or the “Disposition Matrix”; in short you have a modern database, which the US government describes as a “next generation capture/kill list.” The criteria to be placed Obama’s list range are far broader than and the consequences of being named by Obama go way beyond tax audits, with punishments ranging from capturing, rendering to outright assassination. Who wins in the battle to create a true enemies list? Obama in a rout.

After these first three rounds, it’s Obama 2, Nixon 1. Now Obama faces a brutal headwind and as Nixon so brutally discovered, an enraged press knows no pity.

I’d bet that before the year’s out, Las Vegas will be providing the odds on Obama’s impeachment. Though I am the first to point out that much of the fodder for the anti-Obama campaign comes from the Looney Tunes/birther fringe, Obama’s personal decisions on these most pressing ethical and moral decisions has handed his enemies a crate of dynamite. No wonder the New York Times in a front-page article on May 15 referred not to “President Obama” but “Mr. Obama.”

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/05/16-8

55 Comments

55 Comments


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[-] 4 points by occupycampbellco (34) from Newport, KY 11 months ago

The real IRS scandal is that the Tea Party wasn't investigated enough.

[-] 2 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 11 months ago

I dont support people with those social views, but I dont want them being singled out either by higher ups.

[-] 7 points by shadz66 (17985) 11 months ago

TP was a Koch Astroturf Project, so doesn't 'ocb' have a point ? Also, please see by way of evidence :

''An Astroturf Campaign is a fake grass roots movement : it purports to be a spontaneous uprising of concerned citizens, but in reality it is founded and funded by elite interests. Some Astroturf campaigns have no grass roots component at all. Others catalyse and direct real mobilisations. The Tea Party belongs in the second category.

''It is mostly composed of passionate, well-meaning people who think they are fighting elite power but unaware that they have been organised by the very interests they believe they are confronting. We now have powerful evidence that the movement was established and has been guided with the help of money from billionaires and big business. Much of this money, as well as much of the strategy and the staffing, were provided by 2 brothers who run what they call "the biggest company you've never heard of". From :

e tenebris, lux ...

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[-] 0 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 11 months ago

wtf is wrong with you people upvoting this comment? Even if you hate....HATE.....the tea party. That's not what this is about....it's about government stomping out people that it wants to.....it's a loss of your freedoms.

Look at it this way.....imagine in a few years one of those Tea Party people that are hated so much makes it into office.....and then that administration goes with the precedent set by this scandal and starts to stomp out any Occupy-related or progressive organizations popping up. Because you allow organizations equal opportunities..doesn't mean you endorse that organization....it means you endorse our right as people to pursue what we believe in.

Don't be so short sited when you give away freedoms that may benefit you right now.....you need to realize the future consequences it may have on your own rights.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (20502) 11 months ago

First of all, one of the basic premises of the Tea Party is that they don't want to pay tax! They made this very clear. And, secondly, what is the big problem of the IRS preventing any group from cheating on their taxes? Isn't that their job? I mean, there is no way the IRS could raise their taxes beyond anything in the tax Code! They were only ever going to apply the rules. So, is that how it works? The groups who have been investigated are angry for having less of a chance to cheat? What a country!

[-] 1 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 11 months ago

It was blatant profiling to prolong the amount of time it took for a Tea party organization to receive something that every other organization was getting in 9 months...while it was taking 3 years for the Tea Party organizations. I'm not a big fan of the Tea Party....but you gotta look at it in a different light.

Would you be ok with that happening to Occupy groups, or progressive groups?

"First of all, one of the basic premises of the Tea Party is that they don't want to pay tax! They made this very clear. And, secondly, what is the big problem of the IRS preventing any group from cheating on their taxes?"

So if what you're saying is true...the regular 9 month time frame it takes an organization to be accepted isn't thorough enough to do a proper investigation by the IRS....perhaps all groups should have an extremely in depth prolonged investigation lasting 3 years....rather than just one organization who's politics you don't agree with? Seems logical.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20502) 11 months ago

No. I don't condone the singling out, but if the anger is based on not having the same opportunity to cheat it's kind of messed up you know? The money now, and the time spent on this ruse is just too much for me. We have real problems in this country. Why this story now? What is really going on? And, there is the argument that if you have a group of people protesting paying taxes and then filing for 501C4's perhaps they did deserve a second or longer look.

[-] 1 points by Timex (-3) 11 months ago

According to the audit that started all this, the groups that were targeted "criticize how the country is being run.” Does that criteria justify a second or longer look as well?

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20502) 11 months ago

No, of course not. The country is run by corporations, it's a huge problem.

[-] -2 points by eterna (-93) from Montauk, NY 11 months ago

for what reasons would the tea party be investigated?

[-] 1 points by shooz (26677) 11 months ago

Reagan.

If I had to choose a list not to be on?

Reagan's.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/05/16-1

Other than that?

This looks like the front page at FLAKESnews.

[-] 0 points by windyacres (1002) 11 months ago

I clearly remember when it was reported on the news that, "tapes" existed. Nixon had recorded conversations and assumed they would be private. We the people wanted to hear the tapes and didn't let up until they were released, even though some parts of them were erased. The tapes turned out to be his downfall.

I understand and agree with, "first, do no harm," when it comes to cameras in Washington, but i again call for the transparency and accountability that cameras would provide if we want a government that is for the people and by the people.

[-] -1 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 11 months ago

Obama's unscrupulous abuse of power is far more dangerous than that of Nixon. Nixon cost no one their lives; he did not trample their rights; he did not attempt to usurp their belief and opinion. Really...

And it's really sad, too because Google Obama this week and what do you get? "IRS, AP, and Benghazi" are his most pressing concerns, as covert corruption on the level of Watergate. What this means is that the press has already completely forgotten Boston which this administration is directly responsible for. And is more concerned about upholding the image of Obama as political actor than they are about the welfare of the American people.

If it were not for our foreign corporate military ventures and the fact that our Constitution resides with the Fed as the repository of our "rights" we would pay them no mind whatsoever. And I think it's time - it's time to reassert state sovereignty - we have state constitutions - and discard the Fed altogether.

[-] -1 points by Nationwide (-93) 11 months ago

No he is not, he is incompetent. Nixon was smart and knew it. He believed he could control everything and learned to play hard and dirty which was common place at the time. Obama is inexperienced but learned politics in Chicago. This is nothing but that. There are no boogiemen here.

[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 11 months ago

Dont forget sitting by idle while Occupy was beat and disbanded.

[-] -2 points by factsrfun (10721) from Phoenix, AZ 11 months ago

You and John should read a history book, but hey Peter your doing the bidding of the 1% as always.

[-] 1 points by shooz (26677) 11 months ago

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/05/17/2026851/5-major-scandals-the-media-isnt-obsessing-about/

Nixon's (R)epelican'ts set those precedents.

I don't like it either, but lying about it does no one any good.

And I don't care who's telling the lies.

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (667) 11 months ago

Are you implying that it is ok for Obama to do this because there is precedent? People like you are as much at fault for the loss of freedom as the most rabid TP member.

[-] 1 points by AlwaysWiIlBeAlwaysRight (-82) 11 months ago

shooz is an Obama supporter from moveon.org. He doesn't really understand that OWS is both against the democrats and the republicans because OWS is for fairness and freedom, something those two parties do not offer. He has an Obama effigy on a mantle that towers his bed.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

Creating your own conspiracy theories now. Wow your facade is really crumbling now.

How soon till U blow a gasket - must B soon as U seem 2 B right on schedule 2 past performances.

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (667) 11 months ago

Even if he is we should treat him like he honestly holds these opinions and try to convince him of the main issues. I am as guilty as anyone for letting my emotions involved and talking shit but that is the wrong way to go about it. Until we can educate enough people to demand change we are limited in what we can do. If we don't get that support we might as well move to another country before things get too bad before our holding the gov't accountable gets us killed.

[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

Sorry - but this is an open forum for Occupy " Supporters " not an open forum for shills.

You were talking about AWBAR - Right?

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (667) 11 months ago

I'm talking about everyone. One of the main problems I see with any forum people are not willing to try understanding the other viewpoint. That keeps people from trying to convince others of their pov and things generally devolve into name calling and one upmanship.

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[-] 0 points by shooz (26677) 11 months ago

No I didn't, nor do I.

Precedent is just reality.

Most of the stuff in this list is blown out of proportion.

Take long hard look at the precedents being set in the states today, and you will get a better picture of where I'm coming from.

As go the States, so goes the Nation.

[-] 2 points by NVPHIL (667) 11 months ago

It is scary and I agree that rep set most of the precedents. That is why we need to have a party break those precedents and not continue them. If we don't hold our politicians responsible for what they do then we have the situation we have today. The things that have been done since 9/11 are horrifying for an american but in bush's case cons didn't hold him accountable. Libs are a little better at holding obama accountable but not much. And the precedents for assasination this admin is setting are downright horrifying. Even if you trust obama imagine what cons can do with the precedents obama has put in place.

[-] 0 points by shooz (26677) 11 months ago

Please tell me then, how we're going to stop what's happening in the States?

I've posted much, and found little support from the guy who posted this thread.

If we don't start by fixing the States, we have NO chance of fixing the Nation.

Much of what the "right" is trying to pin on this administration, is stuff in the Patriot Act.

In fact, he's at least a bit more open about all of it, than those who went before.

I keep mentioning Reagan, because I found this on the site too.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/05/16-1

Most, even today, never heard of it.

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (667) 11 months ago

I didn't hear that either but can't say I'm suprised. As for fixing the states all I can say is primary anyone with connections with mainstream politics. It is going to be a decades long fight but we can win in the end. The first party that admits they lost controlof their politicians and honestly works to correct their crimes will set the tone for the country and I don't want to see con worship of self to win.

[-] 0 points by shooz (26677) 11 months ago

Perhaps you missed this?

http://occupywallst.org/forum/of-war-and-profit/

Contracts, extend these "wars"..

Contracts, the heart and soul of libe(R)tarianism, as is personal profit.

But I still think we need to start concentrating on the States.

[-] 2 points by NVPHIL (667) 11 months ago

We need to concentrate on the states without turning a blind eye at the federal level. If we do ignore the federal level there is the possibility that we can win the states and still not make any change because the federal gov't gets to powerful. I'm not talking about the ending EPA, DOE, or FEMA which have important functions but if we don't get rein in the CIA, FBI, or DOJ our job becomes difficult to impossible. That is one reason I respect people like Cenk Uyger. Even though I disagree with his reasoning for voting obama in 2012 at least he tries to keep the gov't accountable for their actions.

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (667) 11 months ago

I never said ignore MI. I agree the state level is the place we can have the most impact. That does not mean we ignore the wrongs done at the federal level. Of course if it was a rep in the white house I bet you wouldn't be so willing to ignore the crimes being commited.

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (667) 11 months ago

I feel the same about your opinions of what's going and agree that the bengahzi and IRS scandal are blown out of proportion. I haven't read enough on AP yet to have an opinion. I have to go and will talk to you later. You shouldcheck out my post "the most awe inspiring video ever" I think you can truly appreciate the song I linked in the comments.

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (667) 11 months ago

Fast track exports is basically saying rape the land for corporate profit. I just hope technology advances fast enough to clean up the mess we have made before mass die offs start. Thank you for all the links and remaining civil. I have a lot to think about.

[-] 1 points by shooz (26677) 11 months ago

I have no qualm with you Phil and often up vote your comments, as I'm in agreement with most of what you have to say.

I prefer to exchange relevant information.

That being said, I won't be posting to this thread anymore.

It's premiss is off by a long shot and I won't do anything more to promote it.

The fact that the OPer never responded to my stuff about Reagan assures that.

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (667) 11 months ago

I'm in NV and the biggest issue to me is right to work laws and casinos not paying fair taxes so our education system is underfunded. Also the fact that we can provide solar power reliably but still pollute or state for energy. That doesn't even count the fact that this is where most of the drone piloting is done. Then there is the foreclosure crisis which hit Las Vegas extra hard and our gov't has ignored the crisis. As for ALECI will admit to focusing more on what they are doing nationally.

[-] 1 points by shooz (26677) 11 months ago

ALEC works in the States as does the SPN.

A simple google will tell a lot.

http://www.prwatch.org/news/2013/05/12100/new-report-exposes-alecs-influence-nevada

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (667) 11 months ago

Now you're putting words in my mouth. I said three seperate times that we need to fix the states in this exchange. I just find it amazing that you will fight for us if the rep are taking away rights but ignore dem taking away the same rights.

[-] 1 points by shooz (26677) 11 months ago

Here's what I'm really mad at him about.

http://www.alternet.org/fracking/four-examples-last-week-prove-obama-full-hot-air-climate-protection

The press too.

Most of the rest is political bullshit.

[-] 1 points by shooz (26677) 11 months ago

Really?

What State are you in and what needs fixing?

How much legislation was written by ALEC?

How involved are the Koch's? Pete Peterson? Or others that we may not have heard of yet?

How many organization from the SPN are in your State?

like I said hypothetical's are meaningless.

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (667) 11 months ago

The lengths you will go not to admit your candidate is corrupt is amazing. I will say it one more time. We need to clean up the states while holding the federal gov't accountable. And since I suspect you will still ignore the corruption you have lost your right to criticize congress and the supreme court since they are also part of the federal gov't.

[-] 1 points by shooz (26677) 11 months ago

Don't put words in my mouth.

I said his behaviors are based on precedent.

Like it or not.......that's the truth.

I find it much more amazing that you dismiss what's happened, and is still happening in the States as insignificant.

ALEC and it's supporters don't suffer from that delusion.

Every one of those reps in the Senate and Congress came from a State.

As go the States, so goes the Nation.

They are inseparable

That's reality.

And it's a reality that folks like the Koch's exploit at every opportunity.

Many of them have been documented here. You would just have to read them and connect the dots.

[-] -3 points by AlwaysWiIlBeAlwaysRight (-82) 11 months ago

Always defending Obama and other 1%ers just because they are "democrats". OWS is not about supporting Obama. It's about supporting freedom and fairness. Obama, nor Romney, nor Bush, nor Hillary, nor any other democrat or republican offers this. We don't need Obama water boys in OWS.

[-] 1 points by shooz (26677) 11 months ago

So.

When do plan on presenting or commenting on an actual issue, instead of some conspiracy theory you dreamed up?

My guess would be never.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

Do you have ESP? Damn that sounds like as solid a prediction of facts as I have ever heard.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 months ago

U R SAD really Sad.

Here try to keep Ur spirit up - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwAcr-S1LSw

[-] 1 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 11 months ago

The Obama Administration’s Propensity for Chilling News Sources

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/05/17-0

Scandal number 6 should be Obama throwing social security on the chopping block

[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 11 months ago

What is your opinion of Dems and Reps sitting by idle while occupy was beat and disbanded?

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (10721) from Phoenix, AZ 11 months ago

When you first started to realize what taking a crap was, how long before you started to wipe your own butt, seems not yet.

Let me ask you did the Greens do shit? NO, because they got no damn power, who wins matters, if you affected who won, you would matter too.

[-] 0 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 11 months ago

Im not talking about us helping them, Im talking about them helping us.

And it didnt happen.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (10721) from Phoenix, AZ 11 months ago

your comprehension is up to it's norm

[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 11 months ago

Ok, so.... "What is your opinion of Dems and Reps sitting by idle while occupy was beat and disbanded?"

This is something that needs to be considered by those who want to focus on Dems and Reps. You have to ask yourself if its worth supporting them when they wouldnt support us.

They have the power. They have the pull. And they all sat by and watched it all happen.

How does that make you feel?

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (10721) from Phoenix, AZ 11 months ago

How does all that dry crap on your ass feel?