As I watched a recap of the horse and pony show that was John Brennan’s Senate Confirmation hearing, the Bob Marley lyric, “Well it seems like total destruction is the only solution, ain’t no use, no one can stop them now” reverberated within my head like the roar of a lion. Brennan is once more the President’s choice to be top dawg at the CIA. Back in 2008, protests by Human Rights groups prevented him from being considered for the post. However, Mr. Obama unfortunately considers torture to be a welcomed part of his “Yes we can” credo. Brennan’s previous stint with the CIA was marred with allegations of torturous acts committed against citizens of various nationalities during the ongoing U.S. “War of Terror,” I mean U.S. “War on Terror.” He was a leading proponent of CIA renditions and torture in his official capacity with the Bush administration. I believe the actual terms used by Brennan was that he was “intimately familiar” with rendition. A report by the Open Society Justice Initiative, “Globalizing Torture,” names at least 136 individuals who were subjected to secret detention and rendition by the US and its partner states. Western democracies supposedly do not apply overt propaganda techniques to our populations, but wasn’t Ivan Drago supposed to be the villain? When did Maverick and Goose become the bad guys?
Diane Feinstein (D-California) and other corporate employees that “serve” on Capitol Hill continued to pitch softballs to Brennan while skirting the 800 lb. legal gorilla in the room. Brennan is considered the key architect of the U.S. drone program, which is used in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere to track and kill “terrorists.” The program has been heavily criticized for targeting American citizens and for the unnecessary murder of innocent civilians. Apparently the Obama administration and its wheel-man Brennan, consider the Due Process Clause and Bill of Rights of the Constitution applicable only in specific circumstances. As far as the “collateral” deaths of civilians, brown-skinned tribesmen that cannot be terrorized into adopting consumer capitalism are merely obstacles impeding the imperial interests of the NATO members. There is no oversight of the drone program. No charges, no evidentiary hearing, just Brennan’s accusations and Obama’s acquiescence. And poof, a state sanctioned hit. Earlier in the week, through some newspeakesque word-smithing, attorney general Eric Holder articulated why American citizens can be targeted and killed via circumvention of the guarantees outlined in Madison’s Magnum Opus. The trend seems to be a further expansion of the already broad interpretation of Executive power as outlined by the Bush White House.
Patriot Act, NDAA, now this? Those who wield the Spear of Longinus certainly seek to obviate the rule of law. I guess it’s time to bid you adieu ol’ Girl. For 200 years you stood as a beacon of hope and a shining light of justice against the will of tyrants. You ended the “divine right of kings” and shone brightly from your perch; scribbled upon hemp paper, you met the demands of your changing world and eventually grew to love all your children. But alas, all good things must come to an end. I just didn’t think the very men you warmly embraced would gut you like a pig. To those of us who truly got to know you, our hearts and minds shall forever be yours. Your ironclad guarantees just are not ironclad anymore. Furthermore, individuals who attempt to voice their outrage over the violations of your dignity become the targets of federal prosecutions themselves.
To his credit, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) asked Brennan what the public deserved to know about “the President’s ability to kill Americans.” Brennan didn’t answer directly; saying only that the government must “optimize transparency [and] at the same time optimize secrecy and the protection of our national security.” Brennan’s nonchalance was eerily familiar to that displayed by Lloyd Blankfein and the other bank conspirators when questioned by Congress relating to the heist perpetuated against the US taxpayer. Can’t blame them though, I owe no explanation to the hired help about why the floors are dirty.
When human rights and the sanctity of life are dealt a blow like this, advocates for the dignity of all men sometimes need a reassuring voice. I hope you find some comfort in the following excerpt from the gospels of Marley.
Here’s a link to the uploader’s YouTube homepage http://www.youtube.com/user/seh1390sam
More info on this can be found at democracynow.org