The President Has Been Afraid of What?

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger

As someone who voted for and rejoiced in Barack Obama’s election in 2008, I had certain expectations for his Presidency. My expectations heightened with the Democratic party’s majorities in Congress. Foremost I wanted to see a swift end to both wars, which I believe are unjust and draining the resources of this country. Since Obama was presumably a constitutional law scholar, I expected that he would return this country to the Rule of Law. I expected the new President to eliminate the Bush constitutional usurpation of our government and people, occurring with Democratic Party compliance. The Administration would end the widespread use of torture, rendition, and the excesses of The Patriot Act. His Department Of Justice would prosecute those who were responsible. As far as the economic crisis engendered by Wall Street excesses, I had faith that he would deal with it through FDR like projects, by re-regulation/prosecution of the financial industry and ending the unjustified Bush Tax cuts for the wealthy.

 That none of this has happened, or was even attempted has filled me with disappointment and anger towards this Administration’s performance. In my mind as I tried to make sense of it of this betrayal, there was a nagging suspicion. What if the “powers that be” in our Country including the Military-Industrial complex had sent the word to the newly elected President: “Play ball”, or find yourself and your family grievously threatened? I was a young adult through the 60’s as I watched the assassinations of my heroes, one of whom was a President. I’m not  comfortable with the official explanation of these deaths, since there was much that didn’t make sense. In the 70’s The Pentagon Papers, Watergate, and later the Church Committee Report on the CIA gave credence to the possible actions of a secret government. In addition, we learned from General Smedley-Butler,  that a group of businessmen had contacted him in 1934 about leading a coup against FDR. One of those conspirators was Prescott Bush, father of Bush I and grandfather of Bush II. Later, Prescott Bush was involved in a Bank that had financed the NAZI’s rise to power.

On September 7th, Rob Kall’s OpEdNews published “Obama Team Feared Coup If He Prosecuted War Crimes”.  Andrew Kreig, executive director of the Justice Integrity Project, wrote this article. There are some very persuasive points in it and I believe it is worth your perusal and comment:

If this speculation were true, it would go a long way towards explaining what we’ve been seeing from the Obama Administration. It would also be a disaster for any notion of the Rule of Law. 

This Administration has performed timidly in areas promised by their campaign and enumerated above. Their performance on even something like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was timid and drawn out compared to the President’s campaign promises and its’ eventual resolution was a tortured process, to say the least. The easiest explanation of course is a timid Presidency and that as smart as he is, Barack Obama lacks the ability to lead with strength. This is indeed the simplest solution and “behind the scenes” threats are not needed to offer further explanation. However, I must admit that doesn’t fully satisfy me. Any man who runs for President is essentially audaciously self-confident. Who in hell would really want such a 24/7 high tension job, except for people who so believe in themselves that they are willing to go through the torture of a Presidential Campaign to get there? The “audaciousness of hope” had to possess some strong power behind it in the man out front.

Please understand that I am not yet willing to believe absolutely that our Government is so completely in the hands of a centralized power that our elected officials mean nothing. While having seen much in life that stimulates my cynical nature, I remain an optimist as a matter of mental health. The hubris needed to propound and continue such an ongoing plot would be massive. The logistics are enormous in terms of maintaining secrecy. I know too much of human fallibility to fully believe this could be executed completely, without consequence or rumor, yet there are those many strange assassinations to ponder.  

Tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of  America’s 9/11 tragedy. Our reaction to it as a country in that decade makes me feel at times that Al Qaeda triumphed by swerving our country away from its’ ideals and constitution. What then if this speculation is true and certain people with power have used the fear engendered to resort to illegal pressure upon our President? What can we do about it?

My own belief is that without ignoring it, we must proceed as if it isn’t true and to continue to fight for the ideals and Constitution we hold sacred. I believe that violent revolution never works and only begets new tyrants. However, revolutions don’t have to be violent to succeed, as Gandhi showed us and as Reverend King proved. Revolution can be as simple as a majority of the people refusing to buy into the mythology tyranny presents to maintain control over us. Tyranny needs acceptance of its faulty premises and fear via intimidation to work its will. Educating most people in what is occurring and how they are deceived represents a powerful force. Professor Turley in his legal Career has consistently fought against evils like torture and against the extra-constitutional actions of chief executives and legislators. These legal battles are an example of fighting back and are educational as well. I will never accept that the battle is over and that we have become a feudal, corporate-controlled country. However, I fully realize that my own proffered solutions are more hopeful than concrete

What do you, the reader, think about this news story? Do you find it credible? If it is creditable, what do you propose we can or should do about it?

 Submitted by: Mike Spindell

83 thoughts on “The President Has Been Afraid of What?”

  1. Woosty = ^..^, I saw a movie about 30 years ago wherein one of the characters wonders aloud why the same clues keep leading back to a handful of names and the PI working the case says that that is how it’s always worked in California, the names are always the same, they just push them around to fit the situation.

    I think of that exchange often. That is how our government works. Same names, same architects building the same structure, they just wear different titles from day to day. As I recall, the President promised in some campaign speech to not make the mistake of putting the same people that screwed things up in charge of fixing it. I must have misunderstood what he was saying. 🙂

    “re-couped” 🙂 I always read your postings because you have a good sense of word-play and generally get me smiling.

  2. Gene,

    I love them and an old fart like me doesn’t normally dig Hip Hop style.
    Great lyrics and good music. Maybe the new sound of revolution done right.

  3. lottakatz1, September 11, 2011 at 3:06 am

    perhaps General Petraeus being called to the CIA is an act of re-couping..,
    if our Government made mistakes and let the wrong ones in, they can correct…


  4. Mike,

    I was going to smith some words of my own, but upon reading the responses to this point, I thought I’d let Denver based band Flobots speak for me . . .


    So much pain we
    Dont know how to be but angry
    Feel infected like weve got gangrene
    Please dont let anybody try to change me
    Just me
    In the middle of a sea full of faces
    Full of faces
    Some laugh some salivate
    Whats in your alleyway
    Recycling bins or bullet cases
    Its not equal
    Its not fair
    Were different people
    But were not scared
    We aint never scared
    To pave a new path
    Make a new street
    Build a new bridge
    Say can you see by the dawns early light
    Free slaves running
    Songs words werent right
    Now a new days coming
    The few stay stunning while the many are handsome
    Your soul is alive but they want it for ransom
    The base drumming is the anthem
    We step to the heartbeats of our granddaughters and grandsons

    Rise together we

    Lost hope and found need
    Grounded by our surroundings
    Did the walls scream universities
    Or you and i verse the tees
    React automatic and we burst when squeezed
    And make 9-11 each emergency
    Urgency amber to red like the turning leaves
    Oh please let the hurting cease
    Don’t let apathy police the populace
    We will march across
    Those stereotypes that were marked for us
    The answers obvious
    We switch the consonants
    Change the sword to words and lift continents

    Rise together we

    If you believe in redemption
    I’m calling to you from another dimension

    “Fight With Tools”

    Echo echo one-nine
    Hear the call through fault lines
    Smoke signals, old rhymes
    Shorted lights in store signs
    Spelled in a broken code
    Find that it is time to
    Breath, build, bend, and refine you
    We sky tenants
    Give it all but wont give up
    Radio soul antennas
    Radio to lift spirits
    Call sign commando
    M.o. is independence
    Scream till the walls fall,
    Dissolve all the limits

    Occupied minds
    Unemployed skills
    Worn out
    Torn down
    Just for now thrill seekers
    Test tube babies in beakers
    Where gun blasts pump straight from the speakers
    The system where the
    Poor get poorly paid
    To hold the ladder
    Where the rich get ricocheted
    Into the stratosphere
    And in between people are rushin’ like vladimir
    With metals to make their status clear
    Get us out of here

    We need heroes
    Build them
    Don’t put your fist up
    Fill them
    Fight with our hopes and our hearts and our hands
    We’re the architects of our last stand

    There’s a war going on for your mind
    Those who seek to occupy it will stop at nothing
    The battlefield is everywhere
    There is no sanctuary
    There are no civilians
    You have two choices
    Surrender or enlist

    What kind of person are you
    Always the first to argue
    Or never down to stick your neck out
    Cause it hurts you far too much
    To see your rep suffer
    Set you up a buffer
    Well neither is enough for us cut from a tougher brand of duct tape
    The propaganda’s stuck on us like sock pajamas
    Spread like a virus
    Through accepted thoughts and proper manners
    But off the cameras
    Somethings simmering across the land
    About to bubble up
    And knock the lids off of the pots and pans

    We are non stop juggernauts
    Stomp ziggurats
    Spit manifestos
    By terabytes and gigawatts
    Shock paradigms
    Give sense to a score
    Throw thoughts through the sky
    Activate twenty more
    In these high and dry times
    Expectorate on dogma
    Pragmatic sycophants
    Divide and conquer
    We build bridges offer
    Hard work and prosper
    As hand made heroes brought to you by no sponsors

    We need heroes
    Build them
    Don’t put your fist up
    Fill them
    Fight with our hopes and our hearts and our hands
    We’re the architects of our last stand

    All free minds to the front
    All free minds to the front
    We call upon women
    We call upon children
    We call upon the handicapped
    The infirmed
    The weak of heart
    We need your courage
    Your dedication
    Your passion
    Your conviction
    Gather up your platinum
    Melt it down
    Gather up your gold
    Melt it down
    Gather up your silver
    Your bronze
    Your aluminum
    Melt it down
    Melt it down
    Melt it down

    Our government derives its legitimacy and power from the people. It can only become our oppressor if we allow it to in the name of greed using our fear against us. We must not allow this path we are on as a nation to continue in the name of liberty and freedom. As the song says, “You have two choices. Surrender or enlist.” Start demanding accountability and responsiveness from our elected officials to the needs of all the people, not just the corporations, the monied “elites” and the self-perpetuating war machine. Don’t take “no” or “we must look forward, not backward” as an answer. We cannot know where we are going if we don’t know where we’ve been and redress and address our missteps and mistakes. Together we rise or united we will fall.

  5. Roco,

    “In fact dont Germans have coups in beer halls?”

    Germans wouldn’t have a coup in beer hall–they’d have a putsch. I’ve heard that’s because beer drinkers are such putsch-overs.

  6. From Wikipedia

    “Article II of the United States Constitution (Section 4) states that “The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” ”

    So if by a coup, Mr. Spindell means following the Constitution, yes a coup is virtual certainty.

    And, for the record, it was not merely an attempt: President Clinton was impeached (but not convicted).

  7. Jo Atkins,

    Love the formulation “Greedy Bastards” and I’ve been looking for such a simple derisive term for years. I will use it from now on and hope it will catch on more and more.

  8. Typically, a coup d’état uses the extant government’s power to assume political control of the country. In Coup d’État: A Practical Handbook, military historian Edward Luttwak says, “A coup consists of the infiltration of a small, but critical, segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder”, thus, armed force (either military or paramilitary) is not a defining feature of a coup d’état. (from wikipedia)
    There may be a coup and it has already occurred but I don’t think it is what is generally called a Coup d’État. This is much more insidious. I’ll call them the Greedy Bastards.
    The Greedy Bastards are were very subtle as they began their coup. But as more joined the Greedy Bastards they have become more blatant in their usurping of our democracy.
    In the mid to late 19th century we had the robber baron class. And tho they were suppressed somewhat they were not governed properly to keep them from becoming our lords and masters. They just became more subtle in their coup. The Greedy Bastards have always known its best to own a Congresscritter or two. But they became more orchestrated joining together for their own profit etc. We all know that but they hit on the best policy to keep their insidious plotgoing by getting a certain segment of society on their side even if it meant the fools voted against their own financial best interest. Do this with fear, religiousosity, ignorance and hatred of anyone opposed to their views and opinions.
    Talk radio has taught hatred and joy in ignorance. And to hate and ridicule anyone who denounces logical ideas. The greedy Bastards buy up communications and despoil the media written and broadcast. The media elite have the choice to hop on board of popular opinion or lose their jobs. Pay them very well if they go along if not make sure that even the Bohunk Observer won’t hire ’em.
    Tell the feudal slaves that learning is eliteism. Afterall good ole middle America is the heart of the country and ” We don’t need no booklearnin’ we have common sense” Good Grief.
    Hate those who don’t have your religious views. Fear those who look different especially if they are darker complexioned. Punish anyone who doesn’t toe the party line. Punish those who are different. Punish… Punish… PUNISH! Authoritarianism is very nice if you are the ones telling rather than being the one told.
    But now The Greedy Bastards have reached the point in their coup where they have so much power they don’t hide their agenda as well. You don’t have to tell the Prez to toe the line. He very quickly he gets the idea. The feudal slaves are have been conditioned to get a hard-on when seeing someone PUNISHED. Now when its them being punished (social security) there are enough who are a distance from the time when they will suffer and its so exciting to watch the old codgers suffer ( the lazy old geezers expecting My money to live it up) …………………………………………….
    The Greedy Bastards sit back and smile.

  9. Mike S.

    “Yet those who caused the financial collapse continue to make money and hold their positions.”

    And NO ONE has gone to jail,NO ONE.

  10. For those believing a coup so unlikely, wasn’t the attempted impeachment of Bill Clinton for “lying” about an affair an attempted coup?
    When he said he never had sex with that woman he was telling the truth as far as the 65% of Americans who believe “to have sex” means to have intercourse. The ridiculously silly impeachment and the stasis it placed on Clinton’s Presidency, was from the perspective of those initiating it a success without his removal.

    Curious too was the financial crisis that hit the country only a few months before the 2008 Election date, that in effect “hamstrung” Obama when he took office. Sheer coincidence, perhaps, but it certainly has dominated the time of his governance. Yet those who caused the financial collapse continue to make money and hold their positions.

    This possibility does not relieve Obama of his responsibility. When you have the hubris to run for President, you are guaranteeing that you can handle all contingencies that might arise. He hasn’t kept that promise.
    As LK and AY have inferred, coups can take many shapes. In the end we who are not in with “the in crowd”, can only watch the patterns on the wall of our collective cave and make our inferences.

  11. If the Office of the President has acted in a manner even partly driven by fear of a coup, either independently or on the counsel of advisers (that did not tell the President of their fears) has not a coup been accomplished?

    If the Wikipedia is correct in its definition of the kinds of coup did not the last President (or his VP or others of the same mind in his Cabinet) accomplish a coup and then codify it with bad law?'%C3%A9tat

    “The self-coup denotes an incumbent government — aided and abetted by the military — assuming extra-constitutional powers. A historical example is President, then Emperor, Louis Napoléon Bonaparte. Modern examples include Alberto Fujimori, in Peru, who, although elected, temporarily suspended the legislature and the judiciary in 1992, becoming an authoritarian ruler, and King Gyanendra’s assumption of “emergency powers” in Nepal. Another form of self-coup is when a government, having been defeated in an election, refuses to step down.”

  12. “…Obama was presumably a constitutional law scholar.”

    Can somebody cite any scholarly work Mr. Obama published?
    He is not a great orator, as we all hear and witness, but this does not make him a “scholar.”
    Only a list of publication, short or long, will affirm the above statement.

    “Oh, yee mortals, abandon all hope!…”

  13. Well this sure explains why O-Bomb-a was “looking forward, not backward”; he was afraid of a coup and he was helpless. Come to think of it, he was also helpless in the face of those nasty Republicans who blocked his every move on Gitmo and the Public Option.

    Golly, he really, really wanted to keep those campaign promises on closing Gitmo and health care and he would have encouraged at least a primary investigation of former Bush $ Co officials regarding violations of the Convention Against Torture, but he was powerless in the face of such opposition so it’s not like he was lying or anything.

    O-Bomb-a deserves another four year term, because THIS time he’s going to really change things and also because he’s not Michelle Bachmann.

  14. Tim in SF
    1, September 10, 2011 at 8:24 pm
    Wow. So much whining in a blog post. I don’t even know where to begin.

    It seems you want maximum political conflict as well as maximum political results. I don’t think you can have both.

    WHY NOT….

    I don’t really think anyone wants conflict…I think people want bi-partisan results…

    Your ideal is more conflict without resolution…I think this is the case that we are speaking of Tim…

  15. Wow. So much whining in a blog post. I don’t even know where to begin.

    It seems you want maximum political conflict as well as maximum political results. I don’t think you can have both.

    What precedent can you name in which a president bypassed congress and was successful? W. Bush had only one such proposal – privatization of Social Security, and the only thing he succeeded in doing by taking his case directly to the people was to lower his popularity.

    Obama got DADT repealed. I don’t care how he looked doing it. I don’t care that you don’t like the way looked while getting it done.

    In fact, I don’t care about anything you have to say. You whine too much.

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