Dennis Loo

Sometimes asking for the impossible is the only realistic path

Dennis Loo

Dennis Loo
Location
Los Angeles, California,
Birthday
December 31
Title
Professor of Sociology
Company
Cal Poly Pomona
Bio
Author of Globalization and the Demolition of Society; Co-Editor/Author of Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney, World Can't Wait Steering Committee Member, co-author of "Crimes Are Crimes, No Matter Who Does Them" statement, dog and fruit tree lover. Published poet. Winner of the Alfred R. Lindesmith Award, Project Censored Award and the Nation Magazine's Most Valuable Campaign Award. Punahou and Harvard Honor Graduate. Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz. An archive of close to 500 postings of mine can be found at my blogspot blog, Dennis Loo, link below. I publish regularly at dennisloo.com, worldcantwait.net (link below) and also at OpEd News and sometimes at Counterpunch.

APRIL 14, 2010 5:44PM

Crimes Are Crimes - No Matter Who Does Them

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The things that were crimes under Bush are crimes under Obama. 

Outrages under Bush are outrages under Obama. 

All this MUST STOP. 

collateral murder

And all this MUST BE RESISTED by anyone who claims a shred of conscience or integrity.

Join Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, Cornel West, Chris Hedges, Cindy Sheehan, Ray McGovern, Carl Dix, Bill Quigley, William Blum, Joyce Kozloff, Ann Messner, David Swanson, Sunsara Taylor, Stephen Rohde, Fr. Bob Bossie, Peter Phillips, Jed Stone, Tomás Olmos, Peter McLaren, Jodie Evans, Kathy Kelly, Dahr Jamail, Donald Freed, Uzma Khan, Debra Sweet, Mark Ruffalo and Paul Craig Roberts.

Add your name to this online statement and donate money so that it can be published in major publications.

*** 

In the past few weeks, it has become common knowledge that Barack Obama has openly ordered the assassination of an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, because he is suspected of participating in plots by Al Qaeda. Al-Awlaki denies these charges. No matter. Without trial or other judicial proceeding, the administration has simply put him on the to-be-killed list.

During this same period, a video leaked by whistleblowers in the military showing U.S. troops firing on an unarmed party of Iraqis in 2007, including two journalists, and then firing on those who attempted to rescue them - including two children - became public. As ugly as this video of the killing of 12 Iraqis was, the chatter recorded from the helicopter cockpit was even more chilling and monstrous. Yet the Pentagon said that there would be no charges against these soldiers; and the media focused on absolving them of blame - "they were under stress," the story went, "and after all our brave men and women must be supported."

Meanwhile, those who leaked and publicized the video came under government surveillance and are targeted as "national security" threats.

Also during this period, the Pentagon acknowledged, after denials, a massacre near the city of Gardez, Afghanistan, on February 12, 2010, in which 5 people were killed, including two pregnant women, leaving 16 children motherless.  The U.S. military first said the two men killed were insurgents, and the women, victims of a family "honor killing."  The Afghan government has accepted the eyewitness reports that U.S. Special Forces killed the men, (a police officer and lawyer) and the women, and then dug their own bullets out of the women's bodies to destroy evidence. Top U.S. military officials have now admitted that U.S. soldiers killed the family in their house.

Just weeks earlier, a story broken in Harper's by Scott Horton carried news that three supposed suicides of detainees in Guantánamo in 2006 were not actual suicides, but homicides carried out by American personnel. This passed almost without comment

In some respects, this is worse than Bush. First, because Obama has claimed the right to assassinate American citizens whom he suspects of "terrorism," merely on the grounds of his own suspicion or that of the CIA, something Bush never claimed publicly. Second, Obama says that the government can detain you indefinitely, even if you have been exonerated in a trial, and he has publicly floated the idea of "preventive detention." Third, the Obama administration, in expanding the use of unmanned drone attacks, argues that the U.S. has the authority under international law to use such lethal force and extrajudicial killing in sovereign countries with which it is not at war.

Such measures by Bush were widely considered by liberals and progressives to be outrages and were roundly, and correctly, protested.  But those acts which may have been construed (wishfully or not) as anomalies under the Bush regime, have now been consecrated into "standard operating procedure" by Obama, who claims, as did Bush, executive privilege and state secrecy in defending the crime of aggressive war.

Unsurprisingly, the Obama administration has refused to prosecute any members of the Bush regime who are responsible for war crimes, including some who admitted to waterboarding and other forms of torture, thereby making their actions acceptable for him or any future president, Democrat or Republican.

We must end the complicity of silence and say loud and clear:

The things that were crimes under Bush are crimes under Obama.

Outrages under Bush are outrages under Obama.

All this MUST STOP.

And all this MUST BE RESISTED by anyone who claims a shred of conscience or integrity.

*** 

In the first 36 hours after this statement was first circulated in a limited fashion, over 800 people signed it.

There is more that must be done than signing this statement and financing it so that it can go public in major outlets, but putting your name to it, getting your contacts to put their name to it, and clearly demarcating where you stand and where you will not go, is critical to realigning this nation's political balance of forces and ending these outrages that get worse by the day. We are marking a line in the sand in this statement and issuing a call to all those who are sickened by what they see their government has been doing and who can be won to doing something meaningful and effective about it. 

Some of the most prominent signatories so far worked for Obama's campaign. They are now making a very important statement of where they stand. Join them and let's make this a turning point that will be remembered and treasured for years and generations to come. 

Wikileaks is soon to release another video, reportedly even more harrowing than the "Collateral Murder" video they released last week. As our government becomes more and more secretive and deception becomes more and more pronounced and routine, the role of whistleblowers, such as those within the military itself who are giving Wikileaks these damning and explosive videos, is exceptionally important.

Take heart. There are people coming out of the woodwork on the right side in this fight. There are people in the millions who hate what you hate and love what you love. The time is now.   

Add your name to this online statement and donate money so that it can be published in major publications. 

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Comments

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To my fellow OS community: Let's show the world what we're made of. Sign the statement, post it elsewhere and circulate it, donate so that it can be published in a major publication, let's turn this around!
Any person of conscience shocked and sick at heart by the continued crimes of our government needs to sign their name to this statement. Thanks Dennis for posting this. Much love to you.
Professor Loo, thank you for posting this.
Thank you a lot for posting this.

As told in my previous comment on your previous post I'm convinced that this kind of campaign will have an effect.

I think that it would be a good idea to be diplomatic. In my opinion the current administration is not consisting of bastards only (and neither GWB's administration was) and they can be won on our side.

Too much pressure will have a counter effect and the people who are responsible for the crimes will start fighting back.

The whole wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq are criminal. And it is not easy to admit it.

I'm not completely against Obama's idea of 'looking for the future'. But I think that the idea must contain the concept of not forgetting the past. I have written a poem about the concept on my block.

Somehow the policy of the present administration of America should be turned into becoming a partner of development of 'the enemy countries' like Iraq and Afghanistan instead of fighting against them. That way America could pay back partly their crimes. Bring the soldiers home and send there engineers, doctors and philosophers instead.

At present nobody knows exactly about the right way of the future of the countries like Iraq, Afghanistan or America. It is matter of negotiations between the different parties of the conflicts.
I wrote months ago on my blog here at OS:

----
"Who is dangerous

Two choices. Who are the most dangerous people?

President Obama, who wants to get the rights to keep by his own choice anybody arrested indefinite time periods by his idea that 'the person is dangerous'?

Those people Obama thinks to be 'dangerous'?
----

Now when you have seen that President Obama has ordered someone to be killed without any trials, because he and his aides think that the person in case is 'dangerous' the answer to my question should be quite easy.

I already wrote in my comment for Dennis' previous post that it should be seriously considered, if it would be possible to get the President into the law court to prosecute him for this kind of behavior, which seems to be quite criminal.
If signed and will donate. So glad you're keeping this in front of everyone. We have to make it stop.
Thank you Jill, Hannu, Old New Lefty, and Pat (especially for signing and donating!). Please spread the word and post this where you can too.
Dennis, I watched the video in Australia... Simply horrifying. As you point out in your essays, many many more stories are buried in a porridge of political correctness.

It is not that you have exposed it here that is concerning, it is that a significant majority WILL find it inconsequential – that is if, any even bother reading/watching it.

After watching that video – I have felt a sense of hopelessness in my being... The ultimate realisation that human beings are a vermin species within our galaxy.

The staggering hatred we have for one another and the horrors of commercial factory farms, sometimes makes me wish we be consumed by our Sun sooner rather than later.
Mal: Do not despair. While it is true that too many are slumbering and indifferent, it doesn't matter as much as that the moral and intellectual leadership moves on this front now. We are gathering a relatively small, but exceptionally significant coterie of people to form the core of a much bigger segment of the population who can swing the balance of forces eventually.

The Pentagon fought like crazy to keep the "Collateral Murder" video from being seen. There is a reason why they don't want people to see it.
Read, signed and donated. Keep up the good fight Dennis!
read it. liked it. support it. signed it!
And see, “Anwar al-Awlaki and Obama’s Queen of Hearts Memo” at http://open.salon.com/blog/f_arouete/2011/10/12/anwar_al-awlaki_and_obamas_queen_of_hearts_memo