Thursday, October 24, 2013

Obama promised to rebuild America's image abroad: So how's that NSA working out for ya?

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In 2008, Obama addressed the people of Berlin, stating his desire to rebuild America's relationship with Europe and his hope of rebuilding America's image around the world.

A hope that was echoed, in the response of the people, globally, when Obama won election in November, 2008...

Crowds gathered in nations across the planet, cheering for the new president....

 

   

A hope of understanding and communication leading to peace ...  

A lot has happened since 2008 but, unfortunately, many things have stayed the same, and others have gotten worse...

Barack Obama succeeded in drawing down the number of troops in Iraq; He succeeded in expanding the war on Afghanistan and on "terror" and fear; He has succeeded in denying even more human and civil rights to prisoners of war held in Guantanamo and Bagram; And he has succeeded in expanding the wars on privacy, free press and whistle-blowers. But what about that rebuilding America's image thing?

Angela Merkel is wondering about it too...

As reported, in "Huffington Post" (as well as "Der Spiegel" and "The Guardian"), Ms. Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, got the word that her cellphone plan may have a few new subscribers...as in the NSA.

She called the President to check on the unapproved subscribers and was met with a denial - the same kind of denial he gave French President Francois Hollande on Monday when it broke that the NSA had been learning conversational French by listening to the conversations of French citizens (oops. looks like he may need to make another call - the "Genie" is out of the bottle - They have been caught spying on French Diplomats as well); The same kind of denial he gave to the president of Mexico when it broke that the NSA hacked his email account; a denial he won't get a chance to give to President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, who has cancelled an up-coming trip to meet with President Obama..

In fact, the US has burned a lot of bridges through it's NSA, including many with the people in this nation; in the UK (along with their own GCHQ), in France, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Russia, China...Then we have the UN...

A failure in the promise to rebuild America's relationship with Europe and a failure in the promise of rebuilding America's image around the world.

Truth can come from anyone, anywhere and at any time.
Truth does not care about the sex, color, creed, occupation, political leanings, age, income, lifestyle, location or looks of the truthsayer...
And the truth is that this White House Administration has shot itself in both feet, took out a knee and possibly shot off one of its newly found balls....and, with the self-inflicted wounds, come more promises of more transparency; more accountability; more oversight. '

We can try to blame it on poor planning; or an NSA gone rogue with the use of so many private contractors to whom the Pentagon has out-sourced the security of the nation and opened the floodgates for abuse and over-reach (Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, anyone?)....

Or we can put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the administration swept into office under the promise to be "transparent and accountable".

What the information gathered and released about the NSA (and about US cover-up of the military slaughter of civilians and reporters; Kill Lists; Drones killing hundreds of civilians; out-sourced torture; spying on activists; protecting Monsanto; threatening journalists and prosecuting whistleblowers) does show, is that this administration has been neither "transparent" nor " accountable".

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