Freedom Rider: Tough Questions for Clinton and Obama
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
"Do you think Rev. Wright loves the country as much as you
That question will go down in history as one of the worst
posed by the already discredited faux journalists who thrive in the United
States. It was one of a litany of bizarre queries that took place during what
was erroneously referred to as a debate between Barack Obama and Hillary
Clinton the week before the Pennsylvania primary. ABC news was the perpetrator
of this particularly bad episode of corporate media misbehavior.
While the questions posed by George Stephanopoulos and
Charles Gibson were rightly criticized, the critics miss a much larger point.
The media are up to their usual tricks, distracting with foolish questions
while the questions that need answering go unasked. The real scandal of the ABC
debate was not the insipid questions about Rev. Jeremiah Wright or whether the
loser will run for vice president.
"Obama strategically returned to making carefully crafted
pledges of love to Republicans."
The Pennsylvania primary brought out the worst in both
candidates. Clinton left the state with the endorsement of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
a newspaper that quite literally paid for the investigations that resulted in
Bill Clinton's impeachment. Obama strategically returned to making
carefully crafted pledges of love to Republicans. In one speech he said he
would emulate the foreign policies of the first president Bush, and "in some
ways" that of Ronald Reagan.
The week before the debate debacle, President Bush admitted
that he knew and personally approved
torture. "And yes, I'm aware our national security team met on this
issue and I approved." This stunning statement was made to an ABC
reporter, so Gibson and Stephanopoulos did not have to go far in order to find
at least one good question. It could have been phrased something like this.
"The president recently admitted he and top aides broke the law. If you become
president what will you do to expose this activity and bring the perpetrators
to justice?" But why ask that when you can ask about flag pins.
When asked about this admission of wrong doing, Barack
Obama told the world, in his usual double talking slippery way, that he would
do nothing to bring Bush and Cheney before the bar of justice after they leave
office. While acknowledging that "no one is above the law" he also
said he wouldn't want to cause any discomfort among Republicans. Stephanopoulos
and Gibson didn't see fit to inquire why he is so eager to tiptoe around the
criminals, because that would mean actually doing the job journalists ought to
"They sat in the White House and discussed who would be
tortured, and how and under what circumstances."
The President and top aides such as Vice President
Cheney, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld and Condi Rice sat together and
planned the violation of international law and the torture of human beings.
They sat in the White House and discussed who would be abused, and how and
under what circumstances. Democrats have said nothing and Clinton and Obama are
no exception. Obama actually promised to do nothing
"I would want to find
out directly from my Attorney General - having pursued, having looked at what's
out there right now - are there possibilities of genuine crimes as opposed to
really bad policies. And I think it's important - one of the things we've got
to figure out in our political culture generally is distinguishing between
really dumb policies and policies that rise to the level of criminal activity.
You know, I often get questions about impeachment at town hall meetings and
I've said that is not something I think would be fruitful to pursue because I
think that impeachment is something that should be reserved for exceptional circumstances.
Now, if I found out that there were high officials who knowingly, consciously
broke existing laws, engaged in coverups of those crimes with knowledge
forefront, then I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above
the law -- and I think that's roughly how I would look at it."
If the President, Vice President, Secretaries of State and
Defense and the National Security Advisor planning tortured does not rise to
the level of "exceptional circumstances" then nothing else will. Obama and his
Attorney General to be named later wouldn't have to investigate very much. We
know what is "out there right now." The president admitted to "knowingly,
consciously" breaking existing laws. By
his own definition, Obama knows that Congress should begin impeachment
proceedings right now. Yet Obama effectively assured Bush that he and his gang
have nothing to fear from him.
"Clinton and Obama both swear loyalty to Republican
policies and are never called to account."
The seemingly never ending campaign might have been used as
a means of making demands on Clinton and Obama. Instead they both swear loyalty
to Republican policies and are never called to account. Progressives continue
their mad lemming-like rush to Obama even as he promises to raise Reagan from
the dead and let Bush get away scot-free.
While there are tough questions that should be asked of the
Clinton/Obama twins it is a bit late in the day to do so. The die is cast, and
George W. Bush will go down in history as one of the worst but one of the most
successful presidents in history. He not only accomplished nearly all of his
policy goals, but he made sure that his successor will continue them. Whether
McCain, Obama or Clinton is sworn in next January, George W. Bush and all of
his awful policies will still occupy the oval office.
Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York
City, and can be reached via e-Mail at
Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgandaReport.Com. Ms. Kimberley maintains an edifying
and frequently updated blog at freedomrider.blogspot.com. More of her work
is also available at her Black Agenda Report archive