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Analisi Difesa, Italy

Obama’s Encore Is
Even More Warmongering

By Gian Micalessin

Obama’s nominations, united in their total indifference for the female electorate who guaranteed the re-election for the president, are the litmus test of a presidency that has made cynicism its warhorse.

Translated By Bianca Fierro

10 January 2013

Edited by Daye Lee

Italy - Analisi Difesa - Original Article (Italian)

An anti-Israel homophobe detested by Jewish and gay rights groups is first in line to the Pentagon. A supporter of torture is promoted to head the CIA. Obama finally closes his waltz of new appointments without conceding a single seat to a woman or a person of color — just the opposite of what we would have expected from a black president with a Nobel Peace Prize in hand and a re-election guaranteed by 55 percent of the female vote. But if America is surprised, Barack Obama could care less.

Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator and Vietnam veteran, has been nominated as secretary of defense. Despite fierce opposition by Jewish lobbies and gay rights groups, for the White House, he remains the right man for the job. The same goes for John Brennan, former number two of the CIA, who has been named director of the agency after the fall of David Petraeus. The new nominee risks being even more embarrassing than his predecessor. The strategist Petraeus may have cheated on his wife and distracted himself by sending hot emails to a young lover, but Brennan has a record of statements that are not necessarily in line with the ideals of an administration hailed by defenders of human rights and the “liberal” public opinion. To understand this, one simply has to go back to the interviews in which he defends the interrogation techniques adopted after September 11. In 2005, Brennan stated, “There have been a lot of information that has come out from these interrogation procedures that the agency has in fact used against the real hard-core terrorists." In the same article, he states, "I can say without a doubt that it has been very successful as far as producing intelligence that has saved lives.”

Other recent decisions add to these dated declarations. Zero Dark Thirty, a new film directed by Kathryn Ann Bigelow which revolves around the capture of Osama bin Laden, has been charged by human rights advocates as a defense of torture. Brennan, heeding the accusations made against the film, guaranteed the director access to top-secret CIA files in exchange for a script that shows the inevitability of the use of torture to defeat al-Qaida. These views are perfectly in line with a career in which Brennan has defended “extra-judicial” executions, the use of drone planes and “rendition” operations — that is to say, kidnappings of suspected terrorists, much like the Abu Omar case in which the Egyptian was seized in Milan. In short, Obama trusts the most cynical interpreter of the anti-terrorism tactics of the Bush era to guide his spies.

The most dangerous move for the president remains the nomination of Chuck Hagel to the Pentagon. In 1998, this former Republican senator reproached Clinton’s nomination of a U.S. ambassador who was “openly, aggressively gay.” The protests from gay soldiers for that phrase is little compared to the storm raised by the Jewish lobbies who accuse the decorated Vietnam veteran of expressing anti-Israeli opinions and of having opposed U.S. intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan. These objections were quickly supported by the speaker of the Knesset, Reuven Rivlin, according to whom Obama’s choice for the Pentagon “changes America’s strategy in the world and therefore will also have an impact on Israel.”

Obama’s nominations, united in their total indifference for the female electorate who guaranteed the re-election for the president, are the litmus test of a presidency that has made cynicism its warhorse. In 2009, President Obama mandated the immediate closure of Guantanamo. Four years later, the jail that stands as the symbol of the battle against terrorism continues to host 166 detainees. And six of these, currently on trial, could end up on the scaffold with the approval and signature of the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama.



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