The main way President’s use their authority is by choosing who to delegate it to. What do Obama’s early picks say about him?
Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State
- Thought Iraq War was a great idea. Still does in private.
- Made fun of Obama for imagining the possibility of talking to Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, and legitimately despicable people like the President of Iran.
- Opposes restrictions on US military aid to governments that engage in gross and systematic abuses of human rights. Supports unconditional military aid to evil, torture-loving government leaders like those of Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Pakistan, Equatorial Guinea, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Kazakhstan, and Chad.
- In 2002, Senator Clinton voted in favor of an amendment by right-wing bigot Jesse Helms that prohibits the United States from cooperating in any way with the International Criminal Court, and its prosecution of individuals responsible for serious crimes against humanity, such as those responsible for the genocide in Darfur. In addition, this vindictive law also restricts U.S. foreign aid to countries that support the ICC.
- Refuses to support international treaty to ban land mines, which is supported by almost every other government on earth, since land mines kill and permamently disable thousands of civilians every year, mostly women and children.
- Joined with Republicans to defeat a proposal that would restrict US export of cluster bombs to countries that use them against civilians. Up to 98% of casulaties from cluster bombs are believed to be civilians, with 30% of the bombs failing to explode on impact and turning into land mines.
- Drafted resolutions condemning the World Court’s for criticizng Israel’s construction of a “security wall” inside the terrority of another country and major human right’s groups condemnation of Israeli targetting of cilivians inside Palestine and Lebanon. (Because it’s not enough for us just to finance these crimes, we also have to immediately officially condemn any ethical organization that brings them to light.)
- Is generally a despicable person unable to string together more than two phrases without distorting the truth for personal gain.
Robert Gates, Secretary of “Defense”
- First ever military chief to be carried over from a president of a different party.
- Like Obama, doesn’t think it’s a big deal that the US spends more on the military than EVERY OTHER NATION ON EARTH COMBINED (especially when military spending funnelled through the Depts. of State, Homeland Security, and Energy is figured in, along with debt on past military spending) and in fact wants to increase the size of the military, even though our military is actually making things more dangerous for people here and everywhere.
Lawrence Summers, Director of White House National Economic Council
- Oversaw the deadly imposition of “Structural Adjustment” throughout the globe, destroying a majority of the economy of the former USSR, catalyzing crises in Asia and Latin America, and reducing the quality of life for hundreds of millions of poor people through requiring cuts to social safety nets, privatizing of public industries, and the free reign of financial speculation across the globe.
Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Fatherland Homeland Defense
- Leading advocate of using the military to round up immigrants along the Mexican border, supportive of chain gang prisons for undocumented immigrants and people awaiting trial.
Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff
- One of the most pro-war Democrats who worked to convince others in his party to support Bush.
- To quote his dad: “Obviously he will influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn’t he be? What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to clean the floors of the White House.”
Eric Holder, US Attorney General
- Serves as a lawyer for Chiquita bananas, defending their funding of right-wing death squads in Colombia that targeted union and peasant leaders.
Richard Holbroke, Special Envoy to Southeast Asia
- Oversaw US arming and coordination of the invasion of East Timor by the “our” proxy, the Indonesian military, an unprovoked attack that lead to the deaths of 200,000 East Timorese, one-third of their entire population.
Greg Craig, White House Counsel
- Lawyer for Bolivian ex-President Sanchez de Lozada who is charged with extreme corruption and genocide for, among other things, ordering the murder of 60 civilian protestors in 2003. Craig says “we do not accept your characaterization of those events as a massacre.” The dictator’s other lawyer, Howard Gutman, was one an early member of Obama’s Financial Committee.
Sonal Shah, Transition Team Advisor
- US Coordinator for Vishwa Hindu Parishad, militant group was held responsible for the genocidal pogroms against Muslims in the western Indian state of Gujarat in 2002 that killed 2,000 people and rendered 100,000 homeless. The Indian coordinator of the genocide, Narendra Modi, stays at the Shah family home when he visits the US.
- In 2005, Salazar voted against increasing fuel-efficiency standards (CAFE) for cars and trucks, a vote that the League of Conservation Voters notes is anti-environment. In the same year, Salazar voted against an amendment to repeal tax breaks for ExxonMobil and other major oil companies.
More important even than who Obama’s appointing is who he ISN’T APPOINTING:
- Opponents of war, military waste, or the kind of destructive corporate economics that led to our current crisis.
- Proponents of universal healthcare, serious humanitarian aid, or radical changes to the way we use natural resources.
Al Gore, the last elected president from his party, Al Gore, believes Obama should announce a national goal of getting 100 percent of electricity generated by renewable sources within 10 years. Guess what? He’s not going to have any kind of authority in Obama’s administration.