O’s INTERPOL Executive Order: immunity for Obama?

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It’s Chrismas Eve, and instead of sugar plums dancing in my head, I can’t get Wordsmith’s post about Obama’s latest Executive Order out of my mind. It is like a kid getting his first jigzaw puzzle… my mind twists and turns with the repercussions.

I’ve been pondering the implications… since pondering and speculation is all we can do at the moment. I’ve also been searching codification docs, old EOs, wondering if this is business as “usual” or what. I am also seeing many blogs are misinformed, thinking INTERPOL is a newly added organization to the immunity list of IOIA. Not true. So let me fill you in on a few basics.

Granting immunities under the International Organizations Immunities Act of 1945 since EO 9698 in 1946, plus various subsequent EOs adding designated organizations to that list isn’t unusual. It lies within POTUS power to alter any varying degree of that immunity under that Act. We are not talking about an infringement on the Constitutional powers by the Executive Office here. That argument should fly right out of the window.

The IOIA, from what I understand, differs from the blanket immunities granted to sovereign nations under the FSIA (Foreign Sovereignty Immunities Act) by granting immunities to the designated int’l organizations in two distinct classes: international organizations as one class, and their property and assets as the other.

Reagan’s original EO 12425 added INTERPOL… but included many limitations in the second property/asset classes – some specificially as it related to search and seizure of property, customs duties and federal internal-revenue importation taxes.

Clinton amended Reagan’s original EO, granting additional immunity not originally included for INTERPOL’s property/assets with his EO 12971 on Sept 15, 1995.

From what I can see, Obama has pretty much made it a clean sweep with his current EO, granting what constitutes absolute immunity for all INTERPOL property and assets. What this final extension of immunity does provide is a lockbox on all INTERPOL property, assets and files… well out of the reach of our country’s FOIA. This becomes even more bizarre coming from a POTUS who prefers to import enemy combatants, thereby bestowing Constitutional rights the moment they set foot on our borders, and thereby allowing courts almost unfettered access to classified intel.

So if you’re Obama, why open one door to Constitutional rights access, and slam the other Constitutional rights door shut? Or better illustrated, using McCarthy’s question… why does INTERPOL need that additional immunity?

The simple answer is… they don’t. But Obama does.

Fact is, INTERPOL’s increased immunity mitigates a great deal of Obama’s responsibility in some key areas of pesky campaign promises.

I will somewhat agree with ThreatsWatch’s Steve Schippert that this could conceivably extend to INTERPOL arrest of Americans on our soil. But if SCOTUS could conjure up Constitutional rights for those who were captured and held on foreign soils, nor were subjects of extradition, it’s going to be extremely tough for them to figure out a way to deny Constitutional rights to an American citizen, arrested on US soil by an int’l police organization.

SCOTUS examination is always a case by case examination of specific events as they relate to law. But INTERPOLs increased immunities extend to protecting them and *their* assets from search and seizures. It does not not allow them to do unConstitutional search and seizures upon American citizens solo. The stroke of an EO pen cannot usurp that unmistaken able Constitutional right… at least as it stands today.

But Schippert may have lead me to the Obama benefits as a motive when he elaborates on Obama’s lukewarm opines on the Int’l Criminal Court. Clinton signed us on, Bush removed us. Obama’s been hesitant, saying it’s “premature”. Schippert makes a good case for Obama’s delays not being related to sovereignty concerns, but “image”… a subject that this arrogant WH occupant remains consumed with daily.

Even if Obama did sign the Rome Statute, ratification by Congress is still required to cement that relationship as legal and prosecutable to the fullest treaty extent. Obama is fast running out of charisma chips with the public. His best chance for any successful ratification would be with/through the current Congress… who’s make up after 2010 is in no way guaranteed to be as acquiescent to his demands.

I also have to assume that Obama’s calculated move is not meant to be an alternative supporting intel arm of the now-defunct “war on terror”. In fact, it makes such info more removed, and more difficult to use in a military tribunal. Thus I chip away at the more obvious “no gain” motives.

But there are two possible motives gleaned after reading Curtis Bradley’s May 2002 article in The American Society of Int’l Law. This was shortly after the Bush admin had announced it’s intent not to ratify the ICC treaty. The below paragraph is what set my mind a’whirl:

Nevertheless, there may be at least two ways in which the Administration’s announcement will have legal significance. First, Article 86 of the Rome Statute provides that parties to the treaty shall “cooperate fully with the Court in its investigation and prosecution of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court,” and other articles in the treaty provide that the Court may formally request even nonparties to provide assistance to the Court and to surrender suspects to the Court.

One possible effect of the Administration’s announcement will be to preclude an argument that the United States would be violating its duty not to defeat the object and purpose of the treaty if, in some future case, it rejects a request for assistance by the Court. In fact, the same day that the Bush Administration made its announcement, Pierre-Richard Prosper, the State Department’s ambassador for war crimes, stated that the Court should not expect assistance from the United States.

Another possible effect of the Administration’s announcement concerns the Court’s jurisdiction. Article 12 of the treaty allows the Court to exercise jurisdiction over the nationals of non-party countries if the crime is committed in the territory of a party country. The Administration’s announcement might remove any basis for parties to the treaty to argue that the United States, by signing the treaty, has waived objection to the trial of US citizens in this situation.

This posits two very specific avenues of benefits for a hands-off INTERPOL, and even a possible re’signatory status – even if not ratified – on the ICC treaty. The first allows this POTUS to cooperate with this int’l court system by sending Americans accused of war crimes elsewhere to stand trial, while effectively telling the nation that his hands are “tied”.

What better way for Obama to accomplish his promise to seek “justice” upon the prior administration – from President Bush to any defense department personnel in his sights – to appease his far left base, and still do the traditional Pontius Pilate washing of hands of guilt?

The second is this just may be a great dumping ground for future enemy combatants… alleviating this POTUS of the repercussions of an unsuccessful and controversial prosecution in the US federal justice system.

Both potential “int’l law” scenarios are a win win for the Obama extreme left base – a group feeling they’ve been abandoned by a “central” Obama. To this day, they thirst for Bush’s blood, and those in his administration. Obama can use the int’l court system and regulations to virtually hand them Bush’s head. Voila… a surprise campaign promise fulfilled.

As for Gitmo, for a POTUS who’s greatest skill is voting “present” and passing the buck of responsibility to others, Obama would be grateful not to fill up the cell blocks of a new “Gitmo” located on US soil if he could simply pass them off to the ICC. He again washes his hands of any ill-treatment in the hands of international authorities. If this is the case, there will be some new ROE following soon.

Time will perhaps reveal more what the Obama admin has planned with this subterfuge. Until then, were I the former admin members, I’d be keeping a watchful eye over my shoulder. But what I am most sure about is this Executive Order is not to benefit INTERPOL – who has functioned for decades without these immunities. Executive Order #13524 is all about the power of “appearing powerless” in the court of public opinion.

Vietnam era Navy wife, indy/conservative, and an official California escapee now residing as a red speck in the sea of Oregon blue.

52 Responses to “O’s INTERPOL Executive Order: immunity for Obama?”

  1. 51

    Davey

    Oh great! Now I’ve got to contend with European gumshoes digging into my past. They’ll probably figure out it was me that tore that mattress tag off my bed when I was a kid. Curse you, Hercule Pirot!

  2. 52

    Patvann

    subscriber

    Thank you Mata.

    From my reading of this and other docs, it also seems to remove the protection our troops presently have from being prosecuted by the ICC.

  3. 53

    American Voter

    One of your best posts ever — thanks for the info/insight.

    We, Americans who love what is left of our country, have a very busy year ahead. . . your posts along with fellow FA authors go a long way. . .maybe more than you will ever know.

    Merry Christmas. . .God bless and keep safe the good people of the United States of America.

    PS — Has everyone seen William Daley’s Xmas message to oBOWma?
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/23/AR2009122302439_pf.html

  4. 54

    MataHarley

    premium_subscriber

    Not under Bush, it didn’t, Patvann. Because Bush stated (as the ASIL link I provided in the post) in no nonsense terms that the US would *not* be cooperating with int’l witch hunts, and our troops were off limits.

    What Obama has done is provide immunity for himself… the ability to step aside and let others do his dirty work for him. His greatest skill… So it’s hard to say if Obama will take the bullet for his military members. I’m betting not.

  5. 55

    MataHarley

    premium_subscriber

    Thank you for the very kind words, American Voter. I certainly welcome anyone else’s ideas about the Obama strategy on this. But I have to say, this one was a head scratcher. It literally set me back until I realized just about anything this POTUS does is “all about Obama” and his legacy.

    But I personally would love not to see this spin into stuff like “Obama’s planning random INTERPOL raids on protestors citizens homes” type thing. That stuff is gold to the Dems… painting conservatives as mindless conspirators.

    There is a reason for what he’s doing. I’m not saying my speculation is it. But it’s what first crossed my mind when thinking about back room strategy moves, done in increments. Community organizers have a great deal of patience for their goals.

  6. 56

    American Voter

    Than my family and I will be seeing Interpol — as will the growing number of American protestors. . .we will start brushing up onour French and expect a visit. . .with the growing number of disenfranchised Americans — Interpol will be very, very busy.

    They must be realizing how very, very, very angry the average American is out here in the land of the unwashed. . .My relatives in Nevada will also expect a visit. . .as they are already planning REID protest events aND a sign on their veranda says “Anyone welcome BUTT HARRY REID”

    Does oBOWma realize he stands in que to go down in history as the Benedict Arnold of the 21st Century? Is he set to eliminate as may Americans as his Weatherman Underground friends were planning — or more — as we are now a larger population than in the 60s-70s?

    Revolution. . . peacefully, through ballots, or otherwise is imminent. . .

  7. 57

    Wordsmith

    editor

    @MataHarley:

    But I personally would love not to see this spin into stuff like “Obama’s planning random INTERPOL raids on protestors citizens homes” type thing. That stuff is gold to the Dems… painting conservatives as mindless conspirators.

    You’re right. It’s easy to launch into the “Obama is destroying the Constitution and U.S. sovereignty” hysteria. Has there been any public statements from the Administration, explaining the need and the why on making the EO amendment? I hadn’t heard anything about this until yesterday.

    Thanks for doing the further research and the critical thinking.

  8. 58

    MataHarley

    premium_subscriber

    American Voter, per the INTERPOL site, and their rules on bilateral police agreements, entry into private homes and places not accessible to the public are generally prohibited. As I said, this additional immunity does not grant them the right to evoke search and seizure on US citizens. It protects them and their property from search and seizure BY the US enforcement branches.

    And as far as I can see, they still must work in full cooperation with local enforcement authorities and their jurisdictions.

    This is far from making INTERPOL a personal Obama spy agency. It is, as I said, an escape clause for him – another agency to do his dirty work via int’l investigations – if used in tandem with the ICC treaty.

  9. 59

    Wm T Sherman

    These Democrat jokers sure have a hard-on for giving up our sovereignty.

    You know, the population of the Colonies at the time of the American Revolution were about 1/3 Tory, 1/3 Rebel, and 1/3 neutral. I’m not talking revolution here and now – just the prospect of a backlash of common sense. I don’t think it will take a majority – a highly committed minority can accomplish quite a lot.

    The tarnish on Hope and Change darkens by the minute – I believe the non-thinkers among us will sink back into their lethargy once the manufactured Bright Shiny Object is no longer in front of them. Their lethargy may well be disturbed by new taxes and continuing job loss, and turn to anger.

  10. 60

    MataHarley

    premium_subscriber

    @Wordsmith: Nary a word, Word, da man. The family Zero jetted off to Hawaii already, and not one spokesmouth will touch this with a ten foot pole unless the blogosphere media world makes it large enough a story to force Gibby into his first faux pas.

  11. 61

    openid.aol.com/runnswim

    Let’s see. Three possible motives.

    1. Turn a foreign law enforcement agency loose on law abiding American citizens.

    2. Present Bush’s head to Hague.

    3. Recognizing that a grave threat to Homeland Security are Home-grown terrorists (e.g. similar to those who were responsible for the London tube bombings) and that there are constitutional restraints against thwarting such conspiracies, make it easier to enlist the help of an International Police Agency which was invited to operate within the USA by none other than Ronald Reagan.

    Question:

    Was this the idea of Obama and left wing political operatives, or was this the handiwork of former US marine corps commandant James L Jones, Obama’s National Security Advisor?

    Question #2:

    If the answers were (a) motive #3 and (b) James L Jones, then what would be the motivation for Obama to leave town without commenting on the Executive Order, given the reality that his Left Wing base is already furious with what’s happened to the health care bill?

    Merry Christmas, everyone.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

  12. 62

    Ryan

    Good question Larry, if the answers are “(a) motive #3 and (b) James L. Jones” then maybe it would be a good idea for him to try and execute this order quickly and quietly. After all, wouldn’t it make his already angry left wing base even more furious than they already are?

    Oh, and Merry Christmas to you too.

  13. 63

    Patvann

    subscriber

    @Larry

    This is to score political points from the Left, and other international-interests. If it results in the heads of Bush, Cheney, and Rummy, then it provides cover as Mata implied.

    I don’t think citizens will be dragged out, unless they’re suspected of crime in foreign lands…Which sucks, and sucks some more.

    Our Patriot Act is strong enough to protect us from our own home-grown nuts, and there is a track-record to prove it. It also affords more legal protections.

    This is NOT the “handiwork” of Jones, and “Marine” is capitalized. If you knew anything about the Corps, you would know that inviting a foreign force onto our land isn’t something that ever crosses their minds. Read General Jones’ profile. This sort of action isn’t in him, and the fact that our troops no longer have the legal protection that Reagan and Bush insisted on, would gall him to his very soul..He signs his memos: “Rifleman”. Learn the code of the Corps, and you’ll know why he does that, and why I (and the Marines I know and love) have faith in him.

    Obama could care less what anyone thinks of him, and he’s freakin a coward, that why he left without commenting, and signed it on Christmas Eve, to boot.

  14. 66

    MataHarley

    premium_subscriber

    @WWTD, I’m aware that the US has the USNCB in the justice dept because… as I said… INTERPOL can’t simply act in the US without local law enforcement cooperation agreements. That is precisely the reason they are there.

    Their existance, however, does not change the fact that the INTERPOL property, assets, files and database have now been put beyond the reach of the US FOIA. This makes it conveniently inconvenient for any type of prosecution in the US federal court system. ala it’s a tough road to hoe if there is no “discovery” afforded.

    Since I know this, perhaps you can explain how the USNBC makes any difference whatsoever to the speculation I have put forth as motives?

    Larry! Merry Christmas to you and family. Nice to see you pop in. INRE @ your comment, I was quite clear about noting this isn’t going to be some witch hunt on the average American citizen. SCOTUS would have a field day with widespread improper searches, seizures and arrests of citizens on American soil. And, in fact, it takes cooperation with the ICC if the motive is to be international war crime charges, and the big Zero uses that option to hand his leftists Bush’s head via the ICC.

    Now, why would you think that:

    1: Jim Jones has anything to do with this, and

    2: Just how does putting the INTERPOL records out of the FOIA reach aid, in any way, the prosecution of terrorists under Obama’s belief that they should have Constitutional rights and tried in the US court system?

    As I pointed out, Obama imports those who were detained and held on foreign soil, knowing full well that by doing so all the intel obtained (or thrown out) can be accessed as evidence in the federal court system.

    This act with INTERPOL accomplishes exactly the opposite within our borders.

    Therefore what you suggest makes not a lick of sense. But it’s nice to see you advocate for removing Constitutional rights for US-soil bound terrorists using newly granted INTERPOL immunities… LOL

    BTW, you did not read carefully enough, my friend. Reagan granted INTERPOL immunities as an international organization. I have no problems with having INTERPOL operate within these borders, just as they operate elsewhere. It is necessary.

    However Reagan did *not* grant immunities for their files, property and assets. The removal of access to those via FOIA is thanks to your not-so-Constitutionally minded POTUS, Clinton and Obama.

    Lastly, I don’t think Obama has *any* plans to speak about this publicly unless forced. This EO was signed on the 16th – over a week ago – and it’s managed to escape the press until the last few days.

    If his motive is what I speculated, it is only one step in a few to accomplish the head of Bush and others the left believe are war criminals.

    Now what would you expect Obama to say? Think he’ll try to tell us that enemy combatants have the right to have their intel dragged thru the US courts, but anyone already here on US soil can have their intel held hostage by INTERPOL? That’ll make a lot of friends with the ACLU…

    Or would you expect him to announce that this is part of a three step plan to investigate the Bush admin… first by putting the INTERPOL records outside of US FOIA, followed by once again becoming a signatory to the ICC after Gitmo’s close, and culminating in full cooperation with the ICC for any war crimes charges they wish to bring up against the Bush admin, and any military leaders?

    Hardly likely….

    On the other hand, if his strategy is not revealed in advance, he looks less like a calculating vengeful radical, and more like a innocent “victim” of international laws. THe extreme left will be happy enough, and those that would find such deliberate actions distasteful will give him a pass… just as they give Obama and this Congress a pass for everything corrupt and immoral.

  15. 67

    silversurfer

    Uh, about those would-be arrests carried out by an “International Police Force” on American citizens simply for exercising their Constitionally protected freedoms of expression, speech, worship, grievances, etc. – I can guarantee that there’ll be blood in the streets, for a little while anyway.

    Gun Owners of America Foundation, National Rifle Association, Second Amendment Sisters, et al. definitely have numerous members who are IDGAS (I Don’t Give A Sh*t) by now. The “International Police Force” may be successful in some operations, however, they would also be subject to heavy casualties in a wide array of districts and regions.

    Bank on this scenario unfolding and they’d eventually be reined in by current Administration and/or ICC for “the good of keeping the peace”. It’d be interesting for a little while though – a number of dead bodies, that’s life.

  16. 68

    openid.aol.com/runnswim

    Writing this with Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” on as background T.V.; two daughters and their Mom making pies and cake and decorating tree (our tradition is to get ours on Christmas Eve and bargain down price, in true capitalist fashion; we then keep it up for a couple of weeks into January — just to be a little different and to honor our Russian, Greek, and Armenian friends).

    What motivates Obama?

    1. Is he an idealistic socialist?

    2. Or does he want to get his picture on the future $5000 bill?

    People don’t change. Not really. Everything in Obama’s career has been self-promotional. He was excoriated by the left, as President of Harvard Law review, and praised by the right, for his even-handedness. He made his political bones in South Chicago, where he had to be a liberal to succeed. He wants to be re-elected POTUS. And eventually get his picture on the $5000 bill.

    PatVann respects Marine (see; I’m educable; note the capital “M”) general James Jones. Why did Jones sign on as an Obama advisor, against John McCain? I only raise this issue to illustrate that it’s possible to be a patriotic American and not to view Obama as being the devil incarnate. Why would Jones not resign, were it Obama’s intention to use Interpol as a tool to extract Leftist revenge against his predecessor?

    PatVann thinks that the Patriot Act is all the protection America needs against home grown terrorism. Is it not plausible that Interpol could be an ally against home grown terrorism, having investigated foreign sources of support for U.S. domestic terrorism?

    You guys (and gal) don’t know what’s going on. You have a pre-conceived notion that Obama is, most of all, an idealistic, committed socialist. I think that Obama is all about Obama and that he’s smart enough to have advisors who give him straight dope, political calculus-wise, and he sees a much greater upside in protecting America than in prosecuting his predecessor.

    None of us really know; we are all entitled to our respective opinions. I happen to think that my opinion makes more sense than others offered on this thread.

    But that’s just my opinion.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

  17. 69

    Patvann

    subscriber

    Jones was not asked by McCain, because McCain was not president. He was asked by Bush in 2005 but he turned it down because he had just joined the board of directors of Chevron that month.

    Jones may not be quitting, because as a “sheepdog” he knows he’s the only one in his admin that still respects the Constitution, and sees himself as the last guardian. I will agree that is conjecture to say that Obama “wants” to let them arrest the prior admin, but that, the protection of our troops, and immunity from the FOIA is the only thing this signature opens the door to.

    We already work closely with Interpol. This signing has nothing to do with making us any safer, and nothing interpol does increases that safety-quotient.

    There is nothing “preconceived” about seeing him as a committed socialist. His actions and words speak for themselves, atop of him being a narcissist.

    To be objective, I have messages to my contacts within the FBI, and I am sure I will hear back soon with how they feel about all this.

    What motivates Obama is Obama.

  18. 70

    openid.aol.com/runnswim

    nothing interpol does increases that safety-quotient.

    I don’t follow you on this, PatVann. You think that Interpol adds nothing at all to the safety of Americans? Why on earth did Reagan give them access and operational capability?

    I’d really like to understand this. Why is it in the interest of the USA to work with Interpol?

    Here is Interpol’s self description, from their website:

    INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 188 member countries. Created in 1923, it facilitates cross-border police co-operation, and supports and assists all organizations, authorities and services whose mission is to prevent or combat international crime.

    INTERPOL aims to facilitate international police co-operation even where diplomatic relations do not exist between particular countries. Action is taken within the limits of existing laws in different countries and in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. INTERPOL’s constitution prohibits ‘any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.’

    Where is the credible evidence that Interpol would plausibly get itself involved in an effort to bring President Bush before the Hague docket? Versus the much greater likelihood that they’d get involved in working to discover and interdict international support for anti-US terrorism?

    Where’s the evidence that Interpol ever gets involved with political activities such as bringing heads of world powers before international tribunals? Such activities would destroy the ability of Interpol to function effectively. It’s simply not a credible hypothesis — certainly much less credible than the concept that President Obama wants to increase the effectiveness of Interpol as a partner against terrorism.

    Please do report what your FBI “contacts” tell you — and let us know if this is based on factual information from those in a position to know or conjecture from lower level operatives, not in a position to know.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

  19. 71

    B-Rob

    Mata, your mind “twists and turns with the repercussions” mainly because they are in your mind and your mind alone. Your column is filled with what “might” happen, what he “might” have been trying to do. They you loop that back to create a Gestapo fantasy where INTERPOL crashes the Bohemian Grove and takes Cheney away in shackles, with no way for Cheney to fight his arrest and extradition? And you tea baggers wonder why no one is taking you seriously? This order is about prohibiting Mexican drug dealers from suing INTERPOL in US courts. It is about keeping Russian hackers from seizing aN INTERPOL computer used to interdict cybercrime. But as I read your conspiracy-chocked post, Mata, a question Barney Frank asked comes to mind:

    “On what planet do you spend most of your time?”

    Methinks you are going to have lots of tinfoil hats (to deflect the commands from the Obama-controlled spy satellites) and lead-lined wallets (t keep Obama government tracking devices from noting your location through your Obama government currency) under your Christmas tree. Good thing you did not take the swine flu vaccine, since we all know that there are tiny computer chips in there used to send messages to the Obama thought control machine.

    Seriously, Mata, this is the same kind of “vile, contemptible nonsense” one expects from LaRouchians. But with this article, the “here, here” response to it, and the annual CPAC meeting sponsored this year by the Birchers, I see where the Right is headed: intellectual extinction. Like the once mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex, formerly rampaging the Earth taking on all customers; now only a creature of myth, of what fear “used to be” sown by the now extinct creature.

    Larry — they are beyond help. We are in “black helicopter” and “one world government” territory with much of the conservative movement.

  20. 72

    Ed Bonderenka

    Pattvan, I think what Larry was saying about Jones, was that he became an Obama advisor during the campaign against McCain, which if true, would be a poor choice.

  21. 73

    B-Rob

    And another thing Larry, I have to call you on this:

    “I think that Obama is all about Obama”

    Let’s say you are a young Black man of above average intelligence. You want to be president of the United States. In what playbook does it read “When leaving Harvard Law School after graduating magna cum laude, do not take the U.S. Supreme Court clerkship. Instead, go to a state that has not elected a president in 150 years, take a low paying job as a civil rights attorney and adjunct law professor, and then wait for it to come to you”?

    C’mon, Larry! I am a lawyer. I know what options a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law and law review president has open to him. Ask any lawyer you might know what that credential brings, money-wise. If someone graduating Harvard Law today with his credentials did what he did, they would LITERALLY be turning down about $1 million during their first five years of work.

    Far from “Everything in Obama’s career has been self-promotional”, you could argue that his initial career decisions (not taking a judicial clerkship, not going to a name New York or DC law firm, not living in a nice suburb) all were somewhat self-destructive — intentional decisions NOT to take advantage of the cache that magna cum at Harvard Law brings. Five years out of law school, the guy was nearly broke! Living on the South Side of Chicago, not making much money, and working in the state senate as a minority party member. Are you saying that looked like a promising tact for becoming president? If that is the arc of his “self-promotion”, then he had a gameplan back then that is way beyond my thinking.

    Indeed, in January 2003, if I told you a Black Democratic state senator from Illinois with a Kenyan Muslim name was going to be president of the United States in six years, what (other than the name of a good psychiatrist) would you give me on that actually happening? 1,000:1 odds? 10,000:1? The guy was running fourth in a four man field for the Dem Senate nomination as recently as January 2003. How good a “self promoter” could he be?

    Indeed, Larry, I would suggest that you read David Plouffe’s book “The Audacity to Win”. The only thing that comes through consistently is that rise of Obama’s entire campaign, from the beginning up through his election, was fueled by the abject stupidity of his opponents. Hillary never contesting caucus states until it was too late, Bill Clinton pissing off Black voters so much that Teddy Kennedy felt he could not endorse Hillary lest the party split along racial lines. Then there is McCain selecting an obviously ignorant and unprepared small state governor as his running mate, ruining any argument about “qualifications” after Obama chose Biden; McCain failing to contest Virginia and North Carolina, but throwing money and time into Pennsylvania and Maine; then suspending his campaign because the economy crashed . . . then un-suspending it four days later. It is not so much that Obama is smarter and a better “self-promoter” than everyone else; it’s that his opponents seem to descend into utter lunatic behavior and ensure his victory. It kinda reminds me of Nolan Richardson’s Arkansas “forty minutes of hell” team of the early 90s, or Loyola Marymount, or Rick Pitino’s old Kentucky team: they set the pace and you run your own wheels off trying to play their game. We had Republicans rallying the troops with the battle cry “America has the best health insurance system in the world”. I saw an article decrying Obama as a contemptible left winger because he was in favor of “full employment”. Hello! You are going to run as the party of health insurance companies and against full employment?

    I will close with this: there is something about Obama that drives the nutty right more nutty than previous Dems. Some of it is his race, some of it is the fact that he is the first “urban” president since Nixon, some of it is the regional anti-Northern sentiment of the Red State Southern dominated GOP. And some of it is rank jealousy: the guy is tall, thin, smart, and came out of nowhere to blast right past a lot of pols who had been aching for the presidency for decades. but here is the problem for cons:

    the average American, far from what American Voter posted above, is not “very, very, very angry . . . in the land of the unwashed”. Obama has a high personal favorability rate. So the more the cons lament the sky falling and the drumbeat of the leftist hoards coming to take their guns, the average America wonders “w.t.f.?” For whatever reason, the right refuses to acknowledge the appeal of Obama and logic of lots of his positions; their reflexive opposition puts them in a position where they are forced to defend the undefendable . . . like being in favor of the status quo on health care. Or opposing jury trial for employees who are raped. Unless and until the right gets off the idea that Obama is some kind of Hitler, Mao, Che Guevara and Madonna all rolled into one, they will continue to spiral toward incoherence and irrelevance.

  22. 74

    Ryan

    Actually, MataHarley raises many legitimate points and questions regarding this Executive Order. And the Taxed Enough Already group is taken seriously by many Americans, which is why it garnered so much support and so many sponsors. Even Obama admitted it himself, despite the fact that there are people in the TEA parties who are against him simply because they hate him, there are still many who are against him legitimately. To make it short and sweet, Obama thinks there are many good reasons that people have to take stances against him.

    B-Rob, you talk as if Democrats don’t conjure up speeches and columns filled with might scenarios. Take for example the speech by Pelosi where she feigned tears and likened the TEA protests to the tragic murder of San Francisco attorney and openly gay activist Harvey Milk, despite the fact that the TEA party gatherings were almost entirely peaceful and had very few scuffles. Also, let us not forget the 9-11 truthers, who I see quiet often on my college campus at political events indulging Democrats. It makes it hard to feel good about being a college student because, unless you’re crazy enough to believe people like this, hearing them reiterate their talking points memo like drones should make most people feel like their I.Q. levels are dropping each and every single second.

    An great example of being beyond help would be believing that we had gone into Iraq to take charge of the untapped oil reserves there, despite the fact that almost all of the big oil companies that won contracts to Iraqi oil reserves are Russian, Chinese, and Indian firms. This is another fantasy that is running rampant in the liberal mind. It’s a far fetched talking point that holds no water. However, many people buy into it, but just as many (if not, then more) question it, and the recent massive auctioning of Iraqi oil being won by Russia validates them. Nobody is expecting big oil to sit this one out in Iraq, but everyone can expect two things to be absent in the debate about big oils place in Iraqs future: intellect for the liberals, and a complete accurate recount of historical and recent events surrounding Iraqi oil. After all, if these two were present, there would be no way this fallacious belief would’ve spread like it did.

    From my view, holding liberals to the same standard you hold conservatives, I find that liberals too fill their talking points memo, speeches, and columns with ifs, mights, and could of beens. You claim that this shows conservatives are heading towards “intellectual extinction.” Well, then send us a post card, because if you’re a liberal, then you’ve already made it there my friend. Merry Christmas.

  23. 75

    Skookum

    Some facts are undeniable:

    O promised to prosecute the Bush Administration for war crimes.

    The latest EO’s purpose is vague and dubious: O is making no effort to clarify or explain his position.

    O has expressed dissatisfaction with our Constitution.

    Treaties are the easiest and fastest way to circumvent the Constitution.

    O has lost the confidence of the majority of the American people with his ultra Progressive Socialist agenda that appears to weaken America’s prominence and prestige in the world; consequently, his every move will come under ever increasing level of scrutiny.

    Mata, an excellent follow-up and thought provoking essay.

    PV, anyone who lives a few minutes North of Camp Pendleton and isn’t aware of the tradition and patriotism that resides East of the 5 and South of Via Las Pulgas is more interested in the tenets of International Socialism than the traditions that protected and continue to protect our country. Sort of like the Quasi-Marxist Fool we have in the White House that is on the verge of becoming an impotent lame duck.

  24. 76

    Ryan

    B-Rob said; “Obama has a high personal favorability rate.”

    I don’t know Rob, if approval ratings are included in “personal favorability,” then his “high personal favorability” rating is about to erode. Also, “favorability” is not a word I guess because there is a red dotted line underneath it whenever I try to type it in, LOL.

  25. 77

    MataHarley

    premium_subscriber

    Larry, as I’ve said a couple of times here… but it’s taking you a while to soak in… INTERPOL does and should operate here with agreements with sundry local US enforcement. Not solo. They have been doing this for decades, and will continue to do so.

    What you fail to answer is why is it a benefit to lock away the INTERPOL property/assets and files from the US FOIA, and endanger those with Constitutional rights on our soil? This is the converse of importing enemy combatants who should *not* have these rights, merely so the court *does* have access to classified materials.

    This is a 180 spin from hauling Gitmo trash here…. a gift to enemy combatants, and a slap in the face to Americans’ Constitutional rights. I will repeat my main statement above:

    Why does INTERPOL need immunity for their property, assets and files
    They don’t… *Obama* does.

    ~~~

    ah billy bob. I see the season of good will towards men is forever lost on you. But then, your Chicago roots shared with your POTUS apparently result in predictable and crass responses to dissenting voices.

    Tin foil hat, you say?

    Barack Obama, April 18th, 2008

    “What I would want to do is to have my Justice Department and my Attorney General immediately review the information that’s already there and to find out are there inquiries that need to be pursued. I can’t prejudge that because we don’t have access to all the material right now. I think that you are right, if crimes have been committed, they should be investigated. You’re also right that I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt because I think we’ve got too many problems we’ve got to solve. ”

    “So this is an area where I would want to exercise judgment — 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 betyween really dumb policies and policies that rise to the level of criminal activity. “

    Barack Obama, Nov 2008

    The Obama plan, first revealed by Salon in August, would emphasize fact-finding investigation over prosecution. It is gaining currency in Washington as Obama advisors begin to coordinate with Democrats in Congress on the proposal. The plan would not rule out future prosecutions, but would delay a decision on that matter until all essential facts can be unearthed. Between the time necessary for the investigative process and the daunting array of policy problems Obama will face upon taking office, any decision on prosecutions probably would not come until a second Obama presidential term, should there be one.

    The proposed commission — similar in thrust to a Democratic investigation proposal first uncovered by Salon in July — would examine a broad scope of activities, including detention, torture and extraordinary rendition, the practice of snatching suspected terrorists off the street and whisking them off to a third country for abusive interrogations. The commission might also pry into the claims by the White House — widely rejected by experienced interrogators — that abusive interrogations are an effective and necessary intelligence tool.

    Barack Obama, Jan 2009

    “We’re still evaluating how we’re going to approach the whole issue of interrogations, detentions, and so forth,” said Obama. “And obviously we’re going to look at past practices. And I don’t believe that anybody is above the law. On the other hand, I also have a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards. And part of my job is to make sure that for example at the CIA, you’ve got extraordinarily talented people who are working very hard to keep Americans safe. I don’t want them to suddenly feel like they’ve got to spend all their time looking over their shoulders and lawyering up.”

    Dan Froomkin on Obama’s “appetite” for prosecuting the prior admin – April 2009

    Palo Alto, Calif.: It seems Obama has been walking the Administration’s position back from the hardline Rahm took on Sunday morning of “no prosecutions.” But Obama clear does not want to be “distracted” by prosecutions. My question is: what’s wrong with a Special Prosecutor? Appoint someone to go where the law and facts takes him/her. Have that prosecutor apply the law to the facts and make an objective judgment.

    This would get the politics out of it as much as is possible. And it seems that the public is going to need some type of investigation, especially in light of today’s disclosure that the torture was planned as a means to provide cover for the Iraq war. Thoughts?

    Dan Froomkin: Here’s my guess. Obama truly has no appetite for “looking backward” as he has so much on his plate “looking forward.” So he was never going to be the guy pushing for an investigation. On the other hand, he wasn’t going to be the guy who actually blocked an investigation, either. He thought he had found an OK compromise public statement, by releasing memos he was indeed morally bound to release, while making clear that the front-line guys who did what they were told was illegal wouldn’t be prosecuted. This was clever because even the most ferocious advocates of prosecution are looking way up the chain of command.

    Then, I think, Rahm Emanuel stepped on it. His statement on Sunday seemed to clearly indicate that all prosecutions were off the table. Not only was that not Obama’s view, but it’s not the White House’s call to make.

    Related to Rahm’bo’s misspeak on the Sundy morning talk shows is Scott Horton’s Daily Beast post documenting the WH reversal on Rahm’bos statements.

    But during the course of the day on Tuesday the White House appeared suddenly to shift gears. President Obama, responding to a reporter’s question, declared that he was not prejudging a possible criminal investigation or prosecution of “those who formulated those legal decisions” behind the interrogation methods. What happened?

    Members of the White House press corps struggled to explain the shift, many of them suggesting that Obama was pandering to his political base. But the winds of change blew in from an address just down Pennsylvania Avenue. The Daily Beast has learned that senior Justice Department lawyers were “incensed” at the Emanuel and Gibbs statements, as one put it—not because they disagreed with Obama’s apparent opposition to an investigation and prosecution, but because the statements violated well-established rules separating political figures in the White House from decisions about active criminal cases. The statements were viewed as a frontal assault on the autonomy and independence of the criminal-justice system.

    ~~~

    Now the White House misstep may in fact be propelling the process in the opposite direction. Another Justice Department official observed, “The department is now in the process of making some very tough decisions about what to do with this extremely complex and difficult matter. Emanuel’s statement was unfortunate, because now if the attorney general decides against appointing a special prosecutor, people are going to believe that this was a politically dictated decision. The only clear way out of this bind may now be to do what the critics suggest and appoint a special prosecutor.” Demands for the appointment of a special prosecutor have been proliferating in recent days following the release of the torture memoranda on April 16.

    ~~~

    International developments also complicate the Justice Department’s handling of the matter. In an interview with the Austrian newspaper Der Standard on Sunday, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak sharply condemned reports that Obama had decided against an investigation of allegations of torture involving the CIA. “Obama has violated international law,” Nowak stated, because the Convention Against Torture mandates a criminal inquiry be undertaken whenever there is credible evidence that torture occurred.

    International-law experts within the Justice Department recognize that Nowak’s analysis is correct with respect to a criminal investigation, although they do not appear to share his view that a prosecution is mandated. They take the view that the Convention preserves the full prosecutorial discretion of a domestic prosecutor, who would be able to collect the available evidence and decide whether to prosecute on the basis of domestic law, including prosecutorial guidelines and factors such as how compelling the evidence is, the likely reaction of a jury, and the availability of affirmative defenses—such as reliance on legal memoranda of the Justice Department. Still, they agree that the failure to investigate the public reports of torture is impossible to reconcile with the United States’ obligations under the Torture Convention.

    Barack Obama, just a couple of months later…July 2009

    President Obama has ordered national security officials to look into allegations that the Bush administration resisted efforts to investigate a CIA-backed Afghan warlord over the killings of hundreds of Taliban prisoners in 2001.

    “The indications that this had not been properly investigated just recently was brought to my attention,” Obama told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview during the president’s visit to Ghana. The full interview will air 10 p.m. Monday.

    “So what I’ve asked my national security team to do is to collect the facts for me that are known, and we’ll probably make a decision in terms of how to approach it once we have all of the facts gathered up,” Obama said.

    So to answer to your cracker-jack sharp question (/sarc), borrowed from Barney Frank: “On what planet do you spend most of your time?” …. it’s right here. Watching Obama’s careful dance on desperately wanting and believing investigations INRE his predecessors are in order, but also as desperately not wanting to be seen as the motivating force. It’s that “gotta be loved” syndrome, so let others do his dirty work.

    Burning question back to you, billy bob… where the heck have *you* been on this planet to be so completely and utterly clueless to Obama’s position on this? I’m quite sure that news reaches even Chicago… albeit probably quite cherry picked in content.

    So you may take your best Alinsky-style shots at the motivation I’ve laid out, all the while arrogantly touting your lawyerly superiority, but that dog don’t bark as loud anymore, guy. Your main flaw is documented facts as to Obama’s personal desire to prosecute… but not take the blame… belies your personal assault tactics. Archives, current events, history and education are marvelous comebacks to empty suit personal assaults such as yours. Therefore the Alinsky rotten eggs remain your your face alone.

  26. 78

    Ryan

    I hope Obama doesn’t become an “impotent lame duck.” We already have a truck load of problems, we don’t need this. I agree with skookum, great thought provoking piece Mata, no surprise here though. You always make good posts.

  27. 79

    Ryan

    I think this would make a great add to my comment numbered 24, my department chair is a drone for Clinton and he claims that Clinton is the reason why we “had” a budget surplus in circa 1998-2001. I e-mailed him a link to this website. It is filled with updated info from the treasury department archives, and it is a very thought provoking piece to read.

    Actually, we never had a budget surplus in more than two decades. In fact, in these four short years (1998-2001), the United States of America “covered up over-spending by siphoning off 4.3 trillion dollars incoming.” The government was hiding the debt, and it makes the Bernard Madoff scandal look like taking candy from a baby.

    Here is the link; . It’s the Grandfather Federal Government Debt Report. Mata, you should read into this report more, maybe it’ll help you by giving you some food for thought if you write a post on government spending in the near future.

    The point is, my department chair is a lunatic, and is a fine example of the “intellectual extinction” that is taking place in the liberal fringe. Of course, I have an extremely conservative teacher, he’s sort of an anarchist. Look, I’m a conservative too, but that’s just going way too far.

  28. 80

    Madalyn

    Heard Obama turned his birth certificate and college papers over to Interpol so he can’t have them subpoenaed in regards to his elegibility to be president. Anyone else hear this? Does anyone think this is possible?
    Madalyn

  29. 81

    American Voter

    So glad to know my observations of the mood of my, neighbors, community, coworkers, friends, and family in multiple US regions — are invalid — and obviously all Americans have no valid reasons to disagree with Barry! Everyone is happy, happy, happy with Barry!

    Just keep telling yourselves. . . that all citizens who disagree with Barry — do so out of personal contempt or feelings of discrimination. Surely, no one would have valid points of disagreement with Barry, after all he is working so hard . . .just keep telling yourselves. . .

    I lived in downtown Chicago for years and was politically active. I watched Barry move up the ranks. Barry came back to Chicago because of his political/influential ties firmly entrenched in the Windy City — his initial aspiration was to run for mayor. His words, not mine. He was provided with money earning opportunities during his community organizing days.

    Those of you that throw collegiate degrees around to validate EVERY point — like the use of a notary seal — get a clue as to the credentials held by those you believe you are besting.

    As far as the Interpol conversation. . .when is it not appropriate to consider any possibility?? If we do not talk amongst ourselves, how do we learn OR are we only to espouse that everything is perfect and that Barry has our best interests at heart?

    Nancy Pelosi’s HealthCare bill has allowances for Health Corps Service workers entering the homes for purposes of health care and child rearing. If this Interpol EO is such a darn good deal for our country — then why bury the story, offer no explanation, and fly out of town? Why not a ceremony, face time on tv as is almost a daily event?

    . . .and Liberals just remember my vote cancels yours and. . . I don’t even need to take my college diploma(s,) professional achievement awards, or credential documentation into the voting booth to do so. . .look in the mirror before looking down at others!

    Merry Christmas. . .Happy New Year!

  30. 83

    MataHarley

    premium_subscriber

    Anyone believe in that karma … or six degrees of separation? Odd, and OT, observation. Our stuff gets cross posted on Lucianne’s blog site…. entries are all numerical.

    Oddly enough, the numerical entry for this blogpost is 1776…. oh my

    O’s INTERPOL Executive Order: immunity for Obama?
    Flopping Aces, by Mataharley

    Original Article
    Posted By: floppingaces – 12/24/2009 7:36:16 PM EST 1776
    Post Reply

    It’s Chrismas Eve, and instead of sugar plums dancing in my head, I can’t get Wordsmith’s post about Obama’s latest Executive Order out of my mind. It is like a kid getting his first jigzaw puzzle… my mind twists and turns with the repercussions.

    I’ve been pondering the implications… since pondering and speculation is all we can do at the moment. I’ve also been searching codification docs, old EOs, wondering if this is business as “usual” or what. I am also seeing many blogs are misinformed, thinking INTERPOL is a newly added organization to the immunity list of IOIA. Not true.

    More interesting discoveries INRE timing of this EO. Trying to piece the dichotomy together now… stay tuned.

  31. 84

    turfmann

    Imagine, if you will, the response to a news bulletin that reports that George W. Bush had just been lead from his Texas home in handcuffs, having been charged with war crimes.

    Some (and you know who they are) would be cheering with tears running down their cheeks.

    Most, and I would be one of them, would be having a hard time seeing through the grotesquely engorged blood vessels in my eyes. I would have the same reaction if it were Bill Clinton, too.

    If what I am interpreting here is what I think it is, the scheming of one administration to criminalize the actions of the previous to suit their political lust would be the point where the second amendment would displace the use of the first.

  32. 85

    Ross Wolf

    President Obama’s Executive Order EO 12425 put INTERPOL above the United States Constitution, beyond the legal reach of our own top law enforcement.

    Why has Obama allowed foreign law enforcement to operate in the U.S. free of Constitutional safeguards that protected Americans, until now? Obama’s Executive Order authorized INTERPOL to act within the United States without being subject to 4th Amendment Search and Seizure.” That appears Key: Obama’s executive order will allow U.S. police to circumvent the Fourth Amendment by working with INTERPOL in criminal and Civil investigations e.g.;since the Patriot Act passed, several European Countries entered into Asset Forfeiture Sharing Agreements with the U.S. In 2008 Telecoms were granted government immunity after they helped U.S. Government spy on millions of Americans’ electronic communications. U.S. Government never disclosed what happened to NSA’s millions of warrant-less collected emails, faxes and phone call information that belong to U.S. Citizens? Neither Congress nor the courts—determined what NSA electronic surveillance could be used by police or introduced into court by U.S. Government.

    Just prior to 9-11 Rep. Henry Hyde’s bill HR 1658 passed, the “Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000” and effectively eliminated the “statue of limitations” for Government Civil Asset Forfeiture. The statute now runs five years from when police allege they “learned” that an asset became subject to forfeiture. With such a weak statute of limitations and the low standard of civil proof needed for government to forfeit property “A preponderance of Evidence”, it is problematic INTERPOL working with U.S. law enforcement and private government contractors will want access to telecom/NSA and other government wiretaps perhaps illegal, to secure evidence to arrest Americans and or civilly forfeit their homes, inheritances, intellectual property and businesses under Title 18USC and other laws.

    Thanks to Obama, U.S. Police can now use INTERPOL to circumvent the Fourth Amendment to share in assets seized from Americans.

  33. 87

    ilovebeeswarzone

    Mata
    I just heard on FOX, the EGYPTIEN guess was telling of the BROTHER HOOD IN EGYPT ARE AGAINST DEMOCRACY and are the one responsible for the keeping the 44 AMERICANS WORKING THERE FOR DEMOCRACY, now remember the BROTHER HOOD WAS WELL RECEIVE IN THE WHITE HOUSE BY BARACK BEFORE THE ARAB SPRING, and now they are a big power play in EGYPT and as the guest
    mentioned they are trouble, he said it’s one thing to change a power but you might get the worst
    next power, that what is already happening,
    bye

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