How are we to understand Barack Obama’s transformation from an idealistic, highly intelligent, progressive, socially conscious young American black man to today’s marionette of the industrial/military complex’s puppet masters?
Today’s issue of AlterNet features and article by Alex Kane, “5 Ways President Obama Has Doubled Down on Bush’s Most Tragic Mistakes.” One of the primary reasons why many of us voted for Obama in 2008 was the clear indication in his campaign that his administration was going to move in a new direction AWAY from the previous eight years of secrecy, militarism, isolationism, antagonism, and aggression. However, as Kane points out in his article, not only has Obama extended many of Bush’s most reviled policies, in many cases he has expanded on them. Programs related to the use of drones, warrantless wiretapping, proxy detentions, Guantanamo and indefinite detention have all been expanded under Obama.
And now, as his second term administration begins to take shape, we see Obama once again going to an establishment-friendly, change abhorrent list of nominees like John Brennan, a Bush era supporter of that President’s most controversial anti-terror tactics, as new Central Intelligence Agency director, and conservative Republican former senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. This was Obama's modus operandi at the beginning to his first term, as well, much to the dismay of his supporters.
Why? Why has this president gone out of his way to endorse policies and nominate cabinet members that so glaringly represent everything that was and is wrong with American domestic and foreign policy? I can’t explain it. There are days when I feel like I’m reading a Tom Clancy novel about an idealistic new president who is threatened into compliance by an evil cabal in Washington, D.C. to do their bidding. I’m not sure what other explanation makes sense. The Obama who sits in the Oval Office today is not the Obama I voted for in 2008. That person never made it to the White House.