Is Obama Close to Waging War on Legalized Pot?

I believe that election day 2012 will go down in U.S. history as an extremely important event.  No, not because in its national apathy the citizens re-elected a crony capitalist puppet as President.  Rather, because it was the day when two states overwhelmingly rejected the Federal Prohibition on marijuana.  Of course, I am referring to Amendment 64 in Colorado and Initiative 502 in Washington State, which legalize pot for recreational use.

Upon its passage, I wrote a piece titled: Colorado Legalizes Marijuana: Your Move Eric Holder.  I knew right away that the Federales would not be pleased by this law.  I also knew that, contrary to popular myth, Obama isn’t “liberal” in any sense of the word and in fact he has demonstrated highly authoritarian characteristics throughout his Presidency and an uncanny willingness to lie repeatedly.  So I assumed his reaction would be aggressive, because for him this issue isn’t about marijuana, but rather Federal (his own) power versus the power of his “subjects.”

We learn from the New York Times that the administration is indeed looking to get tough:

WASHINGTON — Senior White House and Justice Department officials are considering plans for legal action against Colorado and Washington that could undermine voter-approved initiatives to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in those states, according to several people familiar with the deliberations.  

Some law enforcement officials, alarmed at the prospect that marijuana users in both states could get used to flouting federal law openly, are said to be pushing for a stern response.

The Obama administration declined to comment on the deliberations, but pointed to a statement the Justice Department issued on Wednesday — the day before the initiative took effect in Washington — in the name of the United States attorney in Seattle, Jenny A. Durkan. She warned Washington residents that the drug remained illegal.

So what are the Federales considering?

One option is for federal prosecutors to bring some cases against low-level marijuana users of the sort they until now have rarely bothered with, waiting for a defendant to make a motion to dismiss the case because the drug is now legal in that state.

A more aggressive option is for the Justice Department to file lawsuits against the states to prevent them from setting up systems to regulate and tax marijuana, as the initiatives contemplated.

Another potential avenue would be to cut off federal grants to the states unless their legislatures restored anti-marijuana laws, said Gregory Katsas, who led the civil division of the Justice Department during the George W. Bush administration.

This is going to be an incredible drama to watch unfold, and in many ways I wouldn’t mind seeing Obama get aggressive on this issue because it will be such a huge political blunder.  Not only was the vote overwhelming in favor of legalization in my state of Colorado (55% voted yes and it received more votes that Obama did in the state), but a very high percentage of Democrats support legalization and does he really want to start off his second term by marginalizing the remaining supporters he hasn’t already as a result of his horrible track record on civil liberties, banker bailouts and aggressive foreign policy?  It’s not just Democrats though.  A Rasmussen poll in May showed that 56% of those surveyed nationwide were in favor of legalization.  Obama would just be fighting the inevitably culturally, protecting Mexican drug cartel profits and in the end just look like a fool.

Even more than a States rights versus Federal power issue, this is about democracy versus authoritarianism.  Obama pushing back hard on the will of the people will only further expose the sham that is his Presidency for more to see.

I also discussed this issue on my recent appearance of Capital Account, which you can watch here.

Full New York Times article is here.

In Liberty,
Mike

“It’s Time to Look Forward…” Deconstructing the Latest Orwellian Meme

As of late, I have noticed increased usage of the very dangerous and duplicitous meme “time to look forward.”  This is typically used as a rebuttal to someone questioning past crimes committed by the criminal elite and their henchmen.  The statement seems to work well on the sheeple, as in their minds this sounds reasonable.  That is always how the elite target the sheeple mind.  Say something that sounds good and assume they won’t think too much.  Unfortunately, it usually works.  I mean, why dwell on past mistakes when we have so much work to do to make for a better future!  Of course, this is completely ridiculous.  For one thing, the biggest threat to our future is a lack of confidence and the reason for the lack of confidence is the increasing realization that a criminal oligarchy runs America and is never held accountable for their crimes.  They have total immunity.  So who wants to invest in and participate in such a society?  No one, of course.

However, the meme is even more dangerous on a philosophical level.  By definition the moment after a crime is committed it is immediately “in the past.”  So not dwelling on the past and “looking toward the future” means that you can essentially excuse any crime you want forever.  Not only past crimes but also future crimes since as soon as a crime is committed it will be moved into the category of “the past.” See how these guys operate.  They love semantics to make people think their own servitude “seems reasonable.”  So my advice to everyone is that the minute you hear anyone in a position of power or influence utter this meme you know they are not to be trusted.

In any event, the reason I started thinking about this today is an article I read from Glenn Greenwald on the fact that Holder’s Department of Injustice has decided to give final immunity to all Bush era CIA torturers.  Although even back to June 30, 2011 Holder’s department had decided that in “more than 100 cases the justice department had reviewed, there would be no charges brought in any of them – except two.”

Well they have just decided not to bring charges on those two either, despite the fact that both detainees died in custody.  Here are some key points from the article:

This is so despite the findings of General Antonio Taguba, who investigated the torture regime and said that “there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes” and “the only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.” And it is done even in the face of General Barry McCaffrey’s extraordinary observation that:

“We tortured people unmercifully. We probably murdered dozens of them during the course of that, both the armed forces and the CIA.”

The ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer yesterday said:

“That the justice department will hold no one accountable for the killing of prisoners in CIA custody is nothing short of a scandal … the decision not to file charges against individuals who tortured prisoners to death is yet another entry in what is already a shameful record.”

Beyond the disgust that these events, on their own, should invoke in any decent person, there are two points worth making about all of this which really highlight just how odious all of it is.

First, Obama has shielded Bush torture crimes not only from criminal prosecution, but any and all forms of accountability. Obama himself vigorously opposed and succeeded in killing even a congressional investigation into the torture regime at a time when his party controlled both houses of Congress.

Moreover, notice how Obama’s stance changed as soon as he was elected:

During his 2008 campaign for president, Obama repeatedly vowed that, while he opposed “partisan witch-hunts”, he would instruct his attorney general to “immediately review” the evidence of criminality in these torture programs because “nobody is above the law.” Yet, almost immediately after winning the 2008 election, Obama, before he was even inaugurated, made clear that he was opposed to any such investigations, citing what he called “a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards”.

This is the same line many apologists use to excuse the bankster bailouts.  I bet this defense wouldn’t work for you or me in a court would it?

So what is the main reason Obama isn’t going after anyone for this?  Well it’s simple really.  He doesn’t want to ever be called out for his own criminality.  As Charlie Savage noted in the NY Times:

Because every president eventually leaves office, incoming chief executives have an incentive to quash investigations into their predecessor’s tenure.

This is America folks.  Time to wake up.

Read the full Greenwald article here.

In Liberty,
Mike