Monday, May 11, 2015

Lying Through Their Fangs

Only a day after President Obama huffily and falsely accused Elizabeth Warren of lying (for what he called purely selfish and political reasons) about the democracy-gutting measures in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, he was exposed for allegedly telling a pretty gruesome lie of his own.

According to Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, Obama essentially ordered the execution of Osama bin Laden while he was a prisoner of the Pakistanis. Bin Laden wasn't holed up in a heavily weaponized and guarded secret bunker, plotting the next al Qaeda attack. He was alone, helpless, feeble and unarmed, and Navy Seals were allowed  to simply traipse on in and blow him to bits with the full complicity of Pakistani security state authorities. The American taxpayers paid for the killing privilege with a bribe/reward of millions of dollars. Oh, and our military didn't bury him at sea in a respectful Muslim ceremony as the White House later claimed. They unceremoniously dumped his mangled body parts from a helicopter as it flew over an inaccessible Afghan mountain range. 

If we are to believe Seymour Hersh, Obama lied about the less-than-courageous details of the assassination of bin Laden for purely political reasons. He needed to glorify himself for his upcoming re-election campaign. He need to portray himself as a hero who grappled with the moral dilemma of putting our troops in harm's way on a mission from hell.

Hersh's version of the bin Laden execution is like a scenario that would have Obama sending Special Ops assassins into the secure prison cell of Boston marathon bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev, and then telling the world that he was killed while he was on the lam after a daring escape. It's like storming Gitmo to blow away all those dangerous emaciated terrorists hooked up to their forced feeding tubes, and then claiming they'd taken over their own island prison. 

So his Mothers Day insult to Elizabeth Warren-- that "she is a politician, just like everybody" -- is rendered all the more loathsomely ironic. Because, if we are to believe Seymour Hersh's account, Barack Obama himself is a singularly loathsome politician for the ages. And a damned good liar, because Hersh's blockbuster account is getting little to no play in the mainstream media. Both The New Yorker and the Washington Post had also passed on another Hersh blockbuster from last year, exposing the White House's lies on the Syria Sarin attacks.

And so the gaslighting of Hersh continues, with the White House-friendly Vox helpfully pointing out that he is old and decrepit, that his sourcing is thin and anonymous, and that he is unable to supply incontrovertible photographic proof of the bin Laden killing/coverup conspiracy, as he did with his Abu Ghraib torture scoop. In other words, he didn't act like a New York Times propaganda flack. Instead of using anonymous sources to aggrandize government liars, Hersh used anonymous sources to bring government liars down a peg. Hersh and Elizabeth Warren are only the latest victims of what might be called the Cornel West Treatment.

The mainstream media are no longer in the business of speaking truth to power, or admitting that they've been dupes of mendacious politicians.


Speaking of truthiness, Paul Krugman is at it again. He manages to defend Dodd-Frank and Elizabeth Warren against the predations of Republicans and Wall Street vampires while giving the corporate Democrats their usual free pass. And of course, he blithely ignores the fact that Obama spent part of his Mothers Day weekend publicly shaming Elizabeth Warren and shilling for the Wall Street vampires.

My published comment: (I'm tweaking this a bit due to typos/clumsy grammar in the original)
Vampire bankers can't undo Dodd-Frank in the bad publicity-inducing light of day, so they're going the darkness route, otherwise known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Elizabeth Warren is striking fear into their venal little hearts because she has pointed out, rightly, that this trade deal could effectively gut Dodd-Frank reforms without our even knowing it. Congress is allowed to see this, but the Obama administration has already threatened to prosecute our reps should they reveal the classified details to their constituents.

Vampires love darkness and secrecy because showing their ugly fangs might endanger feasting on their human meal. The meal might run away or revolt.

The TPP's leaked portions show that investor state tribunals would grant "market access protections" to transnationals, and could theoretically rule that Dodd-Frank's protections against risky derivatives unfairly restrict the global banking cartels' ability to suck even more lifeblood from our economy. This has been strongly denied by Obama and Trade Rep. Michael Froman, who got a multimillion dollar bonus from Citigroup upon spinning through the revolving doors to act in somebody's best interests.
But they refuse to hand over the evidence -- and meanwhile, Obama can ostentatiously veto more blatant GOP efforts to kill Dodd-Frank and smarmily call Elizabeth Warren a liar for bravely speaking truth to pathocratic power.

She is a human stake through the financial vampire's heart. We are lucky to have her.


Kat said...

Yes, Vox did give Hersh the Cornel West treatment-- all pained to have to say these things about Hersh. Really, they think he's done great work in the past and,well, that just makes this (and them) so, so sad.

Jay–Ottawa said...

Last summer I got into a conversation with a Canadian professor from the University of Ottawa. I don’t travel in his egghead circles; our little meeting was only a chance encounter well off campus. Anyway, we got to comparing the relative merits of the “NY Review of Books” and the “London Review of Books.” I love the cultural and scientific reviews in the NYR––e.g., half of Oliver Sacks’s essays appeared in the NYR before they ever settled between real book covers––but complained about the NYR’s consistent Democratic Party line and center-right leanings on political subjects.

The Canadian professor convinced me I could have it all––the good reads and a more critical politics––in the London Review of Books. And, for complicated reasons in print world, subs are cheaper on this side of the pond. So I subscribed. He was right. Absolutely no regrets so far. And I'm not starved of the political red meat lefties need to stay alive.

All this to tell you I was so proud of me myself and my good fortune when, after clicking on the link provided by Karen to get the full Hersh story direct from the source, I was plopped smack dab on the front page of the London Review. Check it out. The Hersh piece on line is free to newcomers who happen to drop by.

Next on my to-do list, finding ways to protect Senator Warren from the lies that get so much more space than truth on the pages of our MSM.

Kat said...

Warren is a politican? What is he? Oh yeah, I forgot. He is a once- in a- lifetime transformative leader. For instance, he is going to transform the arctic sea.
At least he didn't say Warren is "likeable enough". He is such a sexist pig.

annenigma said...

You said it, Kat. Obama is a sexist pig!

You know why he's never hit it off with Elizabeth Warren? She doesn't get gooey around him. He expects that reaction from women because he is just so irresistibly sexy and charming. She's also far more intelligent than he is and she sees right through him.

Meredith NYC said...

This is so ridiculous. Krugman, fearless foe of vampires, says he knows he’s ‘not nice’ for calling Wall St that. He starts out calling our attention to it--gosh, how daring. What doesn’t arouse his combative instinct is the TPP threats Karen points out:

“The TPP's leaked portions show that investor state tribunals would grant "market access protections" to transnationals, and could theoretically rule that Dodd-Frank's protections against risky derivatives unfairly restrict the global banking cartels' ability to suck even lifeblood from our economy” K ignores this in his blog re TPP.

I say, please, sir,Dr.K, can we have a bit more from the famous liberal with a conscience?

K pretends a courageous progressive stance, as he constantly refines insults to Gop/ Wall St,while his commenter fans cheer. One said the Times should raise his salary. But he’s really letting the Gop rw set the limits of how far our debates can go. We have to settle for low standards for f. reform and h. care. And tolerate campaign finance totally uncontrolled, unregulated.

Financial exploiters don't care if a Nobel economist calls them vampires. As long as we don't demand higher standards from them, they'll stay in power over our govt.

He says yet again, ACA yielded ‘triumphs’, increasing the insured. Sure it’s better than millions of bankruptcies and early death. But it still nicely subsidizes private medical profits, while it lets states opt out. It does not interest our Nobel economist that dozens of countries regulate medical costs, and cover all.

K leaves out that finance reform depends on Campaign F. Reform. Many commenters to his column say this, but don’t criticize K for ignoring it. But on that point Krugman disagrees with Elizabeth Warren. In a public talk K told her that while CF Reform is important, we could still accomplish ACA and financial reform without it. (according to his distorted standards).

Without tackling CFR, Warren and allies stay isolated and weak foes of our legalized corruption.

And Sanders has even less chance to help vanquish the vampires if our fearless Nobel keep him in the shadows. His policies would seem to align with K’s, but let’s face it, he’s just not prestigious enough. Has the Times op ed page mentioned Sanders at all, after Collins dissing of him?

Someone suggested parasites instead of vampires. That’s better, since the dependent Takers are the elites, shaping our laws, with congress sharing the spoils. Contrary to David Brooks’ lectures, it’s the majority of US workers who are the producers, and show ‘character and self reliance’. I’ll set David straight on that in his next column!

Robert Sadin said...

Dear Karen and Meredith,

Thank you both for such clarion, outspoken and great comments in the TImes.

Although obviously the real power lies very much elsewhere, I think that K is quite important in providing "intellectual," "independent" credibility to Obama.

His silence on TPP is the ultimate self-indictment of his lack of integrity or conscience. He is an opportunist, and no issue is as important as his self-advancement and promotion.

It disappoints me that most of the NYT readers who comment on his writing are content to follow wherever he arbitrarily takes them. English Austerity, Greenspan, Dodd Frank, whatever. He ignores burning issues, while repeating his usual lines.

I wish 200 people would write into one of these diversions calling him to address TPP. To stand up and be counted.

But reading the comments that come from this site are a breath of fresh air.

Thanks Karen for your energy, intelligence and insight. More information in one column here than in a week of NYT. And what a pleasure to read responses that are informed, thought provoking and committed to principles and values.

Best wishes to all!

Bill Sprague said...

I read this. I didn't watch it on some conspiracy-theory TV program. E. Nussbaum's job is strictly from Hell. Obama? He lied to the kids who held up their cellphones in 2008 and he has continued to lie to this day. Maybe that's all he has done. I'm sort of glad he can't run again. The $100K/night he will get for doing lectures as the 1st black president should be enough. Talk about a revolving door....

Meredith NYC said...

Thanks,Robert Sadin.
It’s been good to read your outspoken and eloquent TPP criticisms on Krugman, one of the few, with Karen. Especially on his blog. That’s only 1 issue, crucial tho it is. He departs from influential liberals on other points. Stiglitz said inequality actually holds back the country’s economic growth, but K’s blog said there are ‘other factors’, it’s more complex. He can’t just let Stiglitz have the point.

And he parts with Sen. Warren on serious effects of huge student debt and campaign finance by billionaire. He wants to carve out his own ‘liberal’ position.

He uses his blog to compulsively conduct his battles with other pundits—this was at first informative, now tiresome.

Now he’s leaving Princeton and moving to the CUNY Graduate School Center—LIS—an institute for the study of world income/wealth inequality. We’ll see what comes of that....I think he may differ from some of his colleagues there.

He showed his true side in a recent post saying economists need monstrous egos to push their points against great opposition. Poor embattled Paul. That’s his thing.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

Karen You are a star for keeping the TPP in the conversation with your NYT comments..

And I love Hersh. Will check out the London Review of Books.

I agree with you, JayOttawa, how do we help protect Warren. Obama is certainly doing a smear job. She is clearly a threat and Obama is the plutocrats hit man. They can't have this treaty seeing the light of day.

I think the entire NYT opinion staff has gone over to the dark side. Why do we think Bob Herbert left?

Karen Garcia said...

Yes, thank you Robert Sadin. As Meredith notes, Krugman's discourse revolves around personal rebuttals and sur-rebuttals to his fellow elites and pundits. This week, for example, we witness yet another chapter in the ongoing saga of the war between Brooks and Krugman. They coyly never mention each other by name, but all the insiders know all about their feud. The other pundits and news aggregation sites love this. It gives them something to link, bait for us to click, and allows them to write about the Brooks-Krugman feud instead of writing something hard and original, of actual import to the public they allegedly serve. Instead of being served, we are urged to pick an elite side and cheer on our favorite team. This keeps us docile and distracted.

annenigma said...

Oh, just admit it. You guys are hooked on Krugman. Why keep going back, considering there are so many more substantive people to read? Your clicks and comments just serve to encourage him.


Karen Garcia said...


Oh yeah? I will have you know that I can stop smoking Krugman any time I want to. As a matter of fact, I have already given up popping his blogs and have even gone so far as to oversleep past the 3:30 a.m. posting of his bi-weekly major op-ed opiates. Beating the reader comment rush just does not give me the same euphoric rush as it once did.

Once you decide to get off David Brooks-commenting, as I have proudly succeeded in doing (except for those rare unfortunate lapses that are all too common in those recovering from pundit non-substance abuse) it's really quite easy to gradually wean oneself off Krugman, addictive though he may be. Willpower and bootstraps, people!

Right now I am trying to substitute the anodyne mealymouthed mildness of the Times' Peter Baker to feed my lingering cravings for Gray Lady goodies.

Pearl said...

Hold on to your seat belts! "Fast Track" Obama is being told off by his own party members and the reader reports coming in are really something! This will be a most interesting day and we can thank Elizabeth Warren for speaking truth to power. Stay tuned.

Meredith NYC said...

Karen...fellow addict. What a delightful description of the monkey on our back. Stop smoking Krugman? You are raising my consciousness.

Congratz on any success you’ve attained getting off the comment treadmill. You give a me a positive role model! We can’t be discouraged by relapses—don’t Rehab counselors say that’s normal?

I didn’t comment on Brooks last night, but wrote a string of replies today. Easy to ignore him lately, but today’s topic got so many truth telling comments, I had to jump in. And it wasn’t his usual personal psychology lesson.

Question---are these Times pundits worth the effort we expend staying up late, organizing our thoughts? The Times has so many who need refutation, not agreement, on our nations most prestigious newspaper. And we do this for free, while paying a monthly fee. The Times is profiting off our comments. They should pay us—we are a draw.

And if we don’t comment, we let rw op ed opinions go unrefuted. Karen you set a standard. We can’t imitate the Democrats in this. Multiply that by many commenters deciding to enter comment addiction rehab, and the right wing may influence public opinion even more than now.

History may show the Times commenters are saving America from fascism! Is that food for thought, or at least for obsessive thinking? I’m giving myself a good laugh as I write this. Like Churchill, we can’t let the appeasers of the rw win.

I’ve wondered, with my comments am I adding to the popularity of columnists like rw Brooks and Douthat, and also Collins, Dowd, Bruni and Nocera who I feel add very little of substance? Better to ignore them and reduce their comment totals? Don’t know. Nocera seems to get the fewest comments.

Meanwhile I have to keep renewing my library books, as I lack time to read them. I must use discipline and restructure. Then there’s TV.

Thank god I don’t have an iphone. I can walk in the streets not being glued to a little screen, unlike most I see.

Meredith NYC said...

Pearl.....thanks for heads up on comments re TPP fast track in senate.
I used one to send to Krugman’s blog. He actually sent his fans 2 photos of the boxes he’s using to pack his books after culling what he doesn’t want, he says. He’s moving from Princeton to NY.
One comment, I must copy here. Then my comment re TPP.

One said
Carlo Spagnolli Chinhoyi,Zimbabwe 6 hours ago

Wish you a safe journey,dear Mr.Krugman! I am one of your eager followers and supporters,hope your moving will not affect your presence on the pages of NYT!
Thank you for pointing always the right way to the World for a terribly needed social and economic recovery.

I said.
Mr. Krugman, when you get done packing/unpacking and sending us such fascinating photos of it, it would be most welcome to get your comment on “Senate Democrats Block Progress on Obama’s Trade Authority” May 12, NYT.

In your previous blog re TPP, you didn’t mention one of the main objections --- foreign corporations being able to sue our government if we pass a law they say interferes with their business profits. Our domestic corporations already dictate our laws to ensure no interference in profits, thanks to Citizens United’s effect on election financing.

Now it would be dictation from foreign powers---not state powers, but financial conglomerate powers. And TPP allows for secret corporate tribunals, and US courts couldn’t challenge their decisions. Can democracy survive such a scheme?
With a president like this, who needs enemies?
We would find your thoughts on this most interesting.

Jay–Ottawa said...

Let the record show, it wasn’t I who said it. I didn’t point any fingers. I felt bad about their addiction to the many shades of Gray Lady, but what can you do once they’re hooked? Pray?

That’s it! I was prayin’ for them, real hard. And lo and behold. My prayers seem to be working. First, they had to fess up to it, and they did, sorta. Now they’re cutting back just a little. Cold turkey was too much to expect. The sweats, the shakes: we don’t wish that on them.

Anyway, like I started to say, it wasn’t I who said it publicly. It was you, Freddo… er, Annie.

Jay–Ottawa said...

On the Senate vote slowing down Obama's TPP fast track.

I'd say it's 1-0, Warren.

Maybe now's the time for EW to throw her hat in the ring. Lots of people would be rooting for her if she plays the Middle Class Card. In the primary debates, Warren, from one podium, and Sanders, from another, could mercilessly beat up on Hillary.

If the DNC gets troublesome, Liz and Bernie could always walk out arm in arm to start another Bull Moose Progressive Party. What else would keep me opening the paper every morning?

Pearl said...

a simple comment I sent to the NYTimes coverage of the Senate vote against Obama's fast track attempt has garnered almost 200 recommendations so far. It said,Thank you Elizabeth Warren. Please throw your hat in the ring.
This is encouraging news as well as reading the comments of readers pics and the anger at Obama from democrats which I have never seen till today.
Karen: I credit you with large influence for this change in the wind. It has made my day and hopefully days to come.

Pearl said...

Feud with Warren breaks open amid ‘fast track’ vote

Jay–Ottawa said...

Reasons why we must scan the digital edition headlines of the NYT:
1. To know what other people want to talk about
2. To know what other people don’t want to talk about
3. To be enlightened
4. To be bamboozled

Submitting ourselves to both sides of the picture in the Times way is a worthy objective, a right, a duty.

Take this tidbit from the morning’s raft of important things you ought to keep up with. Too busy to form your own analyses? Well then, you need ready-made analyses, bite-sized and mellow, ready to be swallowed whole. Just let the thoughtful headline and teaser sort it all out for you. Give your skeptical reading skills a rest.

By Coral Davenport
"President Obama's move to open up Arctic waters to oil and gas drilling as he pursues an ambitious plan to fight climate change illustrates the tensions in his environmental agenda."

Poor President Obama constantly challenged by the "tricky" stuff out there. “Intersections”: can’t avoid those, can we? Gotta get through them somehow. So give the guy a break; he’s got to juggle the energy issues while planning the exhibits for his legacy library. The more he gives to Shell, the more they'll shell out for the fabrication of his environmental legacy.

At bottom, what Ms Davenport is 'splaining to us, is that Obama is pursuing “an ambitious plan to fight climate change.” Got that? That’s the takeaway message here, not the birdie Obama just flipped to Mother Nature.

Oh, the cogdiss. Oh, the tensions.

Anonymous said...

So if I post as anonymous, I can suggest a COPY EDIT? Which will tehn be deleted?

Your original: According to Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, Obama essentially ordered the execution of Osama bin Laden while he was a prisoner of the Pakistanis.

comment: while who was a prisoner of the Pakistanis? Because of primacy effects,the syntax suggests Obama... [never mind that that there is a bit of truth to that.]

david m
essex mass.

Karen Garcia said...


You're right, my clumsy grammar does open the door to unintentional ambiguous interpretation. And since the article is about a conspiracy theory, why the hell not? So rather than fixing it I will leave well enough (or bad enough) alone. Thanks!

Cirze said...


Stellar reporting.

Best in the land.

And I have to admit that I stopped reading Prof. K under your tutelage months ago.

It really frees up my reading time for the overdue library books.

Keep lighting the path.

Onward to victory over neolibs and -cons!

Meredith NYC said... Obama/bin laden syntax---very cute!
Karen, you don't really have to apologize for that one. Next.