From Volume 37, Issue 41 of EIR Online, Published Oct. 22, 2010

United States News Digest

Does Anyone Still Support Obama?

Oct. 17 (EIRNS)—A new AP poll reports on what the whole country—with the exception of the narcissistic Barack Obama—already knows: Everyone hates Obama and his toadies in Congress.

One-quarter of those who voted for Obama are defecting to the GOP or considering voting against Democrats, showing the "wide scope of Obama voters' disappointment with the President and his policies," according to the poll. Most Obama backers who expected change in Washington, now think "nothing ever will happen." Only 36% think Obama can still do it.

As the Nov. 2 Election Day approaches, Secretary of States Hillary Clinton has made arrangements to be halfway around the world that day, on tour in Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea. The London Daily Telegraph noted: "The message is unmistakable: 'Nothing to do with me!' " Meanwhile Bill Clinton, the Telegraph adds, is campaigning across the country for Democrats who backed Hillary; he is "a man vindicated by events and who knows he has a right to warn of Obama's shortcomings."

Chief 'Prosecutor' of Racist OCE Resigns; Shutdown May Be Imminent

Oct. 15 (EIRNS)—In a move that Politico says "signals trouble" for the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), Leo Wise, the former Justice Department prosecutor who is now the OCE's staff director and chief counsel, announced his resignation today.

Politico notes that Wise had clashed repeatedly with members of the House Ethics Committee. Time magazine had reported, in an Aug. 5 profile of Wise, that "members of Congress complain that OCE's reports are written more as an indictment than a straight reading of the facts," which simply provides fodder for the press to smear members of Congress.

Politico notes that Wise is not scheduled to change jobs until after the mid-term election, but that he wanted to make the announcement now, so it did not appear that his departure was motivated by the results on Nov. 2. This, because a Republican takeover of the House would likely mean the end of the OCE, since most Republicans were originally opposed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's efforts to create it in 2008, and many Democrats also want to see it gutted or killed off entirely.

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) and 19 other members of the Congressional Black Caucus introduced a bill in June to curtail the powers of the OCE. Fudge denounced the OCE's operations as being inconsistent with America's "spirit of justice," noting that "OCE is currently the accuser, judge, and jury." On Sept. 9, Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.) called for OCE's shutdown.

Lyndon LaRouche denounced the OCE as unconstitutional in a July 30 statement, and called for it to be "uprooted" and abolished.

Holder: U.S. Will Enforce Federal Drug Laws in California

Oct. 15 (EIRNS)—U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said today that the Federal government will enforce Federal marijuana laws in California, even if the state attempts to legalize marijuana through a referendum on the ballot in November.

This contrasts sharply with what President Obama said only a day before, when he argued that the Federal government has to choose what it is going to crack down on, for example, between pursuing drug kingpins, and going after users of small amounts of drugs.

The U.S. Justice Department opposes California's Proposition 19, and remains firmly committed to enforcing the Federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in all the states, Holder said. "We will vigorously enforce the CSA against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law," Holder wrote. He also said that legalizing recreational marijuana in California would be a "significant impediment" to the government's joint efforts with state and local law enforcement to target drug traffickers, who often distribute marijuana alongside cocaine and other drugs.

Approval of the ballot referendum would "significantly undermine" efforts to keep California communities safe, Holder added.

Obama Has Expanded Cheney's 'Black Ops' Worldwide

Oct. 15 (EIRNS)—It didn't end with Bush and Cheney. In fact, Obama has escalated "black ops."

Abuse of prisoners under the Obama Administration, at a secret "black jail" attached to the larger prison at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, was exposed in a report issued by the Open Society Foundations on Oct. 14. The report documents consistent use of conditions such as exposure to excessive cold and light, inadequate bedding, inadequate food, sensory deprivation, forced nudity, and the like—all in violation of U.S. Army regulations and Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, and of Obama's own promises to end such abuses and the system of secret prisons.

The report identifies the Bagram "black jail" as a "screening facility" run by the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), the military's counter-terrorism unit which runs a network of secret prisons, and deploys hit teams around the world for the purpose of "snatch and grabs" and targetted assassinations—much of which is falsely attributed to the CIA. The JSOC also carries out many of the drone bombing raids, especially those which kill civilians, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. (U.S. government documents show that the JSOC was also involved in the October 1986 raid against Lyndon LaRouche and his associates, in which the intention was to use the search-and-seizure operation as a cover for the assassination of LaRouche.)

Obama is an enthusiast for the JSOC and special operations, The Nation reported on Aug. 25, saying that "the Obama Administration has taken the Bush-era doctrine of the world as a battlefield and run with it." U.S. special forces now operating in 75 countries around the world, up from 60 under Bush-Cheney, and "special operations sources say Obama is a major fan of the work of JSOC and other special operations forces."

The Obama Administration has expanded these "black operations" internationally under the authority of a secret order issued by Bush and Cheney in 2004. A special forces source told The Nation that Obama has "let JSOC off the leash." And, the source added, "JSOC has been more empowered more under this administration than any other in recent history. No question."

Hedge Fund Mogul Treated Frank to Vacation After Getting Bailout

Oct. 14 (EIRNS)—After Rep. Barney Frank's (D-Mass.) LaRouche Democrat opponent in the Democratic Primary, Rachel Brown, devastated him in debate as a stooge for bailed-out financiers, Frank has now been outed for a lavish reward from one of the billionaires in question.

The Boston Herald reports that last December, Frank and his boyfriend flew to the Virgin Islands on the private jet of Paloma Partners hedge fund mogul Donald Sussman, to spend four days at Sussman's "tropical mansion." Also on the flight was Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), whom the press calls Sussman's fiancé.

Paloma subsidiary Paloma Securities received $200 million in the bailout of AIG, according to the Boston Herald (Oct. 14).

When the trip was criticized by Republicans, Frank's spokesman Harry Gural commented, "They're friends. Are you not supposed to have friends if they're wealthy?"

The Portland, Maine Press Herald reported, "He described the gift as 'First Class Round Trip Travel by Private Aircraft' with a value of $1,500 in a required House financial disclosure.

"As the source of the gift, Frank listed Pingree and Sussman.... '[Pingree] and I have become friendly and they invited us to the Virgin Islands,' Frank told the Herald. 'I checked with House Ethics [committee] and they gave it the OK. It was purely personal.'

"....[A] press release from AIG in March listed Paloma Securities as receiving 'public aid' of $200 million."

Desperate Police Departments Hire Civilians

Oct. 12 (EIRNS)—The number of "civilian volunteers" utilized by municipal police departments across the U.S. has almost tripled in the last five years, to almost 250,000, with a 70% increase in 2007 alone. The move is being fought by the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), which sees it as a lowering of training/performance standards, as well as undercutting hard-fought pay and benefit contracts with cities. "The economy ought not to be pushing this," said NAPO executive director Bill Johnson. "You want the real deal when you call 911."

In San Francisco, the police department plans to hire 16 civilians for investigating burglaries, under a $1 million program, which management expects to save $40,000 per person. Mesa, Ariz. expects to save $15,000 per person under a program for eight civilians to investigate low-level crime scenes, lifting fingerprints and the like. And in Durham, N.C., civilians are aiding initial police investigations, canvassing for witnesses, etc.

All rights reserved © 2010 EIRNS