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More campaign promises trashed

I dare say, President Obama is batting 1.000. And not in a good way.

First up: Obama drops 2009 pledge to withdraw combat troops from Iraq. From Raw Story:

WASHINGTON, Aug 3, 2010 (IPS) – Seventeen months after President Barack Obama pledged to withdraw all combat brigades from Iraq by Sep. 1, 2010, he quietly abandoned that pledge Monday, admitting implicitly that such combat brigades would remain until the end of 2011.

Obama declared in a speech to disabled U.S. veterans in Atlanta that “America’s combat mission in Iraq” would end by the end of August, to be replaced by a mission of “supporting and training Iraqi security forces”.

That statement was in line with the pledge he had made on Feb. 27, 2009, when he said, “Let me say this as plainly as I can: by Aug. 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.”

In the sentence preceding that pledge, however, he had said, “I have chosen a timeline that will remove our combat brigades over the next 18 months.” Obama said nothing in his speech Monday about withdrawing “combat brigades” or “combat troops” from Iraq until the end of 2011.

I know that a great many of my friends voted in 2008, rather than sat out the election, the solemn promise that Candidate Obama would support our troops by bringing them home.

Read on.

Next, Obama issues administrative rule prohibiting high risk insurance pools from covering abortion, even if carrying to term may pose a serious risk to the mother’s health. From a July 29, 2010 press release from the American Civil Liberties Union:

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration today issued a new interim rule excluding abortion coverage from the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans, or high-risk insurance pools, created by the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Even using their own private funds, individuals will not be able to buy policies that cover abortion in these pools. The only exemptions will be for women who have been raped, who are the victims of incest or who will likely die if they carry a pregnancy to term. Under this new rule, women with serious health conditions such as heart disease may be forced to carry pregnancies to term despite serious harm to their health.

High-risk pools will exist until 2014 when the state exchanges become operational, as provided for in the Affordable Care Act. The pools will allow people with pre-existing conditions who have been denied coverage on the individual market to purchase health insurance. Women participating in high-risk insurance pools are especially vulnerable and may have a special need for abortion coverage.

This is not a matter of Congressional pressure; there was no bill; there is no threat of a veto override. This is the head of the Executive Branch issuing policy to the federal bureaucracy. As it was under the Bush Regieme, women are officially reduced to the status of broodmare. And all while pregnancy prevention programs at the federal, state and local levels were among the first sacrificial lambs to the Wall Stree bailout.

And as an added bonus, civil rights groups are suing the US goverment over “targeted killing.” From the Center for Constitutional Rights:

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the American Civil Liberties Union today filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Treasury Department and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to challenge their refusal to grant a license that would allow the groups to file a lawsuit challenging the government’s asserted authority to use lethal force against U.S. citizens located far from any battlefield without charge, trial, or judicial process of any kind.

In early July, CCR and the ACLU were retained by Nasser al-Aulaqi to bring a lawsuit in connection with the government’s decision to authorize the targeted killing of his son, U.S. citizen Anwar al-Aulaqi, whom the CIA and Defense Department have targeted for death. On July 16, however, the Secretary of the Treasury labeled Anwar al-Aulaqi a “specially designated global terrorist,” which makes it a crime for lawyers to provide representation for his benefit without first seeking a license from OFAC. CCR and the ACLU have sought a license, but the government has not yet issued one despite the urgency created by an outstanding execution order. CCR and the ACLU have not had contact with Anwar al-Aulaqi.

“The government is targeting an American citizen for death without any legal process whatsoever, while at the same time impeding lawyers from challenging that death sentence and the government’s sweeping claim of authority to issue it. This is a dual blow to some of our most precious liberties, and such an alarming denial of rights in any one case endangers the rights of all Americans,” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. “Attorneys shouldn’t have to ask the government for permission in order to challenge the constitutionality of the government’s conduct.”

So in Obama’s America, the government can unilaterally declare that a citizen is a terrorist and make it a criminal action for anyone to help said citizen secure his constitutional rights. Mind you, this is not an “enemy combattant,” this is not someone who has been tried and convicted under due process of law.

Let’s see, have we gotten everyone?

Would someone please remind me why the Republicans are worse?

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Gregory Gadow

Gregory Gadow