Saturday, December 06, 2008

Way to Go, Obama!

After this morning's radio address, and e-mail announcement from the Obama/Biden transition team, I'm thrilled that Obama is stepping up to the plate, and clarifying his relationship to his advisors, as well as letting the American people know that, from now on, we will have "a seat at the table."

In a signature move that will set him light years apart from the Bush gang, memos, as well as minutes, of meetings will be posted on, and the Web site will be open to all who want to post comments, or simply keep apprised of what their government is up to.

What a delightful change after a regime of secrecy, classified documents, and withholding information not just from citizens, but the press. What a breath of fresh air!

Happily, too, today, the President-elect clarified that his advisors will follow his blueprint. He is the architect; they are the construction crew that will do the heavy lifting. He will be the idea person; they will be the ones who fine tune how those ideas will be implemented. Excellent!

As you know, in this morning's address, Obama has instructed his economic team to come up with the draft of a recovery plan that will create 2 million new jobs, and invest in infrastructure from installing energy-saving lightbulbs in federal office buildings to rebuilding public schools, as well as ensuring that every student has access to the Internet.

Bravo! This is exactly the kind of leadership many of us have been waiting for.

And, we hope, too, along with Senator Russ Feingold, that President Obama will also see fit to "restore the rule of law," as Feingold recently explained to Bill Moyers, and that he will revisit the USA Patriot Act, revisions to FISA court that allow for warrantless surveillance on American citizens, as well as all other challenges to the First and Fourth Amendments brought on by George W. Bush and company.

National security doesn't come from locking people away indefinitely, without charging them with any crime, without having evidence that they've even committed a crime, and without giving them access to counsel unless they confess guilt. National security doesn't come from intercepting international phone calls under the pretext of trying to find terrorists when the terrorist-in-chief, Osama bin Laden, has been allowed to roam from cave to cave, with impunity, and with no attempts made to intercept his phone calls, or e-mails.

National security doesn't come from outsourcing the torture of a Muslim American citizen to United Arab Emirates who, in the space of only a few months, have allegedly beaten him at the request of the U.S. government. Naji Hamdan, according to his brother Hossam, was only just released from UAE custody "after he gave up and signed whatever they gave him. He was willing to sign anything. Now they have put him into the criminal court system" where "he is with criminals, like killers and drug dealers." (McClatchy) Hamdan is a naturalized U.S. citizen. We don't ship American citizens to Abu Dhabi to be tortured in the name of a "war on terror."

We are confident that Thomas Jefferson, and the founding fathers, are looking to President Obama as a breath of fresh air, and as one who will set the ship of state right after eight years of being on a disaster course.