After weeks of speculation and desperate hopes that Donald Trump might be preparing to pardon NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and/or WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange before leaving office on January 20th, what the latest round of presidential pardons has delivered is about as far from that as you can conceivably imagine.
But surely, Noam Chomsky - who urged everyone to vote for Biden because Trump is the "worst criminal in human history" - can't be wrong, can he? I mean, he's got a big brain and he wrote some very complicated things about linguistics, so... yes, Chomsky was wrong and foolish to say those things.
Spot on, Caitlin, especially since you wrote, "Trump's entire term has revealed that **virtually** everyone, all across the US political spectrum." (my emphasis)
Hillary had demonstrated, through her actions on Libya and elsewhere, that she was the embodiment of evil. Trump's campaign rhetoric, that war was OK if you "take their oil," that torture is OK and that it's OK to punish the innocent families of terrorists, was evil. For that reason, I could not vote for him, and he consummated every one of those promises by authorizing the raid that killed Nora al-Awlaki, appointing Gina Haspel and keeping US troops in Syria precisely to "take their oil." So I'm with you on that.
But I'd go further in criticizing the Democrats. They actually made Trump worse by trying to attack him "from the right," praising his illegal cruise missile attacks on Syria, legislatively blocking withdrawal from Afghanistan, encouraging further sanctions on Russia and attacking him for even negotiating with North Korea. Finally, they took evil to an entirely new level I didn't realize was possible throughout 2020 by using Covid-19 and George Floyd's death to sow chaos to destroy the credibility of the election. They were willing to destroy this country and others to get rid of Trump.
Of course you're right about Trump appointing swamp creatures and neo-cons. How anybody could think Trump is a peacenik after appointing John Bolton and assassinating Soleimani is beyond me, but there are people who still believe he is. On the other hand, do you think there was the slightest chance he ever could have gotten Bruce Fein or Jonathan Turley confirmed as AG or Supreme Court justice?
Though I will never support it or participate, it's possible that civil war is the only possibility for changing the system in the US, as the Constitution is written in such a way that it's almost impossible to amend it, especially now that all political power, at least at the federal level, is controlled by billionaires. There is a small possibility that local sheriffs and chambers of commerce can revolt. That would perhaps be marginally less bloody than all out civil war, but I see few signs that it will happen. More likely, we are headed for full scale totalitarianism first.
...... and I hope that we don't expect anything different from pedophile joe biden!
What is missing here in an otherwise inciteful essay are four things that come immediately to mind and apparently are not as detectable as far away as Australia.
First, Trump has NOT been like any other president in that he has ripped off he mask to reveal the true ugly face of American imperialism and national chauvinism which one president after another, and most notably, Obama had disguised.
Second, he removed the lid from the garbage can which had 'contained' the white supremacist racism that has been a cornerstone of the US existence from the beginning so that only those who had been subjected to its violence were fully aware of it.
Third, his cabinet appointments were clearly intended to set back or erase environmental standards that had been steadily improving in the US since Richard Nixon introduced the Environmental Protection Act 50 years ago, and finally, with guidance from the reactionary Federalist Society and a pliant, Republican-controlled Senate, he was able to appoint over 200 federal judges, known for their right-wing leanings, to lifetime positions, including three to the Supreme Court, which is destined to have a negative impact on the federal court system and its decisions for decades.
Democratic senators were involved in writing Ecuador and urging that they not keep Julian Assange in the Embassy. Both political parties are implicated in what is happening to him.
Just a thought: can Presidents pardon people at any time, despite the convention of doing it as they leave? If so, Biden could pardon Snowden and Assange on day one.
Really appreciate your perspective. Thank you.