The CIA, MI5 torture mess drops Obama’s grade to a C-

by Joel on February 18, 2010

As it has been reported at and elsewhere, the United States put the squeeze on the British High Court to block the release of summary information implicating the CIA, with MI5’s help, in the torture of United Kingdom resident Binyam Mohamed. Find out more on the eventual outcome here at and elsewhere.

The torture happened when George Bush and Tony Blair were in office and Mohamed was released in 2008 when Bush was still president. However, Obama promised to begin anew and set a higher standard. Sending Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to deliver a threat is not the way to go about it. At the moment, Obama’s newest chapter might well be titled “Washing a Dirty Diaper in a Sewer.”
I may write more when I can focus on it specifically instead of under that broad category called “disillusionment.”


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }


Kim 02.18.10 at 10:11 am

I agree. Nor is Obama-hope issuing in any constructive action over Israel-Palestine, while there are signs of a reversion to Bush’s gunpoat diplomacy over Iran. And you know what I think about Afghanistan. I am not sanguine. D+.


Jeff 02.18.10 at 5:45 pm

It makes me wonder who is really dictating our military policy.


Joel 02.19.10 at 1:28 am


I would love to disagree with you and give Obama a higher grade, but at this moment, whether it be a C- or a D+, Obama is taking questionable military/foreign p0sitions in some areas, and some outright asinine position in others.

I didn’t give Obama a C- on just the CIA and MI5 torture matter, but it represents a failure of leadership in significant ways. I’m not naive. I was always aware that Obama could end up “breaking my heart” or more importantly failing to adequately and competently address critical problems both of the USA, and with other international leaders, the problems/challenges of the world.

I agree with you completely — well, maybe only 95% ;-) — 0n the Israeli-Palestinian mess, which could be greatly solved if only they, including Obama, would give it a real try, as opposed to invoking vague diplomatic non-speak.

I guess I give Obama a C- instead of worse because the Bush administration is still fresh in my mind.

I don’t at all regret voting for Obama; I do regret that the man of lofty words is not nearly advancing conforming policies to go with those words.


Kim 02.19.10 at 9:15 am

Yeah, a C- (or D+) doesn’t look so bad when, to get to Bush’s grade, you’ve got to go the nether regions of the alphabet.

Personally, I’ve still got enormous respect for Obama - his intelligence, character, and aspirations. And turning the oil tanker of American foreign policy was always going to be a Herculean task. Sadly, I now wonder if he hasn’t just given up. He needs to come up with some fresh ideas - and quick.

And then there’s the battle with the principalities and powers - including AMERICA itself…


Joel 02.20.10 at 5:56 pm


Yes, there’s still time for Obama. More than Obama not “getting” something of a populist revolt, Congress doesn’t seem to be getting it.

I never expected that some version of national health care would cut costs immediately, but could over time be revised where it might cut some dollars. There needs to be more transperancy with costs. Since April, I’ve been renting a CPAP machine through Walgreens home medical supplies store. After proof through a “smart card” that one is actually using the machine, my insurance administrator may approve buying it. The machine basically retails for $1000 - $1,200. I’m through with the trial period. Walgreen’s submiited a bill for the machine for more than $2,800. Insurance will probably agree to pay $1,300 at the most, and then I will be told I’m saving $1,500 when I’m actually coming out even or slightly behind price wise.

Anyway, one of my utmost reasons for supporting national health care is to, for a start, begin providing health care policies for at least half of the 33 million U.S. residents who are without insurance. Eventually, I’d like to see the percentage cover rise to at least the range of 75-80% of the uninsured. For a host of reasons, which I won’t go into here, 20-25% of the currently uninsured will never be covered.

Ministerial alliance groups can help pay for prescriptions here and there, and we clergy can help community folks find programs offered by drug companies to significantly reduce the costs of many medicines. However, for overall health care, there is a large number of Americans who make too much to enroll in Medical Assistance and too little to buy health insurance.

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