We can’t say we have been disappointed by Barack Obama because we never had any great expectations of him, in part because he was a product of the Chicago Democratic Party political machine, one of the most corrupt institutions we’ve ever investigated.
Chicago’s organized crime syndicate was not, like the more traditional Sicilian crime families, a monolithically ethnic operation. Al Capone was of Neopolitan heritage, not Sicilian, and the Outfit, as syndicate was known, included Jews [the Korshak brothers], a Welshman [Murray Humphreys], a Japanese [Ken Eto], and even a Greek [Gus Alex] — though none of African descent.
To the more traditional La Cosa Nostra families, the Outfit was like a crazy half-brother who had fallen in with some bad, though dangerous, friends..
The Outfit was on life support when Obama was on the rise, and we’ve never heard anything to link him to the enfeebled syndicate. But the political milieu nurtured by the Outfit remains alive and well, and corruption is still endemic, though the beneficiaries are more like to meet in Wall Street boardrooms and country clubs than in suites in mob-run hotels.
So when Obama was elected, we were mostly by the fact that this country had finally elected a person of color, while recognizing that Obama’s color would also useful to Republican strategists as a tool to play on the nation’s never-healed racial divides.
And given his close ties to Rahm Emanuel, a man of violent instincts with a terrorist for a father, and his corporate connections. we figured Obama would offer little change from business as usual on Pennsylvania Avenue.
We were confirmed in our suspicions when he named Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State, a violent interventionist by nature and a tool of Wall Street, as demonstrated by her record in the Senate.
Nowhere were Obama’s failures more evident than in his handling of events in the Mideast, southwestern Asia, and North Africa, where he seemed convinced that more violence would somehow lead to peace.
Evidence was already clear that forcing regime change only lead to more violence, as in Afghanistan and Iraq, yet the Obama/Clinton team pushed for just that in Libya, Egypt, and Syria. While Egyptian violence was quickly contained by another round of regime change restoring the status quo ante of a military dictatorship, the tragedies that are Libya and Syria continue unabated, with the violence extending to the streets of Paris and San Bernardino.
All of which is a very long preamble to a fascinating interview of a journalist who rose to fame for his investigation of another tragedy of another failed American military intervention, the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War.
A Pulitzer Prize winner and the dean of American investigative journalists, Seymour Hersch is still going strong at 79, and in this interview with Thom Hartmann he describes an act of extrajudicial murder ordered by Obama himself, a killing that epitomizes all that’s wrong with American foreign policy and yet another reminder of what to expect should Hillary Clinton claim the White House.
From The Big Picture:
Great Minds/Seymour Hersh – Bin Laden- A Prisoner of War. It Was a Hit…
Seymour Hersh, The Killing of Osama bin Laden, joins Thom. Seymour Hersh, The Killing of Osama bin Laden, joins Thom. For tonight’s Conversations with Great Minds I’m joined by one of America’s most importatn journalists – legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh. Mr. Hersh has broken some of the most important stories of the past half century – and his revelations abou the My Lai Massacre and Abu Ghraib prison quite literally changed the course of American and world history. He’s also won numerous awards for his work – including the Pulitzer Prize – and is also the author of a number of books – including his latest “The Killing of Osama Bin Laden” – a deep dive into the real story of the Obama years.