The war on terror did not go away with George Bush. When President Barack Obama came to power there was so much hope, but as the US Green Party presidential candidate I did not share it.
I heard candidate Obama’s speeches and knew that he would be a War President. What I did not realise was the extent to which the policies of President Obama would mirror those of his predecessor, including the renewal of the Patriot Act and commission of war crimes. Sadly, President Obama’s Justice Department is now in US courts defending the criminal acts of the Bush administration.
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In his State of the Union address to the nation, President Obama defended war, erosion of civil and human rights, creation of the police state, ignoring the US Constitution and the norms of international law, by invoking the tragedy of 11 September, 2001. Tony Blair also leaps to his own criminal defence by invoking 9/11.
All of us in the peace community, who stand for justice and human dignity, have become victims of 9/11. Those of us who expect our national leaders to promote respect for the environment are now victims of 9/11. Survivors of those who are now dead from the prosecution of these wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and elsewhere around the world are now victims of 9/11. And the mothers and fathers, siblings and family of the too many dead soldiers are now counted among the victims of 9/11. And sadly, the entire global community that expects national leaders to respect the rule of law and tell them the truth are now victims of 9/11.
Everyone now knows that the Bush administration did not tell the truth about many things, including the Iraq war and 9/11. The leaders of the 9/11 Commission told us that. Why must the world continue to live inside a lie? I remain hopeful that we will learn the truth because more and more people around the world are demanding it.
April 8, 2010
Cynthia McKinney served in the US Congress for 12 years and was the 2008 Green Party nominee for President of the United States. She now serves as a juror on the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation’s Russell Tribunal on Palestine.