Dwight Eisenhower was a golfer and he knew that etiquette demands he warn bystanders and fellow-golfers in danger of getting hit by his ball. So before he left the American presidency, he shouted “Fore!”
Here’s his warning cry:
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
America should have taken heed.
But there is no “alert and knowledgeable citizenry” in this country; we are largely a nation of rock- and rap- music-lovers, video game players, American Idol watchers and sports fans. The few who follow politics are known as “political junkies” and “policy wonks” – weirdos in other words.
So it is not surprising that America is now firmly in the grip of the military-industrial complex Eisenhower warned against.
But it is shocking. Alarming. Frightening.
Read this excerpt from an article by Andrew Kreig of the Justice Integrity Project and choose your own word:
Edley’s rationale implies that Obama and his team fear the military/national security forces that he is supposed be commanding. It suggests also that Republicans have intimidated him right from the start of his presidency even though voters in 2008 rejected Republicans by the largest combined presidential-congressional mandate in recent U.S. history….
The article refers to the president’s reluctance to prosecute Bush-era war crimes, and quotes University of California at Berkeley Law School Dean Christopher Edley, Jr., who was the sixth highest-ranking member of Obama’s 2008 post-election transition team.
I would dismiss the article as just another conspiracy theory if I didn’t have a nagging suspicion that President Obama is walking on eggs. I sense that he is afraid. I get the impression that he must not – cannot – go “too far.” My neighbor across the street thinks there’s a gun pointed at the president’s head, but the guy feeds iodine pills to his mother and grandmother because he thinks Japan’s nuclear pollution is coming to get them, so I take his views with a grain of salt.
Still, I am not so sure he’s wrong when I contemplate this statement from Kreig’s article:
CIA friends confirmed that Obama would have been in danger…
In danger. Not in danger of being voted out of office. In physical danger.
And that’s not so far fetched, when you consider the fact that America’s first black president is the target of 30 threats a day against his life. He lives in such constant peril that the FBI has set up a secret task force to protect him. You won’t see that on TV. But it’s a fact of life. Obama’s – and his family’s – life. It’s no wonder he looks so frail and gray these days.
While America relives the horrors of 9-11 and barricades the nation’s largest city against another attack from external terrorists, the greatest danger may come from within.
As Eisenhower said:
We should take nothing for granted.