From the point that it appeared that it would either be Clinton or Obama as the nominee, I said then and now I am vindicated…change is just a political buzzword and Obama’s choices are proof.
The media reaction to President-Elect Barack Obama’s reported choice of Eric Holder, a former top Justice Department official under the Clinton administration, as his attorney general has focused largely on the fact that, as the New York Times put it, Holder will be the “first African-American to serve as the nation’s top law-enforcement official.”
As with the president-elect himself, the focus on racial identity serves to mask the mounting indications that, far from fleshing out the vague promises of “change” that dominated the election campaign, the transition to the Obama presidency is laying the foundations for the continuation of many of the criminal and reactionary policies of the past eight years.
Let us look at Obama’s choice for AG, Holder.
Using his longstanding ties at the Justice Department, Holder managed to get Chiquita off the hook with a fine that amounted to 0.55 percent of its annual revenue. This was despite the overwhelming evidence—and the company’s own admission—that it had paid out millions of dollars to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (known by its Spanish acronym AUC), as its gunmen carried out the massacre, assassination, kidnapping and torture of tens of thousands of Colombian workers, peasants, trade union officials and left-wing political activists. Fully half of these payments were made after AUC was formally designated as a foreign terrorist organization, and they continued for a full year after the Justice Department had warned Chiquita that it would face prosecution if it failed to halt the payments.
The emerging continuity of policies and personnel at Justice, the FBI, CIA and Pentagon means that there will be no accounting whatsoever for the war crimes and gross violations of the US Constitution carried out under the Bush administration.
This is not merely a matter of sweeping these crimes under the rug—as serious as that is. Rather, what is being prepared are cosmetic changes behind which these same methods will be employed once again to pursue US interests abroad and suppress social unrest and class antagonisms at home.
And you expected what? A change in personnel?