JuicyLesson 232: Fear and Loathing at the White House; Nixon, Reagan, and Obama …

“Dirty Laundry” by Don Henley is featured above. Thanks to Darren Rosen for the idea.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahi had deployed to Afghanistan in 2009, “full of idealistic conviction that he and his comrades could push back the Taliban and improve life in the long-subjugated country.
“But hope soon gave way to despair after his unit began to take casualties and he saw how U.S. Troops treated the Afghans they were supposed to be saving.”

“‘These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid … ‘”

“Three days after having written the above in an email to his parents, Bob and Janice Bergdahi, of the little rural town of Hailey, Idaho, “the 23-year-old soldier simply walked off his base … carrying a knife, his diary and a small camera.
“Bergdahl is hospitalized at a U.S. military base in Germany as questions mount at home over the swap that resulted in his freedom in exchange for the release of five detainees who were sent to Qatar from the U.S. prison in Guantanamo, Cuba.

“The White House’s decision to release the Guantanamo detainees in secret and without informing Congress has infuriated many on the right. U.S. law states the president must give members of Congress 30 days’ notice before transferring detainees out of the controversial prison.”
“Even in the first hours of Bergdahl’s handoff to U.S. special forces in eastern Afghanistan, it was clear this would not be an uncomplicated yellow-ribbon celebration. Five terrorist suspects also walked free, stirring a debate over whether the exchange would heighten the risk of other Americans being snatched as bargaining chips and whether the released detainees — several senior Taliban figures among them — would find their way back to the fight.

“Sen. John McCain, himself a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, raised concerns over whether Qatar could prevent the former prisoners from again threatening the U.S. ‘These are the hardest of the hard core, these are the highest of the risk people,’ McCain said. ‘It’s disturbing that these individuals would have the ability to re-enter the fight.’

“The White House countered that Bergdahl’s health was failing and it had no choice but to act quickly and in secret to save his life. ‘We found an opportunity, we took that opportunity,’ Hagel said. ‘I’ll stand by that decision.’”
— Raf Sanchez The Montreal Gazette, Monday (06/02), p. A10

So President Obama, like Nixon and Reagan before him, broke laws to get his way. Although supposedly legally bound to inform the Congress of its intention to release prisoners of the political variety, terrorists in other words, from Gitmo, at least thirty days before doing so, the Obama administration took it upon itself to circumvent the law. The justification for doing this is found in Sanchez’s last paragraph:

“The White House countered that Bergdahl’s health was failing and it had no choice but to act quickly and in secret to save his life. ‘We found an opportunity, we took that opportunity,’ Hagel said. ‘I’ll stand by that decision.’”

We all make excuses for our behaviour and actions when these are deemed less than satisfactory. I am gradually coming to view Obama differently, less positively in fact, than I did before.

On the one hand, the President seems like an affable, intelligent, and, above all, a personable president, someone with whom I wouldn’t mind conversating with over a beer and even joint, perhaps, and I’ll bet if this actually happens, it wouldn’t be Obama’s first time; and unlike that bullshit artist, William Jefferson Clinton, president from 1992 to 2000, I’m pretty sure that Barak baby wouldn’t have claimed, as Clinton did, that he didn’t inhale. Gimme a fucking break. Man.

“It all depends on what your definition of is, is.” This was Clinton’s response to questioning during an impeachment hearing about his relationship with White House intern, Monica Lewinsky, who was about twenty-five years old at the time. Have you ever heard such shit?

Complete crap and Hilary’s not much better. Don’t trust her, another lawyer-liar. Bunch of fuckheads. All of ’em, except for the Hazans, Eric K. and número uno, Gino Castiglio. Julius Grey – went to school with him – seems to be ok, and the one person who is smarter than almost everyone else I have ever met and/or interacted with. Brilliant.

Not to forget my favourite lawyer all-time, Kathleen Cawthorne, a highly intelligent, caring, sensitive and all-around beautiful woman … and my nephew, an IP attorney in The Big Onion.

One more thing: trust yourself.


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6 responses to “JuicyLesson 232: Fear and Loathing at the White House; Nixon, Reagan, and Obama …”

  1. This comment comes from a student of mine. Speechless in NDG.

    Since I did not seek permission to use this person’s name, I have to withhold it.

    Dear Jerry, Just wanted to shoot you a quick line to thank for your posts. It is illuminating to hear your personal views on life and also with regards to your time at Bialik.

    The uncensored insights into your life and perspectives are very cool, but I can’t say that they deviate too much form the impression I had of you as your student. Maybe I wish I would have heard some of your musical recommendations a bit earlier (I think we have similar taste), but I think your intelligence, passion for teaching, and care for your students were always pretty evident from our interactions and from your lessons.

    In other words, at least among those I went to school with, I don’t think you were too misunderstood. Anyways, it’s nice to take this opportunity to let you know that you I will always value your classes and the way you taught.

    Your lessons also played a huge role in paving the way for my later pursuits (I studied Political Science at McGill and UdeM and now work in Geneva in human rights). So, in short… thanks a lot for the memories and – please excuse the cheesiness – inspiration. Keep up the great work with the blog! Nice to see Jerry unleashed (not that I know you were ‘leashed’ before).

    • Thanks very much for that. Genuinely appreciated. A big shout-out to you my friend, for taking the time from your busy schedule to commit your ideas to paper.
      Respectfully with affection,
      Hairy Scary Jerry

  2. Just one thing re. your comment. I don’t get where you got the idea that I believed myself to be misunderstood.
    I never felt that way, don’t think so anyway.

  3. i like that comment from ‘Speechless in NDG’. Now its time for me to sing a little. ‘Hit it Don’…

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