Bill “Bojangles” Robinson (May 25, 1878 – November 25, 1949) was an American tap dancer and actor of stage and film. Audiences enjoyed his understated style, which eschewed the frenetic manner of the jitterbug in favor of cool and reserve; rarely did he use his upper body, relying instead on busy, inventive feet, and an expressive face.
Yesterday President Obama emerged for a press conference and attempted to stick the genies of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden back in their top secret bottles. In his best Harvardese shuck & jive mode, he tap danced around the blunt truth that the military-industrial-security-state is in constant violation of the Constitution of the USA (which its members are sworn to uphold), and instead put a smiley face on governmental intrusions into the privacy of everyone (American or not), all in the name of “protecting” Americans from the nasty nebulous “terrorists” who bedevil us, god only knows why since we are so very nice all around the world. Seldom rattled by his job as cover for the Wizard of Oz system behind the curtain, Obama fumbled as he suggested that in order for Michelle to believe him, he had to take her back in the kitchen and show her he actually did the dishes. This lame would-be metaphor found him foundering, probably aware that he was, well, lying, and that, well, the entire system which he represents is nothing more than a lie.
Trying his best to put lipstick on his pig, Obama did his smooth-talk routine, attempting to calm the roiling realization that Americans, as he said rather explicitly, just plain don’t trust the government (anymore). Left or right, those who swallowed the cold-war Kool-Aid, and all the other trumped up jangle-your-nerves crises that seem to be the societal norm of our imperium, seem to have drawn a line in the collecting of their telecommunications, emails, visits to porn sites or whatever else it is they desire to keep “private.” Snowden, for whom the government in the form of another shuck and jive artist, Attorney General Eric Holder – another culturally bleached-black – found itself having to issue an assuring word to Russia that it would not execute or torture him should he be returned to the USA (!), was accorded a one year asylum in Russia, as the US security system shuddered at what further revelations he might offer. One could hear the murmuring, “This is all supposed to be secret… and how do those dang computer code things work, anyway?”
Ironically, the security apparatus is at the mercy of the techies – many of whom incline to a libertarian slant, and many of whom follow the motto, “information wants to be free” – who understand the arcane matters of bits and bytes, encryption, code, etc., in a manner other than a “concept” to bandy about while not understanding it at all. Those in the executive echelons of these systems are probably quite aware of their vulnerability on this account, and hence the draconian responses to those who let the beans slip. Manning and Snowden are not the first to feel the harsh hand of the security agencies for letting out the word that America is not at all the America the government wishes you to think it is. Long before General Smedley Butler wrote his “War is a Racket,” Daniel Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers, and more recently Russ Tice and William Binney informed the public about the US surveillance abuses so clearly revealed by Snowden.
And so it is that while Bojangles and StepnFetchit did their duties, and tap-danced mightily to hide the ugly truths which keep slipping out of our Big Brother surveillance systems, and glossed over the long American history of governmental abuses of the citizenry, even former President Carter was found to say that we “no longer have a functioning democracy.” Suddenly Senators and Representatives in Congress have found a new hobby horse to ride as a wave of public sympathy for Snowden and Manning builds. What was formerly the turf of the woolly-eyed radical crazy now finds a home in the mouths of “respectable” politicos. If interested, look up the quote of Mahatma Gandhi in this regard.
Dazzling with his toes, Obama attempts to deflect attention from what he does with his hands. This on-going show began with his “don’t look back” absolution of the war criminals and Constitution-abusers who immediately preceded him. It began at the outset of his administration when the criminals of Wall Street were chosen as his advisers regarding the economic collapse of 2008. It carries on in his hounding of whistle-blowers far in excess of all previous administrations. And finally, with the present defense he offers of NSA-CIA-FBI violations of the law and Constitution, even his most faithful supporters begin to fall away, no longer charmed by the seemingly gentle and intelligent words of their black knight on a white horse, come to rescue them from the disappeared faux Texas cowboy. Rather late (and with three years to go) they discover their guy is a kiss-ass Harvard tongued StepnFetchit to the hard powers that run the show.
Keep tapping, Bo. Just nobody believes in the change you can believe in anymore. And why should they? It was a PR line of pure-BS to con the liberals into thinking something would actually happen, and instead they got more Bush than Bush, all delivered in a hot package of 100% shuck & jive as done by well-educated criminals – like the ones who run Wall Street, the military-industrial-security state-media complex – and who pull your strings. You offered “the most transparent” government, and instead you provided the most secretive. The only thing transparent is that Obama is owned lock, stock and barrel by the ruling elite of the 1% who do what they want, legal or not. That’s the secret they are worried about, and that you showed in your dismal press conference. Trust us? Are you kidding?