America Is No Democracy. Here’s Proof:

Obama Prosecutes No Mega-Crooks. Hillary Also Wouldn’t. Would Sanders?

Eric Zuesse

The chief reason why the USA is no longer a democracy (if it ever was) is that its mega-criminals have impunity, just like kings and other dictators in countries that make little pretense to being a ‘democracy.’

Any country where someone stands above the law is a dictatorship, by those people, against the public — against everyone who is punishable by that nation’s executive, legal, and judicial, process, if they violate that country’s laws.

Any country where there are two classes of people, one class who are above the law, and another class who are subject to the law, is, by definition, a dictatorship, by the former group, over and against the latter mass. That’s what a dictatorship is — that’s what it consists of: an aristocracy and its agents, on the one hand; and the public on the other.

For example, George W. Bush still has not been prosecuted, nor even investigated by the U.S. Government under Obama, for his mega-crimes, from which not only Americans suffer, but people around the world suffered — and we all suffer them today.

He certainly was guilty of violating U.S. laws, including treaties that the U.S. had signed, against torture, even though he has never been prosecuted, nor so much as (in the U.S.) investigated, for any of the numerous crimes, organized crimes, RICO-type crimes, such as Hitler did and for which Hitler’s subordinates were hanged after foreign powers took over. (Hitler, of course, committed suicide.) Nor were Bush’s subordinates investigated for that. Obama has protected them all. If Hillary Clinton becomes President, she certainly won’t instruct her Attorney General to investigate either Bush’s crimes or Obama’s crimes (such as his protection of his predecessor from even being investigated for his numerous crimes). But would Sanders? If he wouldn’t, then no one would, and then there is no chance for the U.S. peacefully to become a democracy, because there will then remain two classes of people in the U.S. — the aristocrats and their agents (such as the U.S. Presidents they place into office) on the one hand, and the public on the other. (The law is applied against only the latter group, the public.) If this ongoing succession of criminal Presidents who let their predecessors off the hook continues, then unquestionably the United States is a land where crimes that are committed by the nation’s leadership are not and will not be prosecuted; so, it’s then an established dictatorship, because the nation’s leaders stand, and will continue to stand, above the law, and the law is applied only to punish and restrain the people down below in the social order.

Furthermore, as I first documented in a 2004 book and repeated in an 18 April 2015 online article, with documentation to the sources both times, George W. Bush definitely did lie (intentionally deceive) America into invading Iraq. At a 7 September 2002 joint press conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, he was asked, “Q Mr. President, can you tell us what conclusive evidence of any nuclear — new evidence you have of nuclear weapons capabilities of Saddam Hussein?” and he answered that a “new report … came out of the Atomic — the IAEA that they were six months away from developing a weapon. I don’t know what more evidence we need.” Immediately, the IAEA denied that they had issued any such “new report” at all, or had any evidence that Iraq after 1998 had restarted their WMD program, but the President never paid any attention to their statement denying his statement, nor did the U.S. press — they ignored this exposure of an obvious fabrication by the U.S. President. It was the only clear and outright lie by Bush (assisted by the compliant U.S. press) regarding WMD in Iraq as the ‘justification’ for invading Iraq. Others of Bush’s numerous ‘misstatements’ on WMD could be attributed to the CIA (and Bush never fired his CIA Director, even after he blamed the CIA after-the-fact when no WMD were found to be in Iraq), but this one was instead attributed to the IAEA — which they promptly denied to be true. Bob Woodward repeatedly said things like “A mistake certainly can be argued, and there is an abundance of evidence. But there was no lying in this that I could find.” But Woodward couldn’t find it because, like other ‘journalists,’ he didn’t even ask the IAEA about Bush’s allegation which they had promptly denied. U.S. ‘journalists’ (actually stenographers for the U.S. Government) reflexively trust U.S. Government sources, and the IAEA isn’t part of the U.S. Government (they’re neither Democrats nor Republicans) — so, they just ignored it (even though it’s what Bush in that statement had referred to as his source).

So: Bush unquestionably did lie his nation into invading Iraq. Under the precedent that was established at the Nuremberg Tribunals following WW II, that’s a hanging offense — and Germans were hung for such war-creating lies, back then. Obama’s refusing to apply accountability for that hanging crime by Bush has made Obama an accessory after-the-fact, selectively not applying the law regarding his predecessor’s enormous crime of aggression against another sovereign nation, which had posed no threat to the U.S., and, even under Bush’s lies wasn’t clearly indicated to constitute an invasion-worthy threat to the United States. The entire Bush Administration had to lie through their teeth in order to invade Iraq — and they did. And now, Obama is part of their crime.

On 26 March 2014, I headlined “Obama Definitely Lied About Having Intent to Prosecute Banksters,” and I linked to the sources on that. Although Obama was truthful when he told the assembled banksters in private that he would block any prosecution of them, he lied in public when he said the exact opposite: that he would “hold accountable those who broke the law” regarding those mortgage-backed securities and deceptions against both mortgagees and outside investors.

Subsequently, I listed and documented the following three categories of areas of crime that will need to be investigated and prosecuted regarding Barack Obama: (1) Torture. (2) Protecting Banksters. (3) Perpetrating Ethnic Cleansing Abroad.

On top of that, Ted Rall bannered, on 17 February 2015, “Obama Destroyed Libya,” and documented that “What he did to Libya is as bad as what Bush did to Iraq.” So: there really is no basis on which the question of which of those two U.S. Presidents was the worse can easily be answered. And, on top of that, Obama’s international ‘trade’ deals will produce even more damage to the public (and more benefit to the aristocracy) than Bill Clinton’s did.

Those might seem to be crimes by Republicans — they’re so far to the right — but under Obama they have also become crimes by Democrats. Our entire Federal Government is thus now what one reasonably expects from a dictatorship. We even have the type of press that one expects in a dictatorship.

If this country does not stop being a dictatorship as soon as the next President enters office, and prosecutions start against the prior two Presidents and their officials, then only a violent second American Revolution will stand any realistic possibility of restoring American democracy, and the sham pretenses that this country is a ‘democracy’ should simply end. Lying doesn’t do any good for anybody, except psychopaths. It’s doing lots of good for them. And that’s why it should stop, right now. We don’t need to wait for the next President for that.

There is no excuse for continuing the lying. None at all.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • cstahnke

    Let’s assume that Sanders gets elected somehow and moves us towards more democracy, more accountability and the sorts of things he is talking about. The last thing he or any other President can do is prosecute oligarchs. Why? Because they have power and they can hurt people who try to hurt them and lavishly reward those who help them. We are not yet set up to go that far. These oligarchs have the control of a good part of the National Security State and their operatives. What you can do is to move us in a healthier direction. We over-estimate the power of the President in particular and politicians in general.

    • cettel

      What about a wholesale but carefully considered replacement of bad officials who can be dismissed, and an open condemnation of anyone in Congress who tries to block it. Accompany that with a promise to all (civil service grade employees) who cannot be dismissed, that they will be retained (and maybe even promoted) if the new bosses are satisfied with their performance, but will be reassigned if not. Accompany that with a termination of lots of federal contractors, and replacement of them by civil servants, so that there will be new opportunities for advancement for any existing civil servants who receive high performance-evaluations from the new bosses.

      • cstahnke

        Good ideas. I worked as a gov’t contractor and am deeply familiar with all the issues. Government became much more corrupt when civil servants were replaced by contractors when the whole “re-inventing government” scam was introduced years ago.

        However, the current cultural-political climate won’t allow reform of any kind. Everything is locked in place because it’s simply too late for change. The oligarchy is locked in and there is no mechanism for change. Unconsciously, the public has decided for stability at all costs. Post-modernism is too bewildering to live with so we are collectively running in the opposite direction towards pre-modernism. Collectively we have lost our nerve. What happens next is a form of neo-feudalism.

        • Mel McQueary

          Yes, I agree, it will be a neo-feudalism, but will probably not be centered in the US. Why do you think our infrastructure is crumbling and very little is being done to fix it?

    • diogenes

      We are LED to overestimate the ability of the president to effect policy change partly because it takes our attention away from the forum in which every single voter in every single district has the ability to effect policy change: the House of Representatives. Every four years the oligarchic system spends vast sums of money to convince us to bet on one rigged race in which it owns both horses. We need to focus our energies locally informing our neighbors and electing people who will represent us — and monitoring them to see that they do, or get dumped in two years. A concerted pursuit of this strategy has a reasonable chance of beginning to bring about significant change within a few electoral cycles of the House — maybe a decade, maybe less. Or we can continue to be hypnotized by the “two-party” punch-and-judy presidential sweepstakes which hasn’t made a bit of difference since the 1880s.

      • cstahnke

        I don’t know about that. The two party system was pretty good even while it was not particularly democratic. The world of *Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” showed how the oligarchy worked. But the oligarchy was less secure, more diverse, more local, and subject to many forces including, for example, the Labor movement. I think it was possible to change the system up until somewhere in the 1980s I think. Today there is no way to change the system. IT has actually enabled the oligarchs to create a tightly knit “conspiracy” that is based on the neural network model rather than the usual hierachical model. This system “emerged” gradually out of the shock the oligarchs felt after the 1960’s and it has worked, in my opinion, even better than any of them had hoped.

  • Army of Addicts

    I think Cynthia McKinney is the candidate for serious reformers. The fact that they won’t get behind her says alot.

    A second violent revolution could, if nothing else, significantly depopulate the country, considering how divided and ill-informed we are right now. We are a violent culture, they say.

  • Bill Urman

    Sanders prosecute the financial elites? Would not happen, but Sanders was clear about how he would treat Snowden. “He broke the law and should be punished.” That one sentence that Sanders said in an interview with Wolf Blitzer told me everything I needed to know about Bernie

    • kimyo

      if he actually said that, my disgust and loathing is on infinity and beyond. such a person will never put bush/obama in front of a court of law.

      do you have a link? the only cnn/blitzer interview i’ve found has similar verbiage, but not by sanders.

    • diogenes

      Sanders is a Zionist. Enough said.