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Thanks for letting us down, Sen. Obama

I am a sell-out.

As previously discussed, Barack Obama has been quite a disappointment for those of us who hoped that his would be a truly progressive voice in the Senate. As David Sirota noted, Obama has been on the wrong side of all sorts of issues, voting to confirm Condi Rice and John Negroponte, against a move to cap interest rates charged by credit card companies, in favor of a limit to the damages that negligent corporations can owe consumers, among other betrayals.

More evidence that Obama is fast becoming a major sell-out (or at least that we were naive to buy his progressive rhetoric) comes from Body and Soul via Tom Tomorrow. A reader of Body and Soul, Kingsley Langenberg, sent an email to Obama about the CIA's practice of abducting people, shipping them off to Afghanistan, torturing them, and then releasing them without charges. Obama's response:

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the advent of new security efforts at home and abroad, many citizens such as yourself have become highly suspect of our nation's intelligence operations. Much of this, I believe, is a reaction to the very unfortunate and disturbing stories we have heard coming out of the war in Iraq, Guantanomo Bay and other areas regarding the torture of detainees and other questionable interrogation tactics. The truth, however, is that torture and other such practices are not condoned by the United States. The case of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, in which the soldiers found guilty of torture were sentenced to significant and wholly appropriate prison terms, illustrates that the United States is committed to rooting out such behavior. Those prison sentences were deserved, and it is my hope that they serve as reflections of this country's resolve to end such behavior.

Kingsley's accurate assessment of this response:

It appears the matter has been taken care of, as far as Senator Obama is concerned ... Sounds like Obama is attacking the messenger and ignoring the message, and in a cavalier manner, too. Irritating and disappointing.

But, unfortunately, not surprising at this point.

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