A Letter to President Obama

29 March 2011

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC

Dear President Obama:

My wife Sandy and I watched your 30 minute talk last night in which you explained why you decided to send military force into Libya. We agree with you that tyrants like Moammar Gadhafi who have no sense of boundaries or ethics beyond their own self aggrandizement need to be reigned in and finally pitched out of office. We applaud your quick decision and your good sense in not taking it to Congress where the bickering would have gone on for weeks, making this action ultimately an impotent one. Thank you for that.
Coincidentally, my wife and I watched yesterday the award-winning documentary, Inside Job, which outlined what we felt was done with incredible detail and persuasive recording the debacle of Wall Street, along with the predatory lending practices of housing mortgage organizations. It did not take long to recognize the domestic version of Al-Qaeda that was born and bred right here in America and in some cases in the leadership of the Federal Government itself, by individuals you now employ to guard the national hen house of economics that controls the United States. We are, to be candid, incredulous.
Our incredulity expands to include why these terrorists of Wall Street and of their powerful satellite group, mortgage lenders, have been allowed not only to get away with their heinous crimes, but to remain in power, amassing more wealth than before this financial holocaust perpetrated on the American population. Financially, it has been no less devastating than the recent destruction to the country of Japan.
Deregulation of derivatives with no checks or balances on one of the most fundamental warps in the soul–greed, and its stepsister, power–was both naïve and calculated. With the likes of Allen Greenspan soothing the population with bromides of “all is well, the market will correct itself” and the inaction of Congress to see that human beings need boundaries in order to protect themselves from themselves and one another, one wonders where wisdom and prudence have gone.
As the titans of greed, who never left power, plan their next escapade, I call on you to pursue these culprits who have pulled off one of the largest and most devastating terrorist operations in human history, to reinstate controls and boundaries in which they are to work, and to bring to justice those whose fortunes defy human categories of decency and fair play. Fraud is one of those vices that Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy of the 14th. century, spends many cantos exploring, so pervasive was it in Florentine government and in the Vatican, where no mortals, secular or sacred, were immune from its destructive pull and relentless power on the soul.
Doing nothing to punish these boundless individuals whose sense of limits is nonexistent, whose appetite for more is an addiction of the most serious note, suggests to them that they are too powerful and too big to fail, so another bail out is not outside the realm of possibilities. Attacking social security and other civic programs only reveals how far the invasive attack has gone to bankrupt our limited economic reserves. Another form of terrorism, in my mind, is the assault on both education and the elderly, both of which have very limited influence against striped suits.
Terrorism is the correct term for what they did to the American person and to the nation’s soul. If you truly believe in what you say about helping those oppressed, then stop fighting wars against terrorists who are the mirror image of the financial fanaticism that exists right here on our soil. Suffering another financial bombing by their hands will surely destroy the Republic and leave us in tatters asking: why was nothing done about this?
I end by referencing a book I strongly recommend to you: the cultural historian Jane Jacobs’ Dark Age Ahead (2004). Towards its beginning she observes that “strong and successful cultures can fail.” The reason, she tracks, is “not caused by assault from outside but by assault from within, that is, by internal rot in the form of fatal cultural turnings, not recognized as wrong turnings while they occur or soon enough afterward to be correctable” (14). I would add one caveat to her insight: cultures can fail when rot from within is understood as rot and nothing is done to stop the infestation. That is where we are today: the rot continues to chew at the heart of our country, dispiriting the population and disenfranchising millions more than have already been cast to the margins.
Please help all of us avoid the dark times ahead that has the capacity to convey us all to the netherworld of mass destruction.


Dennis Patrick Slattery
A citizen concerned about the double standard of law