By CATHERINE CALLEN Albany Times Union 6/03/09

Dear President Obama,

You are breaking my heart.

I worked hard to help get you elected, and I have friends who made it their complete priority — so much so that they went where you told them to go, knocked on strange doors and rallied people in states they had never been to.

We fell in love with your vision of what we might be, and the desire of all of us to see justice prevail with an investigation into atrocities committed by the Bush/Cheney administration and finally, put the shame and damage of the past eight years behind us.

Your eloquence carried us to new heights of hope: for the world, for our ecology, for our country, but most of all for peace.

I voted for you because I believed you would work hard to bring our soldiers home from unjust wars and allow our American Muslim brothers and sisters to live without fear in their own country. I was beginning to feel a pride in my government and country that I really never felt before.

And then you turned your back on your constituents — the American people.

What happened?

You are not only backpedaling and reversing previous executive decisions about tribunals and the accountability of former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Now you are telling us we don’t need to see more torture photos.

This is not the transparency of government that you promised us time and time again. And it doesn’t make sense.

Now we hear that Guatanamo and other detainee camps where prisoners were tortured may not be closed after all. This feels strangely like we have moved back in time to the last eight years. It is making me sick with anger that I, along with everyone in this country who voted for you, have been lied to yet again.

Until now, I have been defending you and trying to understand your strategy, believing that you were still walking the same path toward peace and transparency that you set for yourself and America in your campaign. You lost my trust, though, with this latest reversal of heart to not show the world evidence of further torture and the atrocities of the Bush/Cheney administration.

I am tired, Mr. Obama. I have been marching for peace for a long time. I was hoping I could retire soon, knowing we were heading in the right direction.

I feel tricked. So, tired or not, I will be at your front door soon, with, I suspect, quite a lot of friends.

Catherine Callen is co-chair of the Muslim Solidarity Committee. She was co-winner of the New York Civil Liberties Union’s Carol S. Knox Award in 2007. She lives in Feura Bush.