The Bush administration used premeditated, fabricated intelligence to start the illegal occupation of Iraq and war with Afghanistan, bizarre legal doctrines alleging that the president is allowed to ignore federal and international law, Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition, torture, draconian legislation purposely designed to be used against American citizens in the destruction of civil liberties and rights, illegal wiretapping and spying on American citizens, blackmail and extortion to allow throwing billions of dollars at executives who committed worse financial crimes than Enron at more cost to the U.S. taxpayer and so much more, with Congressional blessings.
Promises of change helped elect Barack Obama to the presidency. Several of the choices he has made while putting together his transition team raise questions as to whether change will actually come to Washington — and if the people responsible for the past eight years of crimes carried out against America as well as the rest of the world will be punished and held accountable — or if a President Obama will prove to be another typical Washington establishment politician.
Obama’s foreign policy team reportedly appears to be an extension of the Clinton Doctrine, filled with 20 hawks, Clintonites and neocons who were top players in creating and implementing foreign policies that paved the way for projects that were eventually carried out by the Bush administration. Obama’s Cabinet is being filled with numerous longtime Washington insiders responsible for a lot of the crises this country is facing today. Obama’s nominee for Attorney General has been a big Bush policy supporter. Other cabinet posts aren’t faring much better.
President Obama will have his hands full when he takes office. It could take years to sweep all the trash left behind by the Bush administration out the door and disenfect the White House. Let’s hope Obama knows what he’s doing. In many ways Obama is your typical Washington establishment politician and unfortunately it appears that he may not vary much from Bush’s political path and we don’t need any more of Bush politics as usual.
The President Should Not Be Above The Law
As noted by the Philadelphia Daily, it is increasingly clear that there is one class of American who are now increasingly completely out of the reach of any law: The President of the United States and the people who work for him.
It has become increasingly clear that the commander-in-chief will never be prosecuted when he leaves office and aides will most likely receive pardons or commutations for their actions, regardless of the crimes committed.
Two Obama advisers reportedly believe that President-elect Obama should focus on moving forward instead of looking back. Since 1974 when Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, the political establishment in Washington has focused on putting the past behind us and moving forward. Despite all the abuses of power, the deaths of thousands of Americans, illegal spying and a plethora of other crimes committed by the Bush administration, it appears that Obama may follow suit and not do anything about it. If Obama decides to let the crimes committed by the Bush administration remain covered up, there will be nothing to deter future presidents, including Obama, from breaking laws and being held accountable for their crimes.
Putting the President and his administration above the law sets a dangerous precident and is wrong for many reasons — including the fact that it sends the wrong message to countries, including the U.S., that have been affected by the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the most corrupt, never-elected official in the history of the United States — and it sets the standard for future presidents to literally get away with the same exact crimes by acknowledging that there is no such thing as the rule of law.
While the want for immediate prosecution of Bush, Cheney, et al. is what the country wants, some are suggesting the creation of a panel with full subpoena powers and orders to the intelligence community, the State Department and the Department of Defense to cooperate, to fully study and document what occurred the past eight years. That could take years, but it may not be a bad idea.
Interrogators Probably Won’t Face Charges
A recent article in the Associated Press suggests that there is little-if-any chance that Obama’s incoming Justice Department will go after anyone involved in authorizing or carrying out interrogations that provoked worldwide outrage.
Not going after the individual interrogators is understandable since they were just following orders. Not going after those who authorized and encouraged the torture is unacceptable.
Congress, in their ongoing attempts to keep crimes committed by the Bush administration covered up due to their own involvement and authorization, also plans to do nothing as far as charging Bush and his cronies with war crimes.
Congressional complicity in Presidential crimes is nothing new. It started long before the appointment of George W. Bush to the White House. It’s just become more blatantly obvious over the past few years. When a Senator, convicted of seven felonies, leaves his job to a standing ovation from other Senators, it shows you the sorry state of politics in Washington today.
Congressional Complicity In Presidential Crimes
Given the fact that Nancy Pelosi, Jane Harman and John D. Rockefeller, all Democrats, were secretly briefed on the use of torture in 2002 and did nothing to stop it, it’s not surprising that nothing would be done by Congress. At least two ‘lawmakers’ in Congress encouraged the CIA to push harder on interrogations.
Because our ‘lawmakers’ authorized and covered up the war crimes committed by the Bush administration, they are themselves guilty of committing war crimes, giving them every reason to keep them hidden. That doesn’t make it right, but that’s the way it is. The only way we’ll ever see those guilty of committing war crimes standing trial for their actions in the U.S. is by pressuring the government to do something about it.
As noted by Glenn Greenwald from Salon News, these claims about bipartisanship being needed to ‘change’ Washington are nothing but more lies and deceptions. There is nothing new about bipartisanship in Washington, and it doesn’t even remotely constitute ‘change.’ The past eight years of the Bush’s dictatorship have been defined, more than anything else, by overarching bipartisan cooperation and consensus.
The Patriot Act, two illegally started wars, the Military Commissions Act, illegal, warrantless eavesdropping and spying on U.S. citizens, illegally giving the Telecoms who participated in and profited by Bush’s illegal spying immunity after the fact, the fraudulent bailout given to corporate fat cats while the rest of the country goes bankrupt, and on and on. Bush’s dubious appointment of corrupted judges were almost never impeded or challenged, resulting in radically transforming federal courts. All that and a lot more were authorized, almost unanimously, by a corrupted bipartisan Congress.
We The People Need To Get Involved
Many ‘laws,’ despite being unconstitutional and illegal, were passed after the fact for crimes committed by the Bush administration. Little if any investigations regarding the war crimes, illegal surveillance, politicized prosecutions and all the other laws broken by Bush were ever conducted. Because of Congressional leadership’s involvement in Bush’s crimes, Congress believes Bush and our highest political ‘leaders’ should be immune to prosecution and accountability under the rule of law, despite the atrocities that have been committed.
There are still too many crooks in Congress and too much corruption and we the people need to change that. Congress, under corrupted leadership, has continuously aided and abetted in crimes committed by the Bush administration and that needs to stop. Many in Congress have been bought off by the large corporations that are now going bankrupt while being ‘bailed out’ by taxpayer money. It’s time to end the lobbying and it’s time to hold them responsible for their actions. The only way to make the government hold the criminals accountable is for the people to demand it.
Until ‘We the people’ take notice and change the way things are done in Washington, there isn’t going to be much change in Washington or the corrupted political system. It’s a simple choice really. Either we let them continue to bleed us dry financially while bankrupting the country or we demand whatever it takes, including an Article 5 Convention, to rid the system of the leeches who have bled it dry for years. Hold them accountable and get involved.