I am excited at the prospects offered by the Obama Administration, and I am looking forward to a future that is much brighter than anything we've seen since we ceded the government to the neocons 28 years ago, culminating in the last eight years of pure hell on earth.
The Obama Administration is like a breath of fresh air, when compared to the governments of our recent past. There is already an air of openness and transparency that we haven't seen in many years, even when Clinton was president. Even when a mistake is made, there is an easiness about admitting it and moving on with a solution.
But while I do agree with them on most issues, there is one issue on which we seem to stand on different sides of the fence.I say "seem," because I have a feeling we can find ourselves on the same side of the fence with a little prodding. But for now, the Obama Administration seems to be far too willing to let bygones be bygones, and let the previous administration slide on its sins.
That's just a crock, and we cannot be allow that attitude to stand.
I don't care who does the investigation, as long as the people involved are impartial, but a complete investigation of the last eight years has to be conducted. And if we care at all about the concept of justice for all, we simply cannot allow anyone responsible for the crimes committed in our name to slide, without prosecution, and a payment for their crimes. If that means we have to watch a former president and vice president and/or a bunch of their underlings be frog marched to jail for the cameras, and repeatedly interviewed from a jail cell by Fox News and Inside Edition, then so be it.
See, we’re not talking about a blow job here, and we’re not just talking about a few thousand dollars here and there. For some reason, this country once had a stomach for investigations, back when Repubilicans were investigating petty bullshit a decade or so ago, and it’s soured many on the prospect of investigation. A lot of Democrats actually worry that any investigation of a Republican administration will look too much like a tit-for-tat. That’s one of the reasons why Pelosi took impeachment “off the table.” If Bush had been impeached with the current crop of Republicans in the Senate, there was no possible way they would get the 67 votes needed to convict, no matter what anyone said he’d done throughout the trial.
But we’re no longer talking about the political act of impeachment. Now, we’re talking about the law, and justice. If we consider ourselves to be a nation of laws, and if we are to project a sense of justice to the rest of the world, we can’t lack the intestinal fortitude to investigate everyone, including the former president, his vice president and their henchmen and henchwomen. We have to bring all of their crimes to light, and then subject those responsible to due process of law.
The last eight years were inarguably the most corrupt in our nation’s history, and we know it. Their seeming incompetence when it came to basic functions of government was trumped only by their criminality. We know what happened; the evidence of problems is right there before us. The investigations into what happened should be opened, and those who are found to be responsible should be held to judgment.
How can we possibly investigate and prosecute people who do illegal drugs, with credibility, when we won’t investigate and prosecute those who pillaged our Treasury for eight years?
How can we possibly demand the prosecution of people in other countries for torturing our soldiers, when we won’t even hold those who tortured in our name responsible for their crimes?
How can we hold our heads up and demand that other countries act justly on the world stage, if the people responsible for lying us into an unjust war are never held responsible for their actions?
How can we demand that other nations release their political prisoners, when we have in our custody hundreds of political prisoners, held for as long as seven years without benefit of trial or counsel?
How can we ever prosecute another traitor in the name of justice, when we won’t even hold anyone in our government responsible for the traitorous act of revealing the name of a covert CIA agent at a time when the same people were claiming we were at war?
Our Constitution is the foundation upon which this country was built, and while we haven’t always lived up to its ideals in the past, we have steadily worked toward a day when its ideals were such an important part of the fabric of this country that full social justice would finally be achieved. That’s the purpose of this country; social justice for all, including the least of us. Without it, we’re just another powerful nation with no common sense, much like the Soviet Union before us.
So, I guess the question is, do we want to be like the United States, or the old Soviet Union?
If we don’t right our own ship of state, we run the risk of others doing the job for us. There isn’t much chance of Bush and Cheney appearing before the Hague, because of their/our unwillingness to sign on to the treaties that created the International Criminal Court, but the fact of the matter is, it’s quite likely that someone will investigate our misdeeds on the world stage, and hit us with sanctions as a result,; sanctions that could cost us billions of dollars, and also cause our reputation to take a major hit that will continue to dog us for generations.
We used to think of ourselves as the leaders of the free world, and everyone else in the world saw us as a beacon of freedom, as well. After World War II, rather than lining up captured Nazis and shooting them dead, which would have been quick and relatively painless, we gave them fall air trials, and allowed them legal representation, because we believed in that. After World War II, we prosecuted Japanese soldiers who tortured our soldiers via the waterboarding method, because we believed that was the right thing to do. We've signed numerous international treaties, in which we promised to treat all humans with rthe espect and dignity they deserved, and to abide by our principles always.
The previous administration has refused to abide by any principles, and they have betrayed the trust of everyone, not only in the United States, but the rest of the world, as well.
How can we ever be what we have always strived to be, if we consider the prosecution of those who violate our laws and circumvent justice to be off limits for any reason? How can we even think of considering ourselves the greatest country on earth, if we can’t even police our own leadership to any great degree?
Over the last 28 years, we sat back and allowed one administration to sell arms to one enemy, and use that money to fund the the overthrow of an elected government in a foreign country. We then allowed the next administration’s pardon of everyone involved in that to preclude a proper investigation into what had happened. Then, eight years after that, our government sat back and allowed an administration to start a war based on false pretenses and lies; to reveal the name of a covert CIA agent who was working on finding Weapons of Mass Destruction in rogue countries throughout the world; to hand over tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to their friends, including companies in which they still held securities; to spy on millions of Americans with impunity; and to imprison people without benefit of due process, and to torture those people in our name.
In the last 28 years, the only high government official who was ever investigated and held to account for anything was guilty of having sex with an intern. It seems apparebt that we hold sex as more important than any other principle we claim to stand for, and there's something wrong with that.
That’s not justice. If the United States of America is to reclaim its formerly good name, we have no choice but to investigate everything, in an open and transparent way, and hold everyone responsible. There is no other choice.