Hello Bloggers - It's only the first week, and I don't wish to be negative, but so far President Obama seems lukewarm on Bush crimes. It's early, but I'm still nervous. He signed impressive executive orders restoring transparency and ethics, and ordering Guantanamo Bay closed and ending torture, but going after Bush crimes and Justice Department priorities are still a mystery.
Republicans are still trying to cover their tracks. Many believe Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) is delaying the confirmation of Attorney General nominee Eric Holder by one week to delay him from going after Bush, Cheney et al on wiretapping. Many believe they're going to "beat up" on Holder, or may be trying to forge backroom deals to protect Bush and company. Some Republicans are threatening to withdraw their support on the stimulus bill and other legislation if the Administration moves against Bush. So far there's a lot of smoke. Let's hope for a fire.
The biggest crime is time sensitive, and Obama should know it. George Bush reauthorized the illegal wiretapping himself because Colmey stopped the hospitalized John Ashcroft from signing the paperwork. Remember, Colmey criticized Gonzales for trying to force him in front of that congressional committee. Well, some legal experts feel that bit of lawbreaking is about to expire, in so far as the statute of limitations may be running out in March. We need Obama and his Justice Department to act soon .
Whistleblowing on the day Obama took office has revealed the extent of the wiretapping. The NSA spied on all Americans, including journalists and politicians. George Bush probably benefited from knowledge learned through wiretaps. It's probably one reason why he always seemed to have inside information. His Administration, especially Rove and Cheney, were a little too good at exploiting weakness; it's obvious now they had an edge. If they did it, it represents a string of felonies and it should NOT BE IGNORED! Obama must act!
I find the whole justice debate mind-blowing. Evidence of Bush lawbreaking is extensive, yet the majority of Republicans still defend him. They impeached Bill Clinton over perjury, yet fail to criticize Bush over anything. They act as if he's above the law. They call anyone who questions him an "extremist." They always describe him as a "good guy" who "did his best" during very "difficult times." They describe him as a "decent man" who "tried to do the right thing" but fell short. It's extraordinary listening to them.
My Republican friends and family won't even question his past actions. They're almost "sheep-like" in their reverence for the man. They say "he kept us safe" as though nothing else matters. It's obvious to me now that objectivity, self-awareness and reflection are not strong Republican personality traits.
It's obvious there's a double-standard in the country today, but I can't figure out why. Is it party loyalty? It's very strange. We threw Nixon out of office, and he was a Republican, so why not question Bush? Do we need White House tapes? What do they need? Ordinary Americans appear almost brainwashed. They scream about Blago, and call for investigations and justice against Democrats on a regular basis, yet rarely question their own actions. It's amazing to watch.
Even journalists seem to ignore the severity of the Bush crimes. Dismissing FOX "News," correspondents on corporate news networks like CNN and MSNBC these days talk about how "difficult it would be to prosecute" and how "most in Washington are looking ahead." Except for a few like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, they talk as if enforcing the law [for politicians] is optional. I often walk away from the news dumbfounded that our nation has become so selective in the way it views justice.
So, ask yourself what will happen if nothing happens? I'll tell you! Average Americans will begin to question the fairness of justice, and start to see unequal justice. "Why care if they don't" will be asked everywhere? It will mean a slow and steady erosion of respect for the legal system. Is that wise? It may not be obvious right away, but it will begin to surface in courtrooms across America over time. Do you really want to take that risk Mr. President?
The Obama Administration may be playing political gamesmanship, knowing something we don't know. We can only hope they're doing the right thing, because inaction would be a disaster for the future of the nation. A majority of the country knows that Bush lawbreaking was extensive, and ignoring it would set a dangerous precedent for future presidents - both Republican and Democrat. American justice should be more important than political expediency. Please do not sew the seeds of American injustice. Please act soon Mr. President.
Friday's Political Rant #1 - Michael