I dreamed that I opened my eyes one morning and all of America was wide awake. I could hear the echoes of the Bush/Cheney consortium desperately proclaiming their innocence from deep within the Hague, but the world had long since stopped listening. I dreamed that Rush, O'Reilly, and FOX News had imploded into a metaphor for latter-day McCarthyism, and the phrase corpo-congressional alliance was a new vulgarity that had become a part of the American lexicon.
For some time now it has seemed that the Obama Administration might be shielding Cheney, Rumsfeld and yes George W. Bush from even the threat of prosecution for the crimes committed by them during their time in office.
I don't happen to think that this is merely a partisan issue. As we begin to unravel the crimes of the Bush Administration I believe that the threads will lead back to Democratic and Republican administrations in the past,
But the place to start is here.
Well, there's that arrogant, xenophobic, and divisive phrase again - "American Exceptionalism."
President Obama is being roundly criticized by many conservatives for refusing to go around the world promoting the conservative vision of American superiority. Their shortsighted idea of effective American diplomacy is for the President of the United States to trot around the globe telling the people of the world that we're better than they are.
I greatly admired Michael Jackson. I admire anyone who's the very best at what they do, and Michael Jackson was definitely that. I remember when I first heard him. He was doing a tune called "Who's Lovin' You?" He was a mere child at the time, but his talent was so fully developed, and he sang with so much emotional maturity, I mistook the high pitch of his voice to be that of a very soulful adult female. Then later when he did "Billie Jean" at the Motown reunion, he seemed to literally defy gravity as he Moonwalked across the stage. So yes, this young man was, without a doubt, one of the greatest entertainers who ever lived.
But Michael's life - that shooting star that dazzled humanity with its awesome display, only to burn out much too soon - threatens to serve as a perfect metaphor for America itself. The story of the United States parallels that of Michael Jackson. It is also the story of a precocious child star that dazzled humanity with its awesome display. The United States is undoubtedly a superstar among nations, but we must not let hubris allow us to forget that among those very same nations, we are nothing more than a precocious child.
BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE
The Moral Strangulation of America
In my last article I pointed out that the character of America is being fundamentally changed. In less than two generations we've gone from citizens who were politically engaged and socially aware, to zombies who simply accept what we're being told by our favorite demagogues. We've gone from citizens who held our politicians' feet to the fire, to a group of cattle who allow our politicians to dictate what is, and what isn't, off the table - in spite of our instinctive clamor for the simple adherence to the law. We've allowed politicians to go from representatives with the single mandate of do our biding, to so-called leaders who dictate to us what's in our best interest. As a direct result, the script has been flipped - we now define what's in the people's best interest, by what's in the best interest of the politicians who are supposed to defer us.
Directly from foreign fighters held in an Iraqi prison, this veteran US interrogator tells us, '...we heard day in and day out, foreign fighters who had been captured, state that the number one reason they had come to fight in Iraq was because of torture and abuse. What had happened in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.
The Big Cheney's sermon to fellows at the AEI/PNAC school of propaganda could reduce the chances for his prosecution. But the faith of the chickenhawks that was parroted in Dick Cheney's speech, is overwhelmed by the forceful first-hand experience related by Senior Interrogator Matthew Alexander.
He was actually there.
Seymour Hersh has issued a strong statement denying that he ever made the statement attributed to him below: I did not say Cheney killed Benazir: Hersh
"Vice president Cheney does not have a death squad. I have no idea who killed Mr Hariri or Mrs Bhutto," Hersh said. "I have never said that I did have such information. I most certainly did not say anything remotely to that effect during an interview with an Arab media outlet."
Raw Story has published a correction of a story that they ran, also with the misquote now denied by Hersh. The explain how the story originated on the Pakistani site from which I picked it up, 'US special squad killed Benazir', and was ithen picked up by the Wall Street Journal and Raw Story as well as her by me. I am appending the correction that appears on Raw Story in full in a comment below, because it contains an interview with Hersh in which he definitively rejects the views attributed to him.. Carol White.
The appointment of General Stanley McChrystal as commander of US forces in Afghanistan underscores the danger of President Obama's stated desire to move on from the crimes of the Bush Administration. Not only is Dick Cheney publicly advocating for the continued use of torture but it appears that General McChrystal's headed Cheney assassination team. Without exposing the crimes of Bush, Cheney et al, we are in grave danger of seeing them repeated, whatever the President's intentions.
Richard Cohen has written a column asking that we have an open-minded fair consideration of torture. sure, he admits, Cheney has been a liar. But what if he was right?
"If Cheney is right, then let the debate begin: What to do about enhanced interrogation methods? Should they be banned across the board, always and forever? Can we talk about what is and not just what ought to be?"
by Mark Karlin
BuzzFlash fully supports trying Bush, Cheney, and their band of fellow sadists for war crimes, but while they are in the courtroom, let's not forget Murder One. Apparently, many in the mainstream press and blogosphere already have.
The focus right now is on legal memos justifying the horrifying and numbing repetition of torture against "high profile" targets. We have a short memory in America -- and most of what was in these memos -- except for the diabolical excess of the waterboarding and the medieval torture by insects -- was, as President Obama has said, pretty much already known.
Promoted. Originally posted 2009-01-21 13:39:52 -0500. -- GH
On September 15, 2002–six months and four days prior to the Iraqi invasion--I published an article entitled "Would Bush's Saber Rattle as Loudly Against China?", in the Portland Independent Media Center http://Portland.indymedia.org/en/2002/09/ 21292.shtml (no one else would publish it at the time) that said the following:
WOULD BUSH'S SABER RATTLE AS LOUDLY AGAINST CHINA
Now that we've reached the anniversary of 9-11, I am consumed by one thought--in light of what I've seen over the past year I find myself much more afraid of Bush, Cheney, and Ashcroft than I am the al-Qaeda. While I understand that terrorists strike without warning to destroy life and property to promote their own agenda, it has become increasingly clear that Bush and his cohorts threaten to be even more destructive by attacking life, liberty, and the very foundation of this nation in the promotion of theirs.
Promoted by GreyHawk. Originally posted 2009-01-19 17:02:53 -0500.
BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE
Bush Cannot Be Allowed to Get Away With What He's Done to America
I'm in total agreement with Obama's sentiment that it's time for America to heal itself and move forward, but I certainly hope he's not so fixated on that sentiment that he allows the Bush/Cheney gang to get away with the damage that they've done to America.
Of course, there are those who are going to insist that we have so many challenges before us that we can't be distracted by engaging in vengeance, but this is not a matter of vengeance, it's a simple matter of governmental housekeeping.
Just as it is necessary to refurbish and restore our national monuments from time to time, it is even more important that our American ideals be maintained in pristine condition. Thus, by allowing the Bush/Cheney administration to get away with what they've done to those ideals, and the damage they've done to America's image around the world, allowing them to walk away with impunity would be the moral equivalent of allowing them to leave graffiti behind on the Statue of Liberty.