Thursday, March 9, 2006

As Angry As I Have Ever Been

Anger is a building sort of thing and it goes its own way, then something lights the fuse and away we go . . . the State Department reported yesterday, as a part of its annual world-wide Human Rights Report, that Iraqi police units are problematic. Often infiltrated and even dominated by members of sectarian militias, they continue to be linked to arbitrary arrests and to the torture, rapes and sometimes deaths of detainees.


It was that last part that stuck in my craw, like looking in a mirror and accusing the reflection.


I really don’t know where to start with this one, without sounding Maureen Dowd-like. Maureen’s shrill and constant one-note harping has, for me, become mere background music to what may once have been a defensible position.


But the fact that our own State Department finds no irony in publishing such a report is beyond me, leaves me breathless and despondent. Any normal code of intellectual morality, decries a United States Congress that regularly colludes with George Bush's power-mad and ethically bankrupt administration. Inside what has become a co-conspiracy of criminal abuse, there’s not a statesman left standing.


Strong words. Intemperate, some would call them. But Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, said

“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”

and I will not be made cowardly. There will be several quotes that I find appropriate in this commentary and, maybe no surprise, they were all spoken by presidents of our country.


Further aggravating my rage at State Department hypocrisy, the recently released Guantanamo detainee documents (forced by court order), show human rights abuses that put to shame any and all foreign accusations by a complicit State Department. Complicit, in drawing favor from and cooperation from and blood-sacrifice from the selfsame nations whose feet the would hold to the flame.


Foreign policy by antagonism, a new American paradigm, the Rice-Doctrine. Compulsory at Berkeley.


Complicit, involved with a crime or offense, as proven by yet another 600+ photographs depicting criminal activity within the United States Armed Forces detention facilities. Complicit, with the full knowledge, assistance and connivance of the CIA and at the order of Donald Rumsfeld. The complicit, insidious and dishonest denial of torture by George Bush in a Panamanian press conference, makes incomprehensible a State Department reproach against others.


Condi Rice damned well knows this, she helped construct the torture mentality. Rights and liberty, she might well remind herself, have already been defined by someone with a more elegant resume than her own. Consider another president, Thomas Jefferson, on that subject:

“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”

Interesting and prescient comment by Jefferson on law and a tyrants’ will that is always defined by a violation of rights. Take that to Guantanamo and nail it to the wall.


Tyrant?


What other word applies? What other conceivable definition can there be for the nearly endless list of abuses committed in secrecy? The denials in the face of blatant evidence, the blame shifting when expectations come undone, the endless lack of accountability suffered at the hands of this ruthless, secretive, misinformed and ignorant cabal is appalling.


Another president comes to my aid. Teddy Roosevelt, who withstood many a personal and acrimonious attack during his own presidency, yet found it appropriate to write:

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

Morally treasonable.


This lying administration, co-conspiring with a corrupt majority of their own party in Congress, has brought America militarily, financially and morally to its knees. They plundered the treasury and shredded the constitutional rights of fellow citizens. They defied the law, defied the courts, defiled the human rights upon which America is founded, lied, stole, twisted and coerced, to thwart every hand raised in opposition. They have in six short years made a thorough wreck of the American republic.


Bush has announced himself to be above the law. He has proclaimed himself to be the law, bragged about it and dared anyone to stand against him. The spineless solution within a cowed and complicit Congress is to rush to change the laws, fall all over themselves so that they accommodate not the constitution, but the personal whims and proclamations of George Walker Bush.


In my anger at the complacency of my fellow citizens


  • I no longer give a tinkers-damn about mid-term elections

  • Care not which or how many crooked politicians are unmasked by Jack Abramoff in the smarmy schemes of the Congress.

  • I’m sick to death of the posturing and splitting of hairs by John McCain, whom I once thought had greatness in him.

  • I’m appalled at a Supreme Court that trivializes itself over petty judgments on campaign contribution law and ignores the constitutional transgressions of a sitting president.

  • I’m disgusted at a Democratic party that can’t find its ass with either hand, let alone both of them.

I hunger for the Congress to redeem what’s left of its self-respect! I thirst for indictments of impeachment against this mismanaged, corrupt, arrogant, unlawful, misbegotten crowd that hijacked the greatest nation in the world.


Nixon fell for a hundredth of what these thieves accomplished. Clinton was dragged through an impeachment for lying about a silly sexual encounter. George Bush has admitted the impeachable offense of committing a federal crime by wiretapping Americans in flagrant abuse of existing federal law. Further, he brazens on in this unlawful conduct and dares the country to stop him.


What have we come to, that we run in circles and whimper like whipped puppies? Who will heal us when we have bled ourselves dry of courage? What contagion is loosed in the streets that we are stripped of our will to act?


We are at risk as we have never been.
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