A fellow blogger yesterday, posting about the latest discovery of presidential authorizations of torture, made a statement to the effect of “We have war criminals in the White House. What are we going to do about it?” I replied that we would do, “Nothing, absolutely nothing.”
White House criminality has been out in the open for almost two years now, and the only method of dealing with it has been to say that we should wait it out, that in less than two years Bush will be out of office and the corruption, violations of the law and raping of our constitution will come to an end.
Perhaps they will, but only perhaps, and that is not the point.
By discovering these crimes, by being made aware of them, and taking no action to punish the wrongdoer we have become complicit. Over the past two years we, the American people, have said in masse that we do not really care what the holder of our highest office does. While some people have spoken out, the nation as a whole has stood mute and Congress, whose responsibility it is under our constitution to prevent these wrongs, has been at best ineffective and at worst actively complicit.
Glenn Greenwald has an outstanding post on the subject here. He writes with great passion, and clarity. This post is in no small part about the responsibility of citizenship in addition to that of Congress, and should be required reading for every citizen of this country.
As a country, we've known undeniably for almost two years now that we have a lawless government and a President who routinely orders our laws to be violated. His top officials have been repeatedly caught lying outright to Congress on the most critical questions we face. They have argued out in the open that the "constitutional duty" to defend the country means that nothing -- including our "laws" -- can limit what the President does.
It has long been known that we are torturing, holding detainees in secret prisons beyond the reach of law and civilization, sending detainees to the worst human rights abusers to be tortured, and subjecting them ourselves to all sorts of treatment which both our own laws and the treaties to which we are a party plainly prohibit. None of this is new.
And we have decided, collectively as a country, to do nothing about that. Quite the contrary, with regard to most of the revelations of lawbreaking and abuse, our political elite almost in unison has declared that such behavior is understandable, if not justifiable. And our elected representatives have chosen to remain largely in the dark about what was done and, when forced by court rulings or media revelations to act at all, they have endorsed and legalized this behavior -- not investigated, outlawed or punished it.
And we keep reelecting those Congressional lawmakers.
We as a country are failing our collective responsibility as citizens. We fulminate on the Internet about how horrible Bush is, but it is Congress, the media and we the people who have allowed him to get away with his criminality for the past two years.
Sure, we elected Democrats in 2006, but there were signs even then that we were not really electing any real change. Pelosi had already taken impeachment “off the table” in what amounted to a statement that no real course correction was actually possible. We elected them to not impeach the criminals and they have fully lived up to the pledge of no impeachment.
The moment she pledged not to impeach, we should have voted her and her crowd out of office. Better the criminals themselves than the smoothtalkers who pretend virtue and practice corruption.
Because what are we getting now? Endless “investigations” that hold no one to account, that do not reverse the course of a corrupted White House, and that hold no promise of proper governmental process for the future. Investigations that are “show trials” that serve no purpose other than to gain political points for the party presently in power.
Nick Bicanic had high hopes for the Blackwater investigations, but his post at the Huffington Post reveals how long that illusion lasted.
Rep. Waxman (D) started out promisingly by imploring that "facts -- not ideology -- need to guide us here" yet the hearing quickly degenerated into a political game of brinkmanship. Both sides of the house seemed more interested in scoring points and getting outrageous statements on the record than they were in getting to the truth of the matter.
… the hearing was full of polemic inaccuracies and simplifications.
Yes, Nick, that’s what congressional investigations are. Sounding brass, filled with noise and fury, signifying nothing.
The blogosphere is filled with how all that is going to change when the Democrats are in power. How much changed when we put them in charge of Congress ten months ago? To what degree did Congress become “of and for the people” at that point, and to what degree has it remained a body of self-serving politicians concerned only with their own reelections?
How many fewer troops are there in harm’s way in Iraq?
Electing Democrats is not the solution.
The solution is to elect those who are running against whoever is presently in office regardless of party, and to do so in large enough numbers so as to create a new Congress in actuality and not merely in name. A handful of newcomers cannot survive in the swamp of corruption, cynicism and monetary pollution that is Washington. What is required is a sufficiency of newcomers to actually create a new Washington.
We need a revolution. Preferably a revolution at the polls.
Until then we will continue to be ruled rather than governed. Ruled by an elite wealthy upper class that does not concern itself with our well-being and that is corrupt to the core and utterly lawless.