Saturday, March 10, 2007

Inescapable Logic

It has been a very bad week for Bu$hCo™, with convictions, investigations and revelations galore on a number of fronts. Correspondingly, it's been a rather good week for the truth, which has a way of making itself known in the fullness of time. The Libby conviction went a long way in that direction. While Rove and Cheney, the ultimate targets who probably should have been convicted, were not brought down, they were at least seriously hobbled in their ability to spread the lies on which their game so depends. Like a normally aggressive basketball player facing ejection from the game if he commits one more foul, their effectiveness has been severely reduced.

A number of observations have been made in just the last couple of days that stand out in their illumination of the sad truths about Bu$hCo™'s methods. The most damning perhaps are in connection to the growing scandal of the eight federal prosecutors recently fired in order to put more compliant GOP drones in their places. Jonathan Turley let fly on MSNBC's Countdown with a piece of impeccable logic that would do Socrates proud. (video from C&L - wmv - qt -)
"In my opinion, the most important (and alarming) part of the story is where the authority to do this derives from: The USA Patriot Act. How exactly does giving Bush the power to replace inconvenient prosecutors protect us from terror? Oh, wait, it doesn't. It just protects him and his cronies from prosecution. Talk about politicizing terror."
On the same topic of the fired prosecutors, Paul Krugman has an equally damning observation;
"In the last few days we’ve also learned that Republican members of Congress called prosecutors to pressure them on politically charged cases, even though doing so seems unethical and possibly illegal.

The bigger scandal, however, almost surely involves prosecutors still in office. The Gonzales Eight were fired because they wouldn’t go along with the Bush administration’s politicization of justice. But statistical evidence suggests that many other prosecutors decided to protect their jobs or further their careers by doing what the administration wanted them to do: harass Democrats while turning a blind eye to Republican malfeasance."
Lest we forget, some of the fired attorneys, notably Carol Lam, were involved in ongoing investigations into Republican corruption. Investigations that are now at the very least delayed as their replacements get up to speed, or at most dropped altogether as the replacements drop the cases altogether, as their political masters expect of them.

Moving on to the emerging scandal of FBI misuse of National Security Letters, a new instrument given them under the authority of the USA PATRIOT Act. "A United States Justice Department report says the FBI has improperly - and in some cases illegally - put citizens under surveillance without judicial approval.. ..The report says the FBI not only violated their own internal regulations, but in some cases violated the law in gathering the private information." Glenn Greenwald best expresses the significance of this most recent in a long string of revelations of administration malfeasance;
That the FBI is abusing its NSL power is entirely unsurprising.. ..but the real story here -- and it is quite significant -- has not even been mentioned by any of these news reports. The only person (that I've seen) to have noted the most significant aspect of these revelations is Silent Patriot at Crooks & Liars, who very astutely recalls that the NSL reporting requirements imposed by Congress were precisely the provisions which President Bush expressly proclaimed he could ignore when he issued a "signing statement" as part of the enactment of the Patriot Act's renewal into law. Put another way, the law which the FBI has now been found to be violating is the very law which George Bush publicly declared he has the power to ignore.
The term 'malice aforethought' seems to spring to mind in both these cases. The selection of federal prosecutors and judges all the way up to the Supreme Court, the insertion of secret clauses into laws in the middle of the night, the signing statements, the purging of any justice officials that might oppose them - all followed by the most egregious violations of every principle that the USA has stood for for 230 years - it's hard impossible to imagine that it's not deliberate.

The thing about Turley's, Krugman's, Silent Patriot's and Greenwald's observations is not so much their inescapable logic or their insightful brilliance. It is rather the fact that they arguments are so clean and simple, so accessible - the fact that they elicit a 'how did I not think of that' reaction.

It has been said that the truth is that which doesn't go away even when you stop believing in it. For Bush and his minions the truth may well hang around long enough to destroy the beliefs of even the 29% or so die-hard supporters that still believe in him. I hope it hangs around long enough to see him facing charges in the Hague, but that's just me.

TAGS: , , ,

No comments: