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"If we know this much about torture, rendition, secret prisons and warrantless wiretapping despite the administration's attempts to stonewall, then imagine what we don't know," .....
"You have to go back to the McCarthy era to find this level of abuse," says Barry Steinhardt, the director of the Program on Technology and Liberty for the American Civil Liberties Union. "Because the Bush administration has been so opaque, we don't know [the extent of] what laws have been violated."
In April of this year, Barack Obama gave this answer to how his presidency would deal with the numerous crimes of George W. Bush's admiistration....
“If crimes have been committed, they should be investigated,” Mr. Obama said, but added, “I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt, because I think we’ve got too many problems we’ve got to solve.”
That attitude, apparently, hasn't changed....
Obama aides are wary of taking any steps that would smack of political retribution.
"If there was any effort to have war-crimes prosecutions of the Bush administration, you'd instantly destroy whatever hopes you have of bipartisanship," said Robert Litt, a former Justice criminal division chief during the Clinton administration.
What will Obama propose.....
"...one idea that has currency among some top Obama advisers is setting up a 9/11-style commission that would investigate counterterrorism policies and make public as many details as possible. "At a minimum, the American people have to be able to see and judge what happened," said one senior adviser.
Deja vu all over again. When Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon conventional wisdom congealed then into a "Ford healed the nation" meme. By simply pardoning an obviously guilty rogue president before he was charged with anything....Ford, and others, assured us that he only had the best interests of the nation at heart. Nixon's presidential lawlessness survived.....to live another day through the rogue-presidency-on-steroids of Bush-Cheney.
The question arises.....what would a Republican president have to do, how terrible would his/her crimes have to be before they reached accountability levels? We already know how terrible a Democratic president's crimes have to be before acccountability kicks in.....lying in a civil suit deposition (later dismissed) about consensual adult fellatio. I'm positive that the same benchmarks will be used again with an Obama presidency. After all, he is a Democrat.
It seems odd that "bipartisanship" and "perceptions of a witch hunt" didn't stop the partisanship and witch hunt of former President Clinton by Republicans in the 90's. Or maybe not.
It seems that America has established a dual system of justice that holds Democratic presidents accountable for non-threatening blowjobs......and at the same time doesn't hold Republican presidents accountable for the national threats of blowing up the Constitution or formerly sovereign, non-threatening foreign countries.
Ask yourself this.....Can you imagine what would have happened had Bill Clinton led a propagandistic effort to mislead the nation into a neo-con war of choice?
So it looks like the American people will be treated to yet another toothless and basically meaningless Commission intent on not creating or giving the perception of a witch hunt or (gasp) partisanship.....wouldn't want that....oh, the horror. Yes, George and Dick may be publicly humiliated by information uncovered by such a Commission.....but now let's be honest.....do you really think these men are humiliation averse?
Let's just assume that this suggested Commission uncovers and lays out in all it's splendor.....all the details behind the Bush-Cheney crimes. Big assumption, I know. What possible good will it do for the nation? These crimes will remain unpunished, just as Nixon's were.
And even if new laws are written and approved in a bipartisan way during the Obama administration....what possible good could they be when Republican presidents, obviously, have no intention of obeying them? And why should they? The FISA laws were written in 1978 after some of Nixon's crimes were exposed.....but did George W. Bush obey those laws when he became president? Were there any consequences when Bush violated those laws?
The Republican presidential mold of lawlessness-while-in-office will only be stengthened to live another day, through a future, and even more criminal, GOP presidential administration. Nixon's unaccounted for lawlessness resulted in Bush's unaccounted for lawlessness. The next GOP rogue leader will be even more lawless......and by refusing to hold GOP rogues accountable, the country is encouraging the next GOP president to be even more lawless.
The largest threat to America in the 70's was the lawlessness of a president who said, "if the president does it, it's not illegal."