Yes, We Can (And We Must)!

July 28, 2009 | By | Reply More

President Obama has failed to keep his campaign promises regarding faith based programs and transparency–so far.

Admittedly, Mr. Obama worked hard and accomplished much since January 21, 2009. His accomplishments include assembling his administration, getting appointments approved over irrational GOP opposition, trying to include insane Republicans into his cabinet, promoting and signing an $800 (flawed) billion stimulus package, dealing with the budget (and additional appropriations in violation of promises to keep war funding inside the pentagon budget), dealing with Swine Flu, taking international trips, repairing international relations and making an important nomination to the Supreme Court.

Yes, Virginia, it’s only been since January 21, 2009! It hasn’t been even six months and the poor guy is getting crucified for what he HASN’T yet done. Cool off, chill out a little and consider these proposals (MY proposals):

If Mr. Cheney actually speaks—which he no longer does because he prefers not to be questioned further about secret assassination squads he apparently set up and then ordered the CIA not to disclose such actions to the Congress as mandated by federal law. Mr. Cheney has now abandoned his defense to a surrogate,  Liz Cheney, who performs her role of defender for the former Vice President based upon her dubious qualifications of being Mr. Cheney’s daughter and a Bush administration appointee in the State Department (which was ignored in the Bush era!).

You see, the music died. Over the last eight years we’ve had a government by executive fiat which had also held close its doings without public scrutiny or accountability. During that eight-year period America became the land of the free—to torture, and the home of the brave—brave enough to hide behind tortured reasoning and secrecy.

President Obama says he wants to “look forward.”

But, Mr. President, you cannot prevent America from holding those accountable which have by their arrogant disregard for American and international law, and American ideals, made us lesser as a quantum of justice which we call the United States of America. To do such would be a disservice to those which have made sacrifices for the freedoms we all share. To those which would claim that airing the truth about American actions would harm troops and others in the field, I say those which have flouted and broken US and international laws have already placed our troops and diplomats in harm’s way by engaging in lawless behavior which undermines the protections our troops and diplomats have under international law and encourages attacks upon us, and them.

Mr. President, we will wait until you take care of health care as a human right but, then you must not fail to preserve human rights as an American ideal by standing in the way of real patriots which want America set right again. Often we hear “My country, right or wrong!” But, those false patriots and sophists who shout this mantra ignore the totality of the quote;

My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.”

The US House and Senate must use now their oversight functions to determine what the Bush administration has been up to in America’s name over the last eight years. Messrs. Bush, Cheney, Tenet, Hayden, Goss, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle, Ashcroft, Gonzales, Mukasey, and their lackeys and whoever the evidence leads to must be brought forth to account for their conduct here at home where they allowed widespread violations of US citizens’ rights, and abroad where they allowed the widespread violations of the rights of others as guaranteed by US and international law.

The current investigations into the destruction of CIA tapes of interrogations must continue, as well as the disclosure of whatever documents and evidence of torture in the custody or control of the CIA, its contractors or surrogates here and abroad. It is only by acknowledging our failings and by holding those which broke the law accountable that we can re-establish American primacy as a just nation in our own eyes and the eyes of the international community.

It is not a defense to violations of US law and international norms of behavior that “I followed orders.”

It is not a defense to violations of international norms of behavior that some juiced up lackey in a so-called Justice Department spewed out some legalistic claptrap claiming that conduct which all recognized universally as torture is now not torture.

In the Nuremberg trials, the U.S. established  principles of law which specifically allowed for the prosecution of those which claimed to be following orders and of German Judges and officials for their use of legalistic claptrap to putatively allow their citizens and soldiers to violate international norms of behavior. Some of those officials were tried, convicted and punished.

Mr. President, do not stand in the way of America reclaiming its heritage and soul as a just nation. America must be set right. Sir, we count on you to restore America as a nation of laws, not of the lawless.

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Category: Corruption, Politics

About the Author ()

imothy E. Hogan is a trial attorney, a husband, a father of two awesome children and a practicing Roman Catholic in St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. Hogan has done legal and political work in Jefferson City, Missouri for partisan and non-partisan social change, environmental and consumer protection groups. Mr. Hogan has also worked for consumer advocate Ralph Nader in Washington, DC and the members of the trial bar in the State of New York. Mr. Hogan’s current interests involve remaining a full time solo practitioner pioneer on the frontiers of justice in America, a good husband and a good father to his awesome children.

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