- For decades now the congress has deserted its constitutional
responsibilities in the matter of "advise & consent." This
became a problem when presidents demanded that their choices for political
appointees be simply rubber-stamped by the congress-rather than have those
appointments scrutinized for their suitability to serve in the offices
to which a president has demanded that his 'appointees be approved for'
without objection from the Senate.
- This constitutional requirement imposed upon the Senate
was specially included in the Constitution to insure that the nation would
not be held hostage to weak or ineffectual officers of either the Courts
or the Attorney's General that serve to run the US Department of Justice.
Congress has criminally failed the nation and the people of the country
by unilaterally failing to act as any kind of check to executive powers
in the above offices.
- In the current case, members of the Senate Judicial
Committee have chosen to invoke Double-Speak in their convoluted arguments
for allowing this president to violate his oath of office by failing to
appoint a suitable Attorney General to head the Department of Justice -
which is a violation of the both the president's oath of office ands each
of the senators themselves. To leave the nation without an Attorney General
at the head of the Justice Department, just because the Decider cannot
have the kind of individual that will simply approve his every wish - is
a direct violation of duty under the Constitution of the United States.
Here is what three key senators said yesterday about their decisions to
vote "for" Mukasey. (1)
- The current course by the congress, in failing to confront
the real issues over this elemental part of their responsibilities in this
constitutional farce, is tantamount to complicity in the theft of justice
from the rights of all Americans to expect equal and fair treatment under
the laws and the requirements of the Constitution of the United States.
Double-speak and convoluted excuses are no substitute for confronting this
criminal problem with which the executive has threatened not only the Congress
with, but the whole nation as well.
- This act of cowardice by the Senate, in tandem with the
failure of Nancy Pelosi in the House of representatives, brings this Congress
to the moment before the entire institution of the Legislative Branch of
the US government crosses the line from 'considered 'legislative judgments'
into open complicity in treasonous behavior which the executive has been
unilaterally practicing since Cheney-Bush took office in 2001.
- The oath of office of the Attorney General of the United
States swears allegiance not to the president, but to the Constitution
and to the people of the United States. Yet, since at least the term of
Attorney General Mitchell, under Nixon-the oath of the A.G. seems to have
been taken not to the Constitution but to the individual in the White House.
- With the pending vote by the entire Senate, on the approval
of Judge Mukasey to be the next Attorney General of the United States,
it appears that the Congress of the US will join the Vice-President, the
President and Donald Rumsfeld in being charged with War Crimes by the world
court of public opinion. Either the United States government recognizes
international law, US laws, and the Geneva Conventions or they do not.
There is no half-way measure.
- The president and indeed all the officers of this government
are only men and women-they are not gods-in most cases they are not even
especially decent human beings. The laws were written to prevent such less-than-desirable
beings from hijacking the country or from ruining it in any one of several
ways: all of which have now become moot points. Perhaps it is too late
to reverse this course-but at least this behavior by the entire system
of government can be challenged-because what they are doing now-is blatantly
illegal and certainly immoral.
- The US Constitution allows a president to either sign
or to veto the legislation that Congress has dully passed and sent to his
desk: yet this 'president' has added over a thousand 'signing-statements'
to previous legislation that basically says he has no intention of following
the new laws as written. This makes a mockery of any law the congress passes
in any attempt to limit the executive to the role of 'just a president'-when
he apparently now believes that he has become America's sole Decider. This
was accomplished by creating executive orders that by-passed both congress
and the courts-leaving George W. Bush the 'Commander-in-Chief' as the solitary
authority, in a nation that supposedly had three separate and co-equal
branches of government. The result of that ruptured-equation can only equal
a coup by the executive that makes this Cheney-Bush dictatorship into the
undeniable fact that it has become in practice, if not in name.
- Naomi Klein had this to say about the actions of the
- "Well, I think that was an absolutely shocking display
and I think what's most shocking about it is this idea that this is somehow
a question of good government and the torture question can be belittled.
I mean, what we just saw was lawmakers knowingly voting in favor of someone
who has said that one of the classic modern torture techniques -- I mean,
the classic torture techniques of the French in Algeria, for instance,
were simulated drowning, electroshock and rape. These are the three main
tools of contemporary torture. And this is a man who has said to the world
that one of those key techniques, simulated drowning, water torture, is
not illegal. So, with that knowledge, he was just endorsed.
- And to elevate a man who has said this to the highest
legal office in the country, I think, just puts everyone of those lawmakers,
but particularly the Democrats who voted for him, into bold new territory.
They have just crossed a line, because they can no longer pin this on Bush.
They can no longer claim ignorance. Anyone who faces these techniques in
the future, they will be complicit in those war crimes, in those crimes
against humanity -- everybody who voted for this man.
- And it's amazing to belittle the importance of what it
would mean to take a stand in this moment, in the face of this statement
that Mukasey has made that he does not -- he's not sure that waterboarding
is illegal. He has put that forward. And now there's an opportunity for
an absolutely unequivocal repudiation of that position. That power is there,
and it's just slipping away.
- It's an amazing moment. It's an amazing crossing of the
line into active complicity. It's bad enough that you have Democrats in
power who are unwilling to hold the Bush administration legally accountable
for the war crimes they have already committed, but now they've moved into
endorsing it. And they can say all they want, that they're not actually
voting for him when it comes to torture, but they just did it, because
he has said it publicly, and they no longer have plausible deniability.
It's gone." (2)
- For a person to commit treason against his or her nation
is one thing, but for the various branches of this government to involve
themselves so thoroughly in acts of treason duplicity and blatant lies,
against both the rules of law and the people of the United States is unforgivable.
Yet these actions are compounded hundreds of thousands of times over while
the nation is immersed in these illegal wars upon nations that had nothing
whatever to do with the attacks on 911.
- MSNBC Columnist Keith Olbermann put it extremely well
. . .
- "It is a fact startling in its cynical simplicity
and it requires cynical and simple words to be properly expressed: The
presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy
to cover the ass of George W. Bush. All the petulancy, all the childish
threats, all the blank-stare stupidity; all the invocations of World War
III, all the sophistic questions about which terrorist attacks we wanted
him not to stop, all the phony secrets; all the claims of executive privilege,
all the stumbling tap-dancing of his nominees, all the verbal flatulence
of his apologists...
- All of it is now, after one revelation last week, transparently
clear for what it is: the pathetic and desperate manipulation of the government,
the refocusing of our entire nation, toward keeping this mock president
and this unstable vice president and this departed wildly self-overrating
attorney general, and the others, from potential prosecution for having
approved or ordered the illegal torture of prisoners being held in the
name of this country."(3)
- And now the Congress of the United States is about to
plunge itself into the very heart of darkness - with this-their latest
supreme act of cowardice in the face of the real enemies of the United
- 1) Despite Waterboarding Stance, Senate Committee Approves
- 2) Naomi Klein on State-Sanctioned Torture
- 3) Keith Olbermann - video