The Open Dimension

Commentary on social issues; politics; religion and spirituality

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Location: Laguna Hills, California, United States

I am a semi-retired psychotherapist/psychiatric social worker and certified hypnotherapist. Originally a practicing attorney, I changed careers during the 1980's. My interests include history, constitutional law, Hindustani classical music, yoga, meditation and spirituality.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Leahy Whitewash Committee

I hope it’s just a matter of politically-expedient timing because I’m getting sick of hearing President Obama respond in terms of “moving forward” when he’s asked about his intentions regarding investigating and prosecuting criminal acts on the part of Mr. Bush and his administration.

Moving forward? Is that a new principle of American criminal law? Is there a newly developing moving-forward defense available to American criminals? As in: “I know I robbed the bank and killed three people, but I’m going to plead moving- forward because I know the court has elected not to besmirch itself with all this crime-and-punishment j‘en sais quoi. Oh yes, Your Honor, and I would also like to take the opportunity of availing myself of the Neo-Nuremberg defense based on the fact that I was only following the orders of my gangland superiors when I engaged in this indiscretion. Actually, Your Honor, my attorney has advised me that I would not even have been charged with this peccadillo had I filed a timely Leahy Lava-Todo, in which I could have explained truthfully how this all happened and how I have felt about it all. My understanding is that such a filing would have rendered me immune. I will be sure to remember that the next time. And now, Your Honor, my attorney will move for dismissal.”

Yes, that certainly is ridiculous. But is it any more ridiculous than what you have been hearing from our change-you-can-believe-in politicians lately? Senator Patrick Leahy appeared on Rachel Maddow’s program the other night. Ms. Maddow, aside from being very bright, is also scrupulously courteous; but you could see her wince as Leahy went on about how he planned to organize something like the Church Committee, where Bush-Administration miscreants would be granted immunity from criminal prosecution if they agreed to appear and tell the truth under oath about how it all happened- “all” presumably being the torture and renditioning and Abu Ghraib and on and on. Just bare your souls and we’ll move on.

Immunity? Tell the truth? We don’t already know the truth- or at least most of it? What the hell are we talking about? Bush and Cheney both admitted publicly that they had authorized torture And how many people down the line were “following orders” and implementing the authorization? Now we’re going to grant them immunity if they just tell us about it all? If this is allowed to happen then Bush really does win in the end. His legacy will not only be endless war-for-profit and economic disaster for the nation and the world. Bush’s most lasting legacy will be the destruction of the very foundation of this nation- justice for all. Bush sent thousands of human beings to their death for nothing more than his vain dreams of “greatness“ and for the profit of his corporate constituents. Do we give him the last laugh and let him breathe easy in the knowledge that he got away with it?

No, this cannot be. And if it is allowed to be then our stated intention to restore our nation’s soul is nothing more than a lie. So, as I’ve said, I hope this is simply an issue of timing. I want to fully support President Obama and to extend him the benefit of any doubt. I understand what other critical issues he has to deal with now. And I also appreciate his attempts at bipartisanship. But really, what level of bipartisanship can be arrived at when dealing with the Republican party as it is presently constituted? The President has to know in his heart of hearts that what he’s really dealing with is a faction of far-right obstructionists and saboteurs- except for- what- two or three of them. No, this is hardly the “loyal opposition.” These are the Bushite corporate lackeys who brought the nation to the brink of perdition in the first place and who now want to justify themselves and regain their former near-absolute hold on the country. What do we think we’re dealing with here?

Mr. President, one would venture to say that your major concern should not be bipartisanship but the fulfillment of the hopes and aspirations of the fifty-three million Americans who voted for you. We’re still very much with you. And we’re waiting.