Americans traditionally thought of their country
as a "city upon a hill," a "light unto the world." Today
only the deluded think that. Polls
show that the rest of the world regards the U.S.
as the two greatest
threats to peace.
This is not surprising. In the words of Arthur
"The Bush administration has announced to the world, and to all Americans,
that this is what the United States now stands for: a vicious determination
to dominate the world, criminal, genocidal wars of aggression, torture, and
an increasingly brutal and brutalizing authoritarian state at home. That is
what we stand for."
Addressing his fellow Americans, Silber
asks the paramount question: "why do you support" these horrors?
His question goes to the heart of the matter. Do we Americans have any honor,
any humanity, any integrity, any awareness of the crimes our government is committing
in our name? Do we have a moral conscience?
How can a moral conscience be reconciled with our continuing to tolerate our
government which has invaded two countries on the basis of lies and deception,
destroyed their civilian infrastructures and murdered hundreds of thousands
of men, women, and children?
The killing and occupation continue even though we now know that the invasions
were based on lies and fabricated "evidence." The entire world knows
this. Yet Americans continue to act as if the gratuitous invasions, the gratuitous
killing, and the gratuitous destruction are justified. There is no end of it
If Americans have any honor, how can they betray their Founding Fathers, who
gave them liberty, by tolerating a government that claims immunity to law and
the Constitution and is erecting a police state in their midst?
Answers to these questions vary. Some reply that a fearful and deceived American
public seeks safety from terrorists in government power.
Others answer that a majority of Americans finally understand the evil that
Bush has set loose and tried to stop him by voting out the Republicans in November
2006 and putting the Democrats in control of Congress all to no effect and
are now demoralized as neither party gives a hoot for public opinion or has
a moral conscience.
The people ask over and over, "What can we do?"
Very little when the institutions put in place to protect the people from tyranny
fail. In the U.S., the institutions have failed across the board.
The freedom and independence of the watchdog press was destroyed by the media
concentration that was permitted by the Clinton administration and Congress.
Americans who rely on traditional print and TV media simply have no idea what
Political competition failed when the opposition party became a "me-too"
party. The Democrats even confirmed as attorney general Michael Mukasey, an
authoritarian who refuses to condemn torture and whose rulings as a federal
judge undermined habeas corpus. Such a person is now the highest law enforcement
officer in the United States.
The judicial system failed when federal judges ruled
that "state secrets" and "national security" are more important
than government accountability and the rule of law.
The separation of powers failed when Congress acquiesced to the executive branch's
claims of primary power and independence from statutory law and the Constitution.
It failed again when the Democrats refused to impeach Bush and Cheney, the
two greatest criminals in American political history.
Without the impeachment of Bush and Cheney, America can never recover. The
precedents for unaccountable government established by the Bush administration
are too great, their damage too lasting. Without impeachment, America will continue
to sink into dictatorship in which criticism of the government and appeals to
the Constitution are criminalized. We are closer to executive rule than many
Silber reminds us that America once had leaders, such as Speaker of the House
Thomas B. Reed and Sen. Robert M. LaFollette Sr., who valued the principles
upon which America was based more than they valued their political careers.
Perhaps Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich are of this ilk, but America has fallen
so low that people who stand on principle today are marginalized. They cannot
become speaker of the House or a leader in the Senate.
Today Congress is almost as superfluous as the Roman Senate under the caesars.
On Feb. 13 the U.S. Senate barely passed a bill banning torture, and the White
House promptly announced that President
Bush would veto it. Torture is now the American way. The U.S. Senate was
only able to muster 51 votes against torture, an indication that almost a majority
of U.S. senators support torture.
Bush says that his administration does not torture. So why veto a bill prohibiting
torture? Bush seems proud to present America to the world as a torturer.
After years of lying to Americans and the rest of the world that Guantanamo
prison contained 774 of "the world's most dangerous terrorists," the
Bush regime is bringing six of its victims to trial. The vast majority of the
774 detainees have been quietly released. The U.S. government stole years of
life from hundreds of ordinary people who had the misfortune to be in the wrong
place at the wrong time and were captured by warlords and sold to the stupid
Americans as "terrorists." Needing terrorists to keep the farce going,
the U.S. government dropped leaflets in Afghanistan offering $25,000 a head
for "terrorists." Kidnappings ensued until the U.S. government had
purchased enough "terrorists" to validate the "terrorist threat."
The six that the U.S. is bringing to "trial" include two child soldiers
for the Taliban and a car-pool driver who allegedly drove bin Laden.
The Taliban did not attack the U.S. The child soldiers were fighting in an Afghan
civil war. The U.S. attacked the Taliban. How does that make Taliban soldiers
terrorists who should be locked up and abused in Gitmo and brought before a
kangaroo military tribunal? If a terrorist hires a driver or a taxi, does that
make the driver a terrorist? What about the pilots of the airliners who brought
the alleged 9/11 terrorists to the U.S.? Are they guilty, too?
The Gitmo trials are show trials. Their only purpose is to create the precedent
that the executive branch can ignore the U.S. court system and try people in the
same manner that innocent people were tried in Stalinist Russia and Gestapo
Germany. If the Bush regime had any real evidence against the Gitmo detainees,
it would have no need for its kangaroo military tribunal.
If any more proof is needed that Bush has no case against any of the Gitmo
detainees, the following AP
report, Feb. 14, 2008, should suffice: "The Bush administration asked
the Supreme Court on Thursday to limit judges' authority to scrutinize evidence
against detainees at Guantanamo Bay."
The reason Bush doesn't want judges to see the evidence is that there
is no evidence except a few confessions obtained by torture. In the American
system of justice, confession obtained by torture is self-incrimination and
is impermissible evidence under the U.S. Constitution.
Andy Worthington's book, The
Guantanamo Files, and his online articles make it perfectly clear that
the "dangerous terrorists" claim of the Bush administration is just
hoax perpetrated on the inattentive American public.
Recently the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity issued a report that documents
the fact that Bush administration officials made 935
false statements about Iraq to the American people in order to deceive them
into going along with Bush's invasion. In recent testimony before Congress,
Bush's secretary of state and former national security adviser, Condi Rice,
was asked by Rep. Robert Wexler about the 56 false statements she made.
Rice replied: "[I]
take my integrity very seriously, and I did not at any time make a statement
that I knew to be false." Rice blamed "the intelligence assessments"
which "were wrong."
Another Rice lie, like those mushroom clouds that were going to go up over
American cities if we didn't invade Iraq. The weapon inspectors told the
Bush administration that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,
as Scott Ritter has reminded us over and over. Every knowledgeable person in
the country knew there were no weapons. As the leaked Downing Street memo confirms,
the head of British intelligence told the UK cabinet that the Bush administration
had already decided to invade Iraq and was making up the intelligence to justify
But let's assume that Rice was fooled by faulty intelligence. If she had any
integrity she would have resigned. In the days when American government officials
had integrity, they would have resigned in shame from such a disastrous war
and terrible destruction based on their mistake. But Condi Rice, like all the
Bush (and Clinton) operatives, is too full of American self-righteousness and
ambition to have any remorse about her mistake. Condi can still look herself
in the mirror despite one million Iraqis dying from her mistake and several
million more being homeless refugees, just as Clinton's secretary of state,
Madeleine Albright, can still look herself in the mirror despite sharing responsibility
for 500,000 dead Iraqi children.
There is no one in the Bush administration with enough integrity to resign.
It is a government devoid of truth, morality, decency, and honor. The Bush administration
is a blight upon America and upon the world.