A Government Devoid of Truth and Decency
What Do We Stand For? - By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
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 US and
Israel as the two greatest threats to peace.
This is not surprising. In the words of Arthur Silber: "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
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,
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 in sight.
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
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
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 US, 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 is afoot.
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
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. 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 people know.
Silber reminds us that America once had leaders, such as Speaker
of the House Thomas B. Reed and Senator 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 February 13 the US 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 US Senate was only able to muster 51 votes against torture,
an indication that almost a majority of US Senators support
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 6 of its victims to
trial. The vast majority of the 774 detainees have been quietly
released. The US 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 US government dropped leaflets in Afghanistan
offering $25,000 a head for "terrorists."
Kidnappings ensued until the US government had purchased enough
"terrorists" to validate the "terrorist threat."
The six that the US 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 US. The child soldiers were
fighting in an Afghan civil war.
The US attacked the Taliban. How does that make Taliban soldiers
terrorists who should be locked up and abused in Gitmo and
brought before a kangeroo 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 US? 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 US 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 kangeroo military tribunal.
If any more proof is needed that Bush has no case against any of
the Gitmo detainees, the following AP News report, February 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 US
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 another hoax perpetrated
on the inattentive American public.
Recently the non-partisan 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 Advisor, 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 the invasion.
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.
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