Forgive and Forget?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Principessa, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. Principessa

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    Forgive and Forget?
    By PAUL KRUGMAN

    Last Sunday President-elect Barack Obama was asked whether he would seek an investigation of possible crimes by the Bush administration. “I don’t believe that anybody is above the law,” he responded, but “we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.”

    I’m sorry, but if we don’t have an inquest into what happened during the Bush years — and nearly everyone has taken Mr. Obama’s remarks to mean that we won’t — this means that those who hold power are indeed above the law because they don’t face any consequences if they abuse their power.

    Let’s be clear what we’re talking about here. It’s not just torture and illegal wiretapping, whose perpetrators claim, however implausibly, that they were patriots acting to defend the nation’s security. The fact is that the Bush administration’s abuses extended from environmental policy to voting rights.

    And most of the abuses involved using the power of government to reward political friends and punish political enemies.

    At the Justice Department, for example, political appointees illegally reserved nonpolitical positions for “right-thinking Americans” — their term, not mine — and there’s strong evidence that officials used their positions both to undermine the protection of minority voting rights and to persecute Democratic politicians.

    The hiring process at Justice echoed the hiring process during the occupation of Iraq — an occupation whose success was supposedly essential to national security — in which applicants were judged by their politics, their personal loyalty to President Bush and, according to some reports, by their views on Roe v. Wade, rather than by their ability to do the job.

    Speaking of Iraq, let’s also not forget that country’s failed reconstruction: the Bush administration handed billions of dollars in no-bid contracts to politically connected companies, companies that then failed to deliver. And why should they have bothered to do their jobs? Any government official who tried to enforce accountability on, say, Halliburton quickly found his or her career derailed.

    There’s much, much more. By my count, at least six important government agencies experienced major scandals over the past eight years — in most cases, scandals that were never properly investigated. And then there was the biggest scandal of all: Does anyone seriously doubt that the Bush administration deliberately misled the nation into invading Iraq?

    Why, then, shouldn’t we have an official inquiry into abuses during the Bush years?

    One answer you hear is that pursuing the truth would be divisive, that it would exacerbate partisanship. But if partisanship is so terrible, shouldn’t there be some penalty for the Bush administration’s politicization of every aspect of government?

    Alternatively, we’re told that we don’t have to dwell on past abuses, because we won’t repeat them. But no important figure in the Bush administration, or among that administration’s political allies, has expressed remorse for breaking the law. What makes anyone think that they or their political heirs won’t do it all over again, given the chance?

    In fact, we’ve already seen this movie. During the Reagan years, the Iran-contra conspirators violated the Constitution in the name of national security. But the first President Bush pardoned the major malefactors, and when the White House finally changed hands the political and media establishment gave Bill Clinton the same advice it’s giving Mr. Obama: let sleeping scandals lie.

    Sure enough, the second Bush administration picked up right where the Iran-contra conspirators left off — which isn’t too surprising when you bear in mind that Mr. Bush actually hired some of those conspirators.

    Now, it’s true that a serious investigation of Bush-era abuses would make Washington an uncomfortable place, both for those who abused power and those who acted as their enablers or apologists. And these people have a lot of friends. But the price of protecting their comfort would be high: If we whitewash the abuses of the past eight years, we’ll guarantee that they will happen again.

    Meanwhile, about Mr. Obama: while it’s probably in his short-term political interests to forgive and forget, next week he’s going to swear to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” That’s not a conditional oath to be honored only when it’s convenient.

    And to protect and defend the Constitution, a president must do more than obey the Constitution himself; he must hold those who violate the Constitution accountable. So Mr. Obama should reconsider his apparent decision to let the previous administration get away with crime. Consequences aside, that’s not a decision he has the right to make.


    ~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*

    Contrary to what I'm sure many will think I didn't post this to incite yet another political brouhaha. I agree with editorialist Paul Krugman. If president-elect Barack Obama allows this to be swept under the rug and relegated to the annals of history; then he is no better than those who came before him. Perhaps even worse as the crimes in question are worse.
     
  2. Skull Mason

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    nahhh he should just bring about Disclosure
     
  3. VeeP

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    And we thought the Clinton impeachment was a distraction. An investigation of that magnitude would suck all the air out of Obama's agenda in a heartbeat. Sooner or later all the lil' Bush-haters including Krugman will have to turn their attention elsewhere. Maybe to the ne'er-do-well Congress that is busily preparing to spend us into oblivion.
     
  4. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    There HAS to be some kind of investigation made on the GOP as soon as they're out of office. However, as much as I would love to see some people get some serious jail time for the travesties of the Bush Administration, we do have an economy to save, a war to end and a reputation to heal with our global allies. Not to mention national civil rights issues and health care reform. That should be Obama's focus.

    He should let other people in the upcoming GOP to take care of the investigating, otherwise he himself wouldn't be able to focus on the issues that are really troubling our nation.
     
  5. nudeyorker

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    At this juncture what else would you have him say? He really did not answer the question. Let's see what happens when he is in office.
     
  6. seterwind

    seterwind New Member

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    I couldn't agree with you more VinylBoy however I have to wonder, did they plan it this way? So that there would be way too many other much more important issues to address that investigating them would be such low priority that they wouldn't have to fear consequence?

    Or am I giving them too much credit?
     
  7. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    Even if certain people escape investigation at first, I don't think the guilty would be able to avoid it forever. You can only hide a dead rat in the cellar for so long before it starts to stink up the whole house.
     
  8. vince

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    The one thing I'd like to see investigated more is the Plame affair. It was treasonous what happened there with the CIA networks being compromised. Libby took the fall for higher ups.
     
  9. exwhyzee

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    I agree that this would all serve as a distraction at a time in American history that we really need to focus on the future. This country is has some serious problems right now, and as much as I despise the all the Bush blunders, we can't afford to be myopic.

    If its any consolation, I think history will be brutal on this presidency. Does having your name listed as the worst president ever for generations qualify as punishment? Move over James Buchanan.
     
  10. pym

    pym New Member

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    Why should Barack OBAMA have to deal with this, in addition to the completely FUCKED hand of cards he has already been dealt?? Why?

    Why did'nt America as an entire Populace rise up and demand accountability in-situ?

    Too busy investing in there chinese goods and japanese cars and an upgraded Korean cell phone every single year?

    Too distracted with Nintendo/playstations/guitar hero/Wii?

    How many here took the time/interest or inclination to publically protest/sign a petition/write a letter expressing concern or out-right fucking indignation/outrage at the current goings on in the last 8 years to the congressman or state representatives. How many here have there state representatives web-sites even FAVORITED on there computers?
    You did'nt even have to lick a stamp.

    Yeah.....here's some more shit to dump on Barry.
    Protesting on a big dick site is all well and good, but it does'nt move much air.
     
  11. houtx48

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    somebody needs to go after chaney and drag the old s.o.b. to cuba
     
  12. swordfishME

    swordfishME Member

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    I agree with most of the posters......

    The Country and THE PLANET are facing too many problems for an investigation into the abuses of the Bush presidency...

    An investigation will be partisan to the core and mudslinging would rule the day (Obama may not be corrupt but he is no Saint either). We, have no choice but to move on.

    The International Courts in the Hague can try to indict members of the current adminisration for war crimes and such but the US WILL BLOCK ANY SUCH EFFORTS.

    The current adminisration may not have planned the problems we are facing now but I am sure they are acutely aware of what a blessing in disguise these problems will be for them.
     
  13. sargon20

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    Surely he did. He was convicted of obstruction of justice not the actual charge of outing the CIA agent. He took the fall for Cheney and Rove. Bush said he would get who was responsible, of course he didn't.



    If only. The man is a criminal pure and simple.
     
  14. VeeP

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    :kabong:
     
  15. pym

    pym New Member

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    ?
     
  16. transformer_99

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    I'd be for an investigation if something was going to come of it. So we have no change there from the new administration. The 9/11/2001 Commission was the last time we saw anything of an investigation and that in my opinion was a joke. Investigating Bush will not change a thing, the bailouts won't stop, there isn't enough penalties to be gained to offset the loss. What exactly are we going to gain from it, more billable hours for legal teams ? This has to happen when it happens, not delayed and dragged out and performed down the road when it's simply too late.

    When it comes down to the mortgage mess, that was bigger than Bush. Why drill Bush for the war on terrorism ? That was absolved with the 9/11 Commission. Bush has a bullseye on him outside of the borders of the USA simply for the war on terrorism. His final speech, that was because he's still President. He better write a book because I can't imagine anyone wanting to go see him speak at any event and I'm very much against any organization paying him for public appearances. To be honest, I hope he just disappears and we never hear from that family ever again. Jeb's political aspirations is a wrench in that. All we can do is go vote for "anyone else" and make sure a/the 3rd Bush never is elected President, or Senator for that matter.
     
  17. D_Chaumbrelayne_Copprehead

    D_Chaumbrelayne_Copprehead Account Disabled

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    I agree with those who say it would be a huge focus-buster for President Obama.

    That doesn't mean some separate commission or task force or something can't investigate quietly, and then bring results up IF there's something big that we have to clean up.

    But honestly, going after Bush and Cheney now isn't going to do anyone any good compared with the stuff that we do need to deal with.
     
  18. B_Hung Jon

    B_Hung Jon New Member

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    Maybe some of Bush's international crimes could be investigated by The Court at The Hague. Then Obama could just hand W over to the europeans. I bet he would get a fair and impartial trial there and it wouldn't distract our government one bit.
     
  19. transformer_99

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    The one issue I have on focusing on the future is the futility of it. Obama nor anyone else fixes the last 8 years. The table is set, economic stimulus packages, tax cuts for entire industries is the future of, not only this nation, but the world. When the one's getting heinous compensation will never be reigned in, that will do it (kill the prosperity) every time moving forward. The talk on Capitol Hill was what social security benefits were going to have to be reduced for each individual going forward, the changes and overhaul on that. Sorry, this American wants better. I've done without along the way, I don't want to hear any of these politicians telling us what we're going to not get, have to fore go, when we've reached that golden age where we can't work any more. The 20 somethings have to feel they have the rest of their lives, but what about the rest of the spectrum of experienced working class ? What about those already retired ?

    I don't/won't predict there won't be prosperity going forward, but it will have to be a prosperity based and measured upon the constraints of what the current situation has made it capable of becoming. For example, the Big 3 automakers were after a bailout. They're going to convert their product lines to green vehicles. That's an admirable goal, but let's face it, the UAW has renegotiated lower wages for autoworkers in the future, where are salaries and wages headed for everyone else for that matter ? That was the problem that got us into this in the first place. So they'll have green product lines, who will or can buy that. Take the Chevy Volt, I hear that's supposed to carry a $ 40K per copy price tag to "Joe" consumer. Yep, I'm going to scrap or upgrade my vehicle to saddle myself with a mortgage on a Chevy Volt. It was ridiculous, those execs showed up the first time commuting by private plane. Congress chastised and ripped them for that, as well as, what they were going to do to "right" their own industry ? They earned millions as CEO's when the companies and industries couldn't afford it, and not one of them would work the next year for a $ 1.. The next time they went to DC to plead their case, many of them drove their companies products. Gee how tough was that ? They went back, did nothing to their solutions, except go down to the assembly line and pick out a bright, shiny QC inspected and passed brand new hybrid to drive to DC in. Life must be rough/tough, it must be nice to go down to the assembly line and pick out that brand new car. How long did that take ? What level of commitment ? Probably about as long as it took to choose the color of the car ?

    That's where the flaw in going after Bush is, he's the face to all of this, what we don't see are the masses that had their hand in it over the last 8 years. They banked on that anonymity, counted on the sheer volume of issues they created that have us where we are. And what sucks is those that contributed the most, want bailouts and to keep what they were able to acquire with their deeds at every step of the way over the last 8 years. The one's that brought us the last 8 years (and/or more), are the same one's showing up for the bailouts and will bring more of the same for the future.

    I read where another wants to pursue the Plame treason ? Well that's a start, my desire, I want Enron and how it pertains to Ken Lay's family fortune revisited. The loop hole was that he was convicted (guilty as charged), but since the @sshole died before sentencing, his personal estate couldn't be tapped to pay for what he was found guilty of, and therefore accountable and responsible for. That's just one ! Sarbanes-Oxley is a joke, it doesn't work on an individual case basis, let alone the magnitude of what we saw in 2008. And to demonstrate how bad it is today in 2009 and will be going forward, look at the next round of proposed bailouts, there just isn't any teeth or weight to the legislation. It's unsupported.
     
    #19 transformer_99, Jan 18, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2009
  20. D_Bob_Crotchitch

    D_Bob_Crotchitch New Member

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    If you were going to do investigations on such issues, you'd have had to have a super long one on the clinton administration too. One party calling the other crook is the pot and the kettle.
     
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