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Sunday, December 10, 2006

How Soon We All Forget

It seems that in the last days of his job, Rumsfeld wants a torture lawsuit filed against him tossed out of court. The lawsuit alleges that he authorized the torture, and therefore should be held personally accountable.

The lawsuit, filed by two civil rights groups, describes the imprisonment of nine foreigners detained in Iraq and Afghanistan. The lawsuit contends the men were beaten, suspended upside down from the ceiling by chains, urinated on, shocked, sexually humiliated, burned, locked inside boxes and subjected to mock executions. Blah blah we have all heard this before. At this point, abuse of prisoners is old news. And we all know that it is important to subject people to this treatment - because under duress they might make up a story! And that made up story might just be similar to something someone else made up. Then we can bust them for plagiarism! HA!

Nobody wants to be held accountable for that mess! So yea, he would want this tossed out now.

And it is not really a shock that the Alberto Gonzalez Justice Department is on Rumsfeld's side. Here is the really good part! The Justice Department argues that Rumsfeld cannot be sued. Government officials are generally immune from lawsuits related to their jobs unless they violate a constitutional right.

And of course, the thinking is that because the people locked up overseas are not US Citizens, they have no Constitutional rights and therefore no protections under US tort law. Pretty slick huh?

But - have we already forgotten what happened not even a decade ago? The Paula Jones lawsuits against Clinton, and the right wing groups that paid her legal fees (and face lift fees) to push that as far through the courts as possible? Shit, they even strong armed Janet Reno into appointing an "independent" investigator. That was perfectly ok! Remember now?

So, exactly which pf Paula Jones's Constitutional rights were violated? Her freedom of speech? No, she was free to run her trap all she wanted. How about her right to pack heat? No, nobody told her she could not carry a duce-duce. What about her right to not have to quarter troops? No, that was not violated either. Her 4th Amendment rights? How about Amendments 5 - 10? Still no? Her right to vote? NO!!?!!?!? Come on now - one of her Constitutional rights had to be violated! Really? None were violated? Huh. Imagine that.

But now, the rules seemed to have changed. It must be part of this "new way forward" Bush is talking about now.

Another thing. During the 90s the Republicans used their majority in the House to create all sorts of new powers. For example, thanks to a rule change pushed through in the Clinton years one single member of the House can issue summons all day and night. This person in the Chair of some committee. The majority party picks all committee chairs. In the Clinton years, depositions were taken from 34 people - in addition to the collection of 43,000 documents. No formal hearings were ever held. Hundreds of hours were devoted to the investigation. And what were they investigating? If someone had abused the White House Christmas Card list. The committee's final report concluded that Hillary had stolen government property.

A whopping 12 hours were spent investigating the Abu Ghraib incident. And the conclusion - a few of the LOWEST RANKING people they could find were 100% responsible. But hundreds of hours were spent investigating a Christmas Card list. And the report from the Christmas Card list concluded that someone of a higher rank than the White House cook was guilty.

I always thought that it was terrible that the Republicans abused their majority in the 90s, in what seemed to be a personal vendetta against a man from Arkansas. And now that they have lost that majority, and the Democrats have inherited that power, the Republicans will have to lay in the bed they made.

However, I have a prediction. Watch for a lot of complaining from the Republicans. Watch for them to start crying about an abuse of power from the other side. Watch for them to try to strip the power they created away.

It will be part of the "new way forward". Bush likes to say "new way forward" now - and yet NOBODY has asked the real question. So if you are in the White House Press Corps, ask this question for me. "Mr. President, you have waffled from stay the course to new way forward. Can you give us a hint what this new way forward will be, or do you have no idea what to say so you had some writers make something up that means nothing but sounds good?"

PS - the name the cat comment contest thing is still going on! So if you have not done so, leave your cat name suggestion! You can do so at the comment section of yesterday's post.


Blogger Fuzz said...

It seems that politics is basically about sticking it to the other guy.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Did this same crap go on in the 80s, when Reagan had the White House and the Democrats had the congress? Was EVERYTHING investigated? Was the shoe polish sales guy questioned by Congressional Committee to find out if the Presidents hair was really jet black, or if he used shoe polish to hide his gray hair and therefore LIE to the public?!?!

I do not think so. We all knew Reagan used hair dye. Nobody gave a crap. There were far more important things going on. It was no big deal that the official White House bio listed his hair color as "black".

Now imagine if Clinton had used "Just For Men" to color his gray hair. Why, it would have been a major conspiracy to deceive the public! Clearly, an impeachable offense!

I do not see the new cycle going anywhere. Any investigations into the current administration (Cheney's closed door energy policy meetings with CEOs of all the major oil companies AND Enron, the spike in gas prices, the record profits, the "slam dunk proof" that led to the war in Iraq, if evidence for war was hand picked, if not why the CIA had it all wrong when nations like France and Germany seemed to have a better picture, and so on) will be played off as "revenge", and when the Democrats get the White House back all the same crap will begin all over.

If there are no investigations into what happened in the 6 years Congress was not paying attention, then Republicans will be able to claim that Bush is a Saint and one of the best Presidents ever. Anyone who tries to change any policy will be blasted and investigated, because sooner or later Republicans will regain the congress.

Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

All these people make me sick. Jerks. Just f*cking jerks.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

But of course Rummy will want the suit tossed out! And it will likely be done too. Since these guys are all butt buddies anyway.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Too bad none of them can (legally) get married huh?


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