Okay, Now I Get It


Like so many others, I have been bothered, bewitched and bewildered by the behavior of the Democratic ‘leadership’ over the past few years.  At first the excuse that they were being steamrolled by the majority Republicans provided them some cover, but it gradually became evident that something more sinister was at play.  

I speculated that Bushco had turned the NSA on the Dems and was using the info obtained to blackmail our guys.  I still think it’s likely that they have done a little or a lot of that sort of thing, but it may turn out that they didn’t need to bother.  It may be that the Dems jumped gleefully into a trap by endorsing the Bushco policy of torture – possibly because they didn’t want to appear to be not supporting the troops (or something equally idiotic).

“So grotesque and preposterous are the principle characters in this galaxy of clowns and crooks that none but a thrice double ass could have taken them for rulers.”

Officer in the Allied Control Commission, Nuremberg Trials, 1946.


How could they have been so morally bereft as to think this would not come back to haunt them?  Have they no moral judgment at all?


Pelosi and Dem Leaders Complicit in Bush’s Torture Policy?

Have Congressional Dems known of Bush’s waterboarding and rendition policies since 2002?

What did Congressional Democrats know, and when did they know it?

Is it possible that many Democratic leaders have been informed by the Bush administration over the years about its doubtfully legal activities?

If so, are they therefore complicit in the Bush administration’s lawlessness?

It’s just been disclosed that Representative Jane Harmon and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were briefed by the Bush administration on the use of waterboarding. Harmon objected but Pelosi did not — and when she became speaker of the house, she rejected Harmon for chair of the House Intelligence Committee.

The Administration has frequently responded to charges of Executive usurpation by saying the Congressional leaders were fully briefed on such questionable practices as NSA surveillance, extraordinary rendition, and enhanced interrogation techniques.

And evidence is mounting that they were. According to the Washington Post, since 2002 leading Democrats lawmakers received “about 30 private CIA briefings, some of which included descriptions of waterboarding, overseas rendition sites, “and other harsh interrogation methods.” Officials present at some of the meetings, told the Post that the reaction from legislators “was not just approval, but encouragement.”

If so, it would answer one of the great mysteries of 2007. The Democrats, once in control of Congress, had the courage to pursue cutoff of funds for the Iraq war, even though the Bush administration was happy to take advantage of their effort by characterizing it as failure to support the troops. The obvious companion strategy would have been to conduct intensive investigations to show that the entire Bush project has been to subvert law and Constitutional government in the interests of aggrandizing power nationally and internationally.

But Congressional Democrats have systematically avoided serious investigation of Bush administration lawlessness, and so far have retreated from using the power of contempt when the Bush officials have refused to respond to subpoenas.

(continued at AlterNet)

That explains a lot of things.

All of this bizarre behavior, the constant caving to Bush, the attacks on progressives like when Pelosi sneered at our activism.

“Look,” she (Pelosi) said, the chicken breast on her plate untouched. “I had, for five months, people sitting outside my home, going into my garden in San Francisco, angering neighbors, hanging their clothes from trees, building all kinds of things — Buddhas? I don’t know what they were — couches, sofas, chairs, permanent living facilities on my front sidewalk.”

Unsmilingly, she continued: “If they were poor and they were sleeping on my sidewalk, they would be arrested for loitering, but because they have ‘Impeach Bush’ across their chest, it’s the First Amendment.”

Though opposed to the war herself, Pelosi has for months been a target of an antiwar movement that believes she hasn’t done enough. Cindy Sheehan has announced a symbolic challenge to Pelosi in California’s 8th Congressional District. And the speaker is seething.

“We have to make responsible decisions in the Congress that are not driven by the dissatisfaction of anybody who wants the war to end tomorrow,” Pelosi told the gathering at the Sofitel, arranged by the Christian Science Monitor. Though crediting activists for their “passion,” Pelosi called it “a waste of time” for them to target Democrats. “They are advocates,” she said. “We are leaders.”



They’re scared.  They know we’ll eventually get around to coming for them too…once we mop up the republican slime.  They are acting guilty (IMHO).  No fucking wonder why impeachment is off the table.  The one’s who took it off the table deserve it as much as Bush and Cheney do.  They are in on the dirtiest little non-secret of them all…American torture.

I think maybe they sense that by supporting barbarism in the twenty-first century they are standing on the wrong side of history.  I would like to think they have at least that much human decency in them.

Or maybe they’ve just come to realize that torture is a war crime.  Come to think of it, that’s probably more likely.  These ‘leaders’ have been less than inspiring to be extremely charitable about it all.

“The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated.”

from Justice Jackson’s Opening Statement for the Prosecution, Nuremberg, 1945

Just know this, Democrat or Republican, if you are a war criminal, we are coming after you.

There will be justice in America.



Skip to comment form

    • OPOL on December 15, 2007 at 21:10
  1. also thinks that poor people should be arrested for loitering, when and if they dare to hang around the “good” neighborhoods, great way to solve poverty issues lock em up in jail.

    • Alma on December 15, 2007 at 21:21

    I love your stuff.

    • Martiki on December 15, 2007 at 21:25

    I also had originally thought it was the 2008 election that was preventing the Dems from coming down hard on Bushco.  I now firmly believe it isn’t the election or being wiretapped that is the reason.  Pure and simple, I believe the Dems are complicit and fear for their own necks should there be very much digging.

    I fear the complicit Dems and the Bushcos are going to elude justice.  I wish I had your faith that justice will be done.

  2. perfectly and wonderfully said.

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    And to be honest, I never thought the dems were part of a real solution to the myriad problems, anyway.  I have no idea how many decades now I’ve been sucked in by the argument that they’d really, really do something.  Frankly, I have no idea why I am persistently taken in by this wishful thinking.

    Great essay.  Thanks.

  4. There will be justice in America.

    That this comes true but we will need to build a new jail to house them all. Tom.

    • pfiore8 on December 15, 2007 at 22:18

    and peace.

    thanks OPOL…

    • kj on December 15, 2007 at 22:54

    to let the cave-in and utterances of 2002 go the way of so much bad garbage, until these latest revelations.

    My first thought when learning Pelosi knew about the use of waterboarding was a dismissive, “Of course she did.”  Two days later it hit me.  “Of course she did!”

    I gave congress too much benefit of the doubt. I won’t again.

  5. think that by doing nothing they’ll be re-elected?!  What we

    need to be shouting loudly is – If you think not doing anything to stop the Bush madness will get you re-elected, think again!  

     We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!!!

    • psyched on December 15, 2007 at 23:56

    Thank you for this moving, persuasive and informative diary. I don’t know what else I can add. You have said everything so well.

    • snud on December 15, 2007 at 23:59

    Man, Pelosi is really pissing me off. At the risk of sounding like I’m wearing a tin-foil hat, I’ve had to come to the conclusion that she and Reid have both struck some kind of deal with the devil known as Bu$h-Co.

    She says, of us, the Great Unwashed:

    “They are advocates,” she said. “We are leaders.”

    Where do I start with that? Well first, no Nancy – you’re supposed to be our representative; if you were truly representing the people of your district maybe they wouldn’t have to camp out in your yard.

    And second, if you were a real leader we’d have de-funded that debacle in Iraq by now and have impeachment hearings scheduled for Dick and Dubya.

    See Nancy, that’s what real leaders do: They get important work done. They don’t “take it off the table” so it’s hopefully (for you) out of sight, out of mind.

    And when she’s up for re-election you can bet she’ll practically be smooching on all those “advocates” who camped out around her gated community, pissing her off sooo much by daring to let her know how they feel about her “representation” so far.

    I just hope they all have long memories ’cause I’d love to see her just go away.

    • Edger on December 16, 2007 at 00:08

    We asked for signs

    the signs were sent:

    the birth betrayed

    the marriage spent

    Yeah the widowhood

    of every government —

    signs for all to see.

    I can’t run no more

    with that lawless crowd

    while the killers in high places

    say their prayers out loud.

    But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up

    a thundercloud

    and they’re going to hear from me.

    Ring the bells that still can ring …

    You can add up the parts

    but you won’t have the sum

    You can strike up the march,

    there is no drum

    Every heart, every heart

    to love will come

    but like a refugee.

    Ring the bells that still can ring

    Forget your perfect offering

    There is a crack, a crack in everything

    That’s how the light gets in.

    Leonard Cohen, Anthem

    from the soundtrack of “Natural Born Killers”

  6. Hmmm…well, I’m waffling between voting for 2 out of 3 or 3 out of 3.  

  7. as always.  The situation is starting to resemble the horrible relationships I used to deal with when I was a social worker — the abusive spouse swearing up and down to change and the victim falling for it every single time. It’s getting really hard to believe that things are going to improve.  

    Personally, I’m ready to throw in the towel. Maybe it’s all the holly-jolly baloney in the world right now, but if there isn’t some sign of life in the Dems soon, I’m outtie.

  8. And evidence is mounting that they were. According to the Washington Post, since 2002 leading Democrats lawmakers received “about 30 private CIA briefings, some of which included descriptions of waterboarding, overseas rendition sites, “and other harsh interrogation methods.” Officials present at some of the meetings, told the Post that the reaction from legislators “was not just approval, but encouragement.”

    And as always with such things we all deal with in life finally things begin to feel congruent again and what is happening around us makes sense ;(  The truth sets us free time and time again.

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