Truth and Consequences: What Does the Future Hold, If We Don’t Hold the Present Accountable?

Originally posted over on ePluribus Media.

The story by Mike Corder of the Associated Press over on My Way (via TruthOut) began simply enough:

The Hague, Netherlands – The war crimes trial of Charles Taylor, Liberia’s former president, heard its first testimony Monday and saw video of victims telling of being sexually assaulted or dismembered by rebels who plundered West African diamond fields.

[Emphasis mine.]

That one sentence got me thinking, particularly when I saw the term sexually assaulted.

Not to play down the other horrors like amputation that the victims underwent, but — sexual assaults mentioned in the same sentence as “war crimes trial” caught my attention.

I wonder what they’d call the CIA torture tapes, or the pictures and videos from Abu Graihb or Gitmo?

I wonder if our soon-to-be-former President and any of his staff will ever be held accountable for their war crimes.  Does the intentional invasion of a nation based on known false evidence count? (Yep — it’s called a “war of aggression.”) Does the use of waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” like stress positions count as torture? (Yes — which is why the US Justice Department reframed the definition of torture to exclude things like waterboarding, so that GWB could claim a degree of plausible deniability when he lied and said we didn’t torture.)

Does fooling one’s own nation into war — or at least into an attack on a nation — through false provocation and false pretenses count as a war crime? (Not sure — I think it false under the same “war of aggression” definition — but I’m pretty certain that purposely undermining the operation of the government and misleading Congress counts as “subversion”.)

There aren’t enough years in the life of an ordinary man or woman to do the time required to pay for the crimes that have been committed and continue unabated under this Administration.

Will there ever be any accountability assessed, or consequences levied against those reponsible?

Will the folks who strove in Congress to subvert the investigation into torture, illegal warrantless wiretapping, the outing of a covert CIA agent or the discovery of evidence that the President suggested baiting another nation into war ever have to face charges of complicity in the crimes they gleefully protected? The Trent Lotts, who claimed that waterboarding was akin to swimming, or the Joe Liebermans who refused to investigate the failings of the government to respond adequately to Katrina victims (still! They’re STILL not responding adequately!)…what will become of them? Will they be able to walk away scott free, and escape the responsibility — and thus be “safe” from being drawn back in as a result of investigations of other instances of corruption, graft and abuse?

Will we ever get even a quarter of the truth from any of the multiple investigations going on, when the very people who stand to lose — and stand to be held accountable for major crimes — are the ones in charge of both the investigators and the evidence that is needed to convict them?

Do we have, in our upcoming cast of candidates, anyone who will pledge to deliver the whole truth, no matter where it leads, and promise to NOT pardon the wrongdoers in some foolish claim of “healing the nation” when the very act of a pardon would put a stamp of approval upon the crimes and the criminals — an abuse of privilege daringly applied to Nixon by Ford, and used with gusto by Bush senior to effectively end an investigation into multiple dirty cesspools of corruption?

Those precedents, those players, and those cesspools of corruption are back and propagating through the halls of our nation.

To clean up the corruption, those precedents must be purged, the cesspools emptied, and the participants punished in accordance with the law — just like any ordinary citizen. No pardons, no commutation, no “executive privileges” should be granted; no sentences stayed.

Who will stand for the people?

Who stands for the Constitution, and for the restoral and depoliticalization of Justice?

Are there any actual patriots left in any of the branches of government, or has the corruption and cronyism corrupted it all?

Tell me, please: who will stand for the children, the future and promise of our nation, and guard against the passing of this dangerously insidious darkness into their lives?


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    • GreyHawk on January 8, 2008 at 19:31


  1. the american people would have to accept responsibilty……

    it was their fear that allowed the wedge…..

    we would have to be ready to face each other…..

    to atone one to another for this horror….

    then we would have to turn and attone to the world….

    and then we as the world would have to attone to history…..

    only then could we truly generate a different outcome for the future…

    I do not believe we are ready yet……

    the post modern myth precludes that…..

    it is at the root of our cultures unfolding……

    before change can occur for our world the post modern myth must be abandoned…..

    so long as there is faith in it change can not occur….

  2. a window exists yet I believe we will do as in the past…..

    pretend to become aware and then forget……

    the cultural myth asserts we can avoid coming to terms with ourselves and instead focus outward to others and elsewheres……

    the problem is at scale there is not elsewhere…..

    and everyone is simultaneously an other to everyone else…

    in the past it worked…..

    the myth says it always works…….

    at scale it fails….

    when it truly fails to prevent the next repition in the cycle…….

    even tho our guys win, who ever they are…….

    then in the face of climatic stress and conflicts driven by resource competition global culture will walk away from the post modern myth…..

  3. Does the myth die, or does the empire die.

    Ah, they are one and the same!

  4. and a dairy he has posted on empire burlesque, “the bomb in the shadows”, expanding on what Sibel Edmonds said in the London Times recently. It is basically a history, or a primer if you will, on BCCI, and all it’s tentacles in the modern world. True BCCI is no more but the network of criminals and corrupt politicians remains. I was abjectly fascinated by what I learned. While it is nothing much more than I had suspected of the world of “movers and shakers”, the focus of how wide spread the corruption is, was to me very important. Names were named, actions described, and although not complete by any means, it was descriptive enough for me to answer one of the questions you raised greyhawk, “..has corruption and cronyism corrupted it all?” To me the answer is yes. I am beginning to see that there has to be a completely new paradigm in the world as a whole. It would and will be impossible to clean up the mess we are in on a country by country basis. That being said, it is also true that America is in a unique position at this time, due to the astounding immorality and illegality of our current maladministration, to bring such paradigm shift into focus for the whole world. I know that I am a starry eyed idealist, but I continue to hope, and more importantly believe, that it is possible.  

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