Tyranny: a government in which absolute power is vested in a single ruler.
Democracy: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.
Accountability: an obligation to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.
Justice: the administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments
There is no more tyrannical act than a ruler taking the law into his own hands to torture or kill a person.
There is no greater injustice than to have evidence…overwhelming evidence….of such an oft repeated immoral and tyrannical act, but to have no means of accountability.
There is no greater evidence of the substitution of tyranny for democracy, than to have the very agent charged with upholding justice refuse to do so.
The Department of Justice is that agent, in our democracy, and it is refusing to hold George Bush accountable for his confessed illegal actions.
By the act of politicizing and corrupting the DOJ to the point where it will not act against him under any circumstances, George “the Torturer” Bush has effectively escaped the Rule of Law and become a unaccountable ruler. Unaccountable to The People, unaccountable to justice itself. In other words, a ruler who makes his own laws, a tyrant.
This sounds like hyperbole, but it is where our nation stands at this point in time.
The latest evidence of the subversion of democracy and the rule of law appeared in Rep. Wexler Diary: FBI Torture Cover-Up? yesterday. In his questioning of FBI Director Mueller there was the following exchange:
RW: My question Mr. Director, I congratulate you for pulling the FBI agents back, but why did you not take more substantial steps to stop the interrogation techniques that your own FBI agents were telling you were illegal? Why did you not initiate criminal investigations when your agents told you the CIA and the Department of Defense were engaging in illegal interrogation techniques, and rather than simply pulling your agents out, shouldn’t you have directed them to prevent any illegal interrogations from taking place?
RM: I can go so far sir as to tell you that a protocol in the FBI is not to use coercion in any of our interrogations or our questioning and we have abided by our protocol.
RW: I appreciate that. What is the protocol say when the FBI knows that the CIA is engaging or the Department of Defense is engaging in an illegal technique? What does the protocol say in that circumstance?
RM: We would bring it up to appropriate authorities and determine whether the techniques were legal or illegal.
RW: Did you bring it up to appropriate authorities?
RM: All I can tell you is that we followed our own protocols.
RW: So you can’t tell us whether you brought it; when your own FBI agents came to you and said the CIA is doing something illegal which caused you to say don’t you get involved; you can’t tell us whether you then went to whatever authority?
RM: I’ll tell you we followed our own protocols.
RW: And what was the result?
RM: We followed our own protocols. We followed our protocols. We did not use coercion. We did not participate in any instance where coercion was used to my knowledge.
RW: Did the CIA use techniques that were illegal?
RM: I can’t comment on what has been done by another agency and under what authorities the other agency may have taken actions.
RW: Why can’t you comment on the actions of another agency?
RM: I leave that up to the other agency to answer questions with regard to the actions taken by that agency and the legal authorities that may apply to them.
RW: Are you the chief legal law enforcement agency in the United States?
RM: I am the Director of the FBI.
RW: And you do not have authority with respect to any other governmental agency in the United States? Is that what you’re saying?
RM: My authority is given to me to investigate. Yes we do.
RW: Did somebody take away that authority with respect to the CIA?
RM: Nobody has taken away the authority. I can tell you what our protocol was, and how we followed that protocol.
RW: Did anybody take away the authority with respect to the Department of Defense?
RM: I’m not certain what you mean.
RW: Your authority to investigate an illegal torture technique.
RM: There has to be a legal basis for us to investigate, and generally that legal basis is given to us by the Department of Justice. Any interpretations of the laws given to us by the Department of Justice….
(talking over each other)
RW: But apparently your own agents made a determination that the actions by the CIA and the Department of Defense were illegal, so much so that you authorized, ordered, your agents not to participate. But that’s it.
RM: I’ve told you what our protocol was, and I’ve indicated that we’ve adhered to our protocol throughout.
What is the FBI’s protocol in that situation? To report it to the DOJ, for the DOJ to take legal action against the CIA agents who were using torture. The DOJ apparently did NOT take action against them.
Why? Because they were using torture as authorized by the President of the United States
But there is a problem. The President of the United States cannot legally authorize torture.
He can only come up with weak legal justifications for it.
“The abject failure of legal scholarship in the Office of Legal Counsel’s analysis of torture suggests that what mattered was not that the reasoning was sound, or that the research was comprehensive, but that it delivered what the Bush administration wanted,” (Senator) Whitehouse said.
At issue is a now-defunct Justice Department memo that outlined legal justification for military interrogators to use harsh tactics against al-Qaida and Taliban detainees overseas. The March 14, 2003, memo said the techniques could be used so long as interrogators did not specifically intend to torture their captives.
The memo, written by then-Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, said the president’s wartime power as commander in chief would not be limited by U.N. treaties against torture. It also offered a defense in case any interrogator was charged with violating U.S. or international laws.
And so we arrive at the weak link, if the DOJ will not even investigate…or allow Congress to investigate by using the power of subpoena….let alone bring charges, the system of checks and balances that hold a President accountable has been corrupted and effectively expunged. Democracy itself has been corrupted and the President become a de facto tyrant, no longer subject to the Rule of Law. o longer accountable to The People.
As I commented in Rep. Wexlers diary.
In other words, his protocol was to report it to the DOJ, he did, and the DOJ did nothing.
We now know how an administration can get away with murder, torture, lying to get us into war, imprisoning Siegelman, outing a CIA anti-terror network, spying on Americans and anything else they want to do.
Corrupt the DOJ.
How are those contempt subpoenas in the DOJ/USA investigation doing?
Oh that’s right, it is up to the DOJ to enforce them.
Without Congress using inherent contempt…..
Inherent contempt is our last chance at Justice…and an incredibly thin one since it relies on Congress acting….and as Kagro X put it today in terms of the upcoming Iraq appropriations.
This, in turn, means that Democrats acknowledge that: 1)George W. Bush is actually insane; 2) the only way Democrats can effectively end the occupation is to win the presidency themselves, and; 3) no political action that puts #2 at risk can be tolerated, even when the president eventually admits to having ordered the violation of the first, fourth, fifth, sixth, and eighth amendments.
In other words, checkmate. Our only hope for justice ow while they are still in office is a smoking gun so hot that it can’t be ignored.
In other words, pray.