STUNNING! Maddow interviews Pelosi on Bush War Crimes, impeachment and “Looking forward”

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Crossposted at Daily Kos

    I give you the finest journalist America has to offer today, Rachel Maddow, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.

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    A full transcript and more below the fold.

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Maddow:    But let me also ask you about something that I think is very dear to the hearts of American liberals.  And it doesn’t get a lot of traction across the political board right now.  And that’s the issue of accountability for things that happened during the Bush administration.  Torture, warrantless wiretapping, the hijacking of the Justice Department for partisan political purposes, lies being told to the American people about what the intelligence that we had as a country indicated about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  

    So on all of those issues, while we can talk comfortably about them and they’re not in the heart of political discourse in the country right now, there is a sense in which nobody was ever held accountable for any of those things.  Does that trouble you?  And should we ever expect as a country that people will be held accountable for those crimes?  

PELOSI:     Well, the president has wanted to go forward, to move on and go forward.  There are those of us who supported a commission to review some of those activities but the president has decided to move on.  All of the things that you name are important.  The issue that – you said does it – that bothers me the most is the issue of the Iraq War.  

    There’s so much evidence that there was no reason for us to go into that war at that time or go into it, period.  But to think that thousands of lives have been lost, lives affected to the tune of hundreds of thousands, the cost in terms of our military readiness – it has not made our military stronger.  

    In terms of dollars to the Treasury but, again, most of all loss of lives, our precious treasure, on this war and there was really no price to pay for it.  So when you ask what bothers me about it, yes, all of those things do.  But I think that the record has to be straight about what a serious mistake the Iraq War was.  

MADDOW:      Do you regret having taken the issue of impeachment off the table in terms of talking about the president the way the president communicated about that issue to the country?  

PELOSI:      No.  I think the – I believe that the – if there was evidence, if we could have the evidence to impeach the president, then that could come forward.  Just because I say it’s off doesn’t mean if the evidence is there, that something wouldn’t go forward.  

   It’s not a question of not knowing where the culpability is.  It’s what you can demonstrate and what you can prove.  But I do think that those who had a hand in perpetrating not only going to war but the misrepresentations to the American people. Every piece of evidence that we have points to the fact that there was no reason in terms of weapons of mass destruction to go into Iraq.  

MADDOW:    Even though we were told that there was?  

PELOSI:     Even though we were told that there was – that there were.  But it is – that there were weapons there.  It is one of the great tragedies.  

Read the whole transcript of the Maddow/Pelosi interview here at msnbc.com

   

    I’m sorry, but with all due respect to Speaker Pelosi, I call bullshit on this.

    And I find this level of bullshit to be simply stunning.

    I am reminded of this piece published by Glenn Greenwald: ‘This is what the Democratic Party Does; it is who they are’

(hat/tip to Kossack Rossl)

    So Impeachment is off the table

    War crimes accountability is off the table

    Single Payer is off the table

    The public option is off the table

You might as well just take Democracy off the table too.

    These are just some examples of the spineless and corrupt folding that the Democratic party has become so famous/infamous for, and though I don’t want to lay the blame for all of the Democratic parties problems and capitulations at the feet of Speaker Pelosi, I really want to know how our democracy is supposed to work when ACCOUNTABILITY is off the table.

    Seriously, if anybody has an answer to that one, I would be thrilled to hear it.

    I consider the idea that there wasn’t enough evidence of Bush/Cheney war crimes to push for accountability a stunning pile of bullshit. I consider the fact that this administration sought to “move forward” instead of pursuing justice simply appalling. This is my honest opinion. Differ if you like, but the fact remains  . . .

    If Dick Cheney is above the law you are beneath it and him. If we do not have a rule of law that is applied equally to everyone in America no matter there position of wealth and power then there are no rukes, there might as well be no laws, there is no justice, and we are less than citizens with equal rights. If the crimes of the Bush/Cheney administration are not punished we are guaranteed that they will repeat, and since I highly doubt that Republicans would ever give a Democrat such a pass it makes the kabuki look that much more pathetic.

   So what will the legacy of the Obama Administration be? Will we choose the easy path and “look forward”? Or will we take the harder road and pursue justice and the truth no matter where it takes us? More importantly, what are the consequences that future Americans will face if we fail to uphold the rule of law?

    I applaud Rachel Maddow for asking the tough questions. If only there were someone in a position of power with the courage to give the correct answers and to act and pursue justice.

    Because if america does “look forward” on these crimes we should be ashamed of ourselves, and history will never forgive us.

    In a sane, less corrupt world, this would not just be a picture.

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You can follow me on Twitter @JesseLaGreca

Also crossposted at ProgressiveElectorate.com

30 comments

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  1. Give me accountability or give me my fucking chains now

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  2. Please, please re-engage in the fight for what you believe in. We need to push the overtob window left and I need your help.

    Go to places where people disagree with you and YELL LOUDER for what you believe in. Your country needs you, the Progressive movement needs you, accountability and the rule of law needs you, and I need you. I can’t do this on my own.

  3. for killing civilians, and for ongoing torture and renditions.  

  4. She’s trying to protect her own arse and everybody else who voted for the war. They are all complicit! They knew it was BS from the get-go.

    Listen to how she talks about health care, no PO. PO was the compromise and now we can’t even get that.

    Not sure what Grayson’s amendment is all about. I don’t trust any of them anymore!

  5. not Bush, that’s in the past.  

  6. are all cultural.  And by cultural I don’t mean they are really much different policywise.  I simply mean that the Democratic Party has become very adept at speaking the language of respect for their party platform at least while in reality having absolutely no intention of doing anything about any of it.  They talk about respect for the little guy, or economically being for “main street america”, but when legislation gets made, are they truly unhappy at any obstructions the Republicans put in their way in terms of progressive legislation?  No.

    The Democrats in Congress ought to send the Republicans a big ole bouquet of roses.  Without them, who would they use as a backstop?  The Republicans are willing to be openly evil and save Democrats the trouble.

    You’re never going to get accountability from this government or this Party.  Never.  If every single Republican lost their elections, then you would see.  We aren’t being governed in the traditional or at least vaunted American sense, because they’ve lost all concept of being a government by and for the People.  These are just meaningless words now, mouthed by party apparatchiks and bureaucrats as a wistful view of the past, and as propaganda.  We are serfs in a corporate colony called America.

    As to Docudharma, we all believe in different things.  I believe, short term, what needs to be done is to shake Washington DC to its core with strikes and protests.  Long term, we need more than two parties and we need to end the parties’ respective locks on power.

  7. I remember her saying that the constitution was a quaint piece of paper that was not enforceable. The Democrats it turns out could have stopped the Bushies, look at what has happened to the Democratic legislation now that they are in power. They have always been complicit from the bush coup forward. They are in cahoots. Nancy took it off the table because she didn’t want it there just like the PO. Passing it off as Obama’s preference is absurd.

    What gets me is that everybody knows what went down and yet the whole country moves forward giving the official political narrative that both sides have cooked up legitimacy and worst allow the right wing equivalency under the law and our politics. So crazy to base all our politics on the lawlessness and lies practiced by both sides and to consider this winning. What a joke when at the Inaugural DiFi, the queen of war profiteering and the woman who said Gonzo was a good man, said that this proves we can have a peaceful transition of power. There is no line between the political or the law anymore, they will never put it back as power is never ceded by those who want and have it. The tragic part is that the party loyalists  are willing to abandon it in favor of political ‘reality. Ass backwards politics that make us all complicit, just like the good Germans.              

  8. We really aren’t all that far apart.  You believe our democracy and way of life are at stake.  I believe they are already lost.  Heh.

  9. You are correct.  Maddow was gutsy in asking the questions she did, while Ms. Pelosi, slithered around the bottom line with adequate ease.  I have always had an intense dislike for her since she, as though the Constitution was hers to wield in whatever way she wished, took Impeachment off the table.  You can look to the years since that, November, 2006, and see where the removal of that provision of our Constitution has gotten us.  As emboldened as all those felt, they feel many times more emboldened now.  So much so, that we have war criminals running about the country on speaking engagements, on MSM talk forums, writing books and continually spreading their mistruths, unabated.

    What’s legal and illegal seems always to be missing from the conversations.  But no matter how any of this is dealt with by those in our government and elsewhere, nothing changes fact.  Fact is, we’re a country guilty of war crimes:  illegal wars of aggression, torture, renditions and more — nothing but nothing can change that fact.

    Our government as of this moment is complicit with those war crimes for not having commenced investigations and prosecutions of war criminals, as is required by our own domestic and all appertaining International laws.

    And one thing that we ALL can rely on is that of the words of International officials, such as Manfred Nowak, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture who said, unequivocally,

    . . . The incoming American President Barack Obama is legally obligated to prosecute Bush and Rumsfeld because the US has ratified the UN Convention on Torture and has also recognized it as legally binding, he said.

    “Therefore they must do everything they can that persons who are accused of torture, are put on trial,” added Nowak who published a UN report in 2006 on the situation in Guantanamo.

    Nowak charged the US in the report with violating international human rights standards. . . .

    These are the L A W S! They need to be stressed over and over and over — loud and clear.

    We have become an utterly lawless nation, doing exactly as it pleases with no regard to the Constitution whatsoever — thus, paving the way for continued and worse lawlessness — until the country collapses from debt and the refusal of other countries to subsidize us any longer.  We do not live in a democracy and never, really have.  It’s a word that gets tossed around freely, without examination or example of what constitutes a democracy.  

     

  10. Some things, though, seem clear:

    1.  dKos has jumped the shark.

    2.  The Democrats in Congress remain feckless and clueless.  The Republicans in Congress remain bigoted, old, out-of-touch white men.

    3.  Electoral politics isn’t going to change very much in how things are in America.  It is going to preserve corporate power and prevent income equality.  It is not going to build a real safety net.  It is going to enable the looting of institutions.

    4.  See that shiny object over there? Oooh. I think I’ll watch that now.

    • dkmich on March 14, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    The rich get pensions, health care, body guards and jobs with lobbying firms.  Both parties need to be destroyed.  Pelosi and Obama are a joke.  

    I do speak my mind at dailykos, and I don’t get “tons” of kick back.  There are still a handful of people over there that are reality based.   All in all, I find myself going there out of habit and not enjoyment.  I will go rec. your diary if it isn’t too late.

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