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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.
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.
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.
You can follow me on Twitter @JesseLaGreca
Also crossposted at ProgressiveElectorate.com