Contempt. Such a harsh word, isn't it? My trusty American Heritage Dictionary tells me contempt is disdain or bitter scorn. Contempt is open disrespect or willful disobedience of the authority of a court of law or a legislative body. The time has come for the nation to give this word some closer consideration. It becomes more evident each day, as we discover more about the activities of the Bush White House. For far too long now, The United States of America has been regarded with contempt by this administration. Their scorn for democracy, and justice, and fairness, and freedom has pushed our beloved country perilously close to becoming a police state.
Through their willful disobedience of law and disrespect for Congress, this corrupt gang of liars, thieves, traitors, and war criminals have seized our government and turned it into an instrument of power and profit for their own purposes. We've seen six years of unchecked abuses of power. Six years of no oversight from a rubber stamp Congress. Six years of a great nation falling into the clutches of a one party dictatorship. And tragically, at least six years of senseless slaughter of people caught in the neocon war agenda.
Their audacious and flagrant contempt has at last come to be challenged by Congress. Yesterday, July 25th, the House Judiciary Committee voted to issue contempt citations for White House chief of staff Joshua B. Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers. This has resulted from the White House's refusal to allow the committee to hear what the two may have to say about the influence of Karl Rove in the politically motivated firings of US Attorneys.
The "architect" of permanent Republican rule seems to have decided to use the Justice Department as the political strong arm of the party. Maybe he was inspired by his grandfather's work with Germany's SS back in the forties. Come to think of it, didn't George's granddad get caught up in a little money laundering caper for the Nazis? I digress. Though I'm not here to discuss Karl Heinz Roverer or Prescott Bush, there seems to something in the genes with these guys.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales seems to believe he is still Bush's personal attorney. After spewing evasions and lies while under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Gonzo's own brand of contempt is about to hit the fan. As we've seen in the news, he has been testifying about the US Attorney firings and other Justice Department shenanigans. He was explaining why he needed to get former Attorney General John Ashcroft to approve their warrentless domestic spying program, in the hospital, at night while Ashcroft was under serious medication. Or was it some other program entirely? No matter. He told both versions under oath. Not that this was his only difficulty with the truth.
His prevarications are too numerous to list here, so let's look at just one more particular favorite. On April 27, 2005, Gonzales was telling senators why we needed to reauthorize the Patriot Act. When asked if he knew of any abuses of civil liberties under the act, he said, "There has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse."
Not one. Unless some liberal nit-picker wants to mention some dubious example, right? Six days before this session, the FBI sent Gonzales a report saying agents had obtained personal information they were not allowed to have. In the three months before he made this statement, there were other reports about violations serious enough to require notification of the President's Intelligence Oversight Board, which supposedly monitors the government's surveillance activities. These violations included tapping the phone of a "wrong number", phone data collected on the wrong people, "over-collected" evidence, unauthorized surveillance, an illegal property search, and a case of an Internet firm's compact disc with data that the FBI was not entitled to collect. There are many more instances, but we're not nit-picking.
Today Senate Democrats called for a special counsel to investigate his conflicting and convoluted tales to determine if he has committed perjury.
We can hope for justice, but let's not hold our breath. We remember the case of Scooter Libbey's disdain for the truth. He was found guilty of two counts of perjury, one count of making false statements and one count of obstruction of justice. That was all settled thanks to Bush's version of contempt for our justice system. No prison for Scooter, and continued obstruction of justice in the CIA leak case.
As the Decider says, "It's run its course and it's time to move on."
Rest assured, America, the AG tells us, "I intend to spend the next year and a half in a sprint to the finish line. The American people deserve nothing less." Gonzo has our president's "confidence." We have their contempt.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
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