George W. Bush gave his last press conference today. Did you watch the coverage? Did you have trouble -- again; still -- repressing your gag reflex? The suspension of reality during yet one more Bush/White House Press Corp circle jerk was breathtaking.
Still cowed by Bush’s toxic arrogance, still ordered by their corporate controllers not to stir the waters too deeply, the assembled reporters did what they have done for the past eight years: give this lawbreaking, miserable, failed man one more free pass. And giggled while they did so.
The content of his answers to half-witted questions was meaningless. Without substance, context, insight, overview -- nothing. Dull and reflexive, he did what he has done for the entirety of his political career: overwhelm the questioners with the enormity of his ignorance and his arrogance.
His body language and his non-answers were clear indications that he knows neither he nor his corrupt administration will be held accountable for the catastrophic damage they have done to this country. Already, those speaking for Barack Obama have made it clear there will be no investigations, no indictments, no prosecutions for any of the long list of crimes this administration has committed.
One estimate says that list includes 269 laws, domestic and international, broken by the Bush thugs, starting with illegal wiretapping and surveillance, the firing of US Attorneys, the corruption of the Department of Justice, the invasion of Iraq, state-sanctioned torture, so-called “rendition” which is, in fact, kidnapping . . . on and on and on.
Those who say that there should be no investigation or prosecution of senior officials who authorized torture and warrant-less surveillance rarely even bother offering legal justifications. They argue that the Obama administration has more urgent problems to contend with. They insist that any such process would devolve into partisan backbiting from which this country could never recover. And they insist, as did Attorney General Michael Mukasey in early December, that there is no basis on which to prosecute the architects of torture and wiretapping policies because each was acting to "protect the security in the country and in the belief that he or she was doing something lawful."
So are we to be left no accountability for the crimes committed repeatedly, relentlessly, arrogantly over an eight-year period? Will there not even be a "truth commission" of some sort modeled perhaps on that used by South Africa following the end of apartheid? Is the fear that such a commission might be forced, after taking testimony and hearing witnesses, to recommend legal action by the Obama Justice Department?
The conclusion to which the power elite seems be finalizing is that we will see business as usual in the Obama administration, even though the political and financial futures of the US are shaky at best, near-collapse at worst.
Will the decision not to investigate and prosecute be one the American people are willing to accept?