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Poland, Respect for the Rule of Law and its Constitution

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Poland's P.M. Donald Tusk

with Deputy P.M Waldemere

Pawlak, Associated Press Photo



Unlike President Obama, who declared shortly after coming into office in 2009, "We can't look back", Poland has charged the former head of Poland's intelligence with aiding the CIA in setting up a secret prison to detain suspected members of al Qaeda.

The polish daily newspaper, "Gazeta Wyborcza" reported former intelligence chief Zbigniew Siemiatkowski is facing charges of "violating international law" by "unlawfully depriving prisoners of their liberty" in connection with the secret CIA prison where suspects were subjected to torture.

The Poles see it as a crucial test for the rule of law as the investigation has reached the highest levels of Polish politics.

Adam Bodner, the Vice President of the Helsinki Foundation based in Warsaw, Poland said, "We try to treat our Constitution seriously and try not to forget that there was a manifest violation of the Polish Constitution within the country's borders. This is a case of a huge threat to any Polish official that he will know in the future that such things cannot happen."

Reading those words, I felt a powerful emotional rush, that here was a government boldly taking the lead in affirming its trust in the rule of law and its Constitution, that high government officials are not above the law and will be held to account when they forego their public oath and fail to uphold their Constitution.  

If only that was the case in the U.S. Not since Nixon and Watergate has that happened in the U.S. and even then President Gerald Ford aborted the process and pardoned Nixon from any further investigation and prosecution of the crimes he committed as the President of the United States.

Now we exonerate the likes of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Yoo et al from there roles in authorizing torture, extraordinary rendition, indefinite detention, suspension of habeas corpus, warrantless wiretapping, illegal war and let the banksters off without holding them accountable for perpetrating the financial meltdown and the subsequent great recession.

Here in the U.S. we let our leaders make a mockery of the rule of law, ignore the Constitution they swore to uphold and tolerate no high officials be held accountable for their misdeeds.

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