I just watched Barack Obama become the 44th President of the United States, and then got to see George W. Bush being whisked away by helicopter, as a jubilant crowd sang, “Nah-nah-nah--nah, nah-nah-nah-nah; hey, hey, hey...Goodbye”.
I am not going to speculate on what President Obama will do--or might do, or could do, or should do. He strikes me as an intelligent, competent man who shares many of my concerns and is so vastly superior to his predecessor that I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt--until he gives me some reason to do otherwise. Besides, we still have unfinished business with the Bush/Cheney Administration.
George W. Bush and Dick Cheney should have been impeached as soon as it was discovered that their administration had cooked the books on the reasons for invading Iraq (or for any number of other high crimes and misdemeanors engendered by their ill-conceived War on Terror).
But they were not impeached--though they may wish they had been; because now America must deal with their crimes within our criminal justice system.
· “The misbehavior was not an aberration--aspects of it, particularly the idea that the president is above the law, were present in Watergate and in the Iran/Contra scandal. To fully restore the rule of law and prevent any repetition of Bush's misconduct, the abuses of his administration must be directly confronted.”--Elizabeth Holtzman, Former Congresswoman who sat on the House Judiciary Committee which drafted articles of impeachment against President Nixon, The Nation (2/2/09 edition)
· “We must avoid any temptation simply to move on. We must instead be honest with ourselves and the world as we condemn our nation’s past transgressions and reject Bush’s corruption of our American ideals. Our constitutional democracy cannot survive with a government shrouded in secrecy, nor can our nation’s honor be restored without full disclosure.” Dawn Johnsen, Obama’s new head of the Office of Legal Council, Slate.com, 3/18/08
· “After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the [Bush] administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.”--Major General Antonio Taguba, who led the investigation into prisoner abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, McClatchy Newspapers, 6/18/08