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Due diligence.

By       Message Ed Martin     Permalink
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An article in the Washington Post by Steve Vogel quotes Rep. Thomas M. Davis at a congressional oversight committee hearing about the neglected, wounded veterans.  He told of hearing about "appalling stories" every week and says, 'they're trapped in a system that they don't understand and that doesn't understand them."

When questioned by Rep. John F. Tierney about an "utter lack of urgency" and "Why has it taken so long," Michael L. Dominguez, a deputy undersecretary of defense, testified that the Pentagon and the VA needed to exercise "due diligence" before plunging forward with fundamental changes.  "It does take some tome to develop these details," he said.

George Bush, in typical Republican fashion, is using the excuse of exercising due diligence to avoid as long as possible taking care of the wounded soldiers that his lack of due diligence in looking at the details caused them to be wounded in the first place.  The Pentagon's use of bureaucratic due diligence to put treatment off for months and years confirms that a bureaucrat's goal is to figure out ways to prevent you from having what you're entitled to and doing what you need to do.

Due diligence: the care that a prudent person is expected to exercise in the examination and evaluation of risks.

Let's look at what the actual exercise of due diligence before George Bush went to war would have revealed.

Article l, Section 8 of the Constitution.  "Congress shall have power...to declare war."  Not the President, as he has done.  The Constitution does not give Congress the power to transfer their war declaring powers to anyone else.  Had George Bush exercised due diligence by following the Constitution, he would not have been able to attack Iraq.  Had Congress exercised due diligence by following the Constitution, they would not have been able to fund Bush's undeclared war. 

Article ll, Section 2 of the Constitution.  "The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, WHEN CALLED INTO THE ACTUAL SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES.  (Emphasis added.)  The military has not been called into service by a declaration of war by Congress, so Bush is not commander in chief of anything and cannot tell the Pentagon what to do.  Had the Pentagon exercised due diligence by following the Constitution, they would have realized that they have no obligation to follow Bush's orders, since he is not their commander in chief.

Charter of the International Military Tribunal, the Nuremberg Trials.

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Article 6.

The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which there shall be INDIVIDUAL (emphasis added) responsibility:

(a) Crimes against Peace: Namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties.

Article 8.

The fact that the defendant acted pursuant to order of his government or of a superior shall not free him from responsibility.

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Had the Pentagon exercised due diligence and understood the importance of this article, they would have realized that they could not have legally attacked Iraq.  Since George Bush's self-declared war is Constitutionally illegal, the Pentagon had the duty and obligation to refuse to go to war on only Bush's say-so.  The fact that they did makes them responsible, individually, for illegally following Bush's orders.  What this article establishes is that no one, not the President, not the Congress, can order you to do anything illegal, and if you follow the illegal order, you are just as responsible as if you had done it on your own.  "Just following orders" does not obsolve you of guilt.

We now have a bunch of generals coming out against the Iraq war, but only from the safety of their retirement and pensions.  I don't want to hear these guys because they didn't do their due diligence, realize that what they were doing was illegal, and speak up and refuse to carry out illegal orders when it mattered, when it would have done some good.  They went along with Bush for the gory glory and a chance at another star.  Now, what they say no longer matters.

Every member of Congress who voted to allow Bush to declare his own war is just as guilty as Bush.  That's where and when the break-down of due diligence started.  Had Congress exercised due diligence by reading the Constitution, the Iraq war could never have happened.

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Ed Martin is an ordinary person who is recovering from being badly over-educated. Born in the middle of the Great Depression, he is not affiliated with nor a member of any political, social or religious organization. He is especially interested in (more...)
 

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