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Mere Words Fail

January 18th, 2008

This is pretty galling: evidence continues to flow forth showing unequivocally that not only did the White House violate the law which says official business must go through White House email accounts, not only did they violate the law which says that you must keep records, but now it is turning out that they flagrantly wiped backup storage units containing email from the time when the Bush administration was involved in clearly illegal activities. Their defense boils down to nothing more than “Oopsie!”

And sometimes not even that. After stating repeatedly that the White House lost all those emails and cannot possibly retrieve them, they are now claiming that no emails have been lost, even as they are unable to produce them, and evidence emerges that they not only “lost” the originals and the backups, but they re-uesed the backup tapes so data could not possibly be restored.

So we are supposed to believe that emails they can’t produce haven’t been lost, or that they were lost via a long series of coincidental errors where in (a) millions of emails were “accidentally” erased, (b) their backups were then also “accidentally” erased, and (c) the backup tapes, which could have been probed for recovery of lost data, were “accidentally” re-used, re-writing over the “lost” data. Oopsie! Lots of oopsies!

Are they fucking kidding? How blatantly illegal an act do they have to commit before anything, anything, will be held against them in any meaningful manner at all? This administration has reduced the honor and dignity of the White House to nothing, less than nothing, to a bad joke. They have broken the law dozens of times and simply laughed it off–just because they want to and they can. They blow the cover of a CIA agent and jeopardize national security so they can take political revenge on a man who tried to uncover a lie they told to trick the nation into a horrible quagmire of a war. They then set up a fall guy, and then pardon him. Then they illegally destroy all records and their backups, and claim coincidence and fate were responsible. They piss on the Constitution, declare Habeas Corpus dead, negate the Fourth Amendment, torture people in secret prisons, trash the intelligence community so they can lie and sweep the nation into war, violate international treaties left and right… and much, much more. Then they claim they did nothing wrong, refuse to give up any evidence, destroy evidence under the flimsiest of pretenses….

You know, you write about this stuff enough times, and you begin to realize the futility. The press may report on some of this, but nothing will ever come of it. It’s as if the politicians and the press have simply written off these eight years, giving all the lawbreakers a free pass for as long as they hold office. This administration could do anything, violate any law, render meaningless any ethical principle, and get away with it, because nobody has the balls to do anything about it. Either they’ll claim executive privilege, or stonewall, or simply ignore an investigation until it goes away; and the people of this country, either because they are afraid of terrorism, or because they are so used to illegality coming from the White House that they don’t even pay attention any more, or simply because they just accept it and don’t give a damn, they look the other way. And the Bush people know this, and they take advantage of it.

It’s not even funny any more. Even right-wingers don’t try to defend it much any more, they just ignore it because they know any protest or investigation will come to nothing.

Call it “scandal fatigue.” Call it “Bush gets a pass for anything because of 9/11.” Call it what you will.

One thing cannot be denied: this is a systematically illegal administration that has made a common practice of smugly breaking the least and the greatest of laws, knowing they can get away with it. They started by stealing an election and never looked back.

And the only consolation that we have as a country–after the treasury has been looted, our national defense wrecked, our economy derailed, out justice system politicized and perverted–is that maybe, maybe, history will look back on these eight years and recall them with accuracy for being the farce they have been.

What’s mortifying is that this is the best-case scenario.

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  1. Tim Kane
    January 19th, 2008 at 13:00 | #1

    But then I look at your previous blog, and I wonder, maybe we haven’t hit our low point yet.

    Maybe what’s going on here is a cleansing and purging of movement conservativism from our system, the way it was cleansed and purged from Germany between 1933 and 1945. That took only 12 years. 12 devastating years and the Germans are lucky to have anything left of a country as a result (they got lucky, they lost a big chunk of land, and were divided fro 45 years, but today they are united and prosperous, and decidedly liberal).

    To me, that’s the best case scenario.

    The worst is the decline and fall of our way of life and maybe our civilization. As Amy Chua points out in her new book “Day of Empire” the rise and fall of great nations tends to parallel a society’s tolerance.

    In another book, “Shadowplay” by Clare Asquith, the thesis of which is that Shakespeare’s plays were critiques of Elizabeth I’s rule, from a catholic perspective.

    Specifically, Elizabeth inherited a Kingdom that was largely, happily, and culturally Catholic (according to Asquith English Catholicism lacked the institutional problems of Continental catholicism), and over the length of her dictatorial rule, complete with her own Karl Rove, in Lord Cecil, managed to bequeath an England that was decidedly protestant – a cultural transformation that was made from the top down by a small but power elite. Asquith argues that Catholicism was native to England by that time and that it was only a minority elite that embraced Protestantism (those that benefited materially from Henry VIII’s raiding of monastic property), and even these were fractured between Calvinism and Lutheranism styles of Protestantism.

    When she came to power, the catholic – protestant pendulum was swinging back and forth rather rapidly with each political event. When Elizabeth came to power, Catholics were eagerly waiting for the swing back to occur, one they expected would be permanent because of the overwhelming character of the country. But Elizabeth and her henchmen managed to delay the seemingly inevitable until, by the end of her term, the change was permanent.

    Until the pendulum truly begins to swing the other way, I am incline to think that the United States is in terminal cultural decline. The lock corporate America has on the country, much of it through media ownership, won’t be easily reversed. The wealthy elite won’t surrender what they have worked, invested and plotted for for over thirty years easily. Why would they. This of course is why I am for Edwards. And the Media blackout of Edwards reinforces the point.

  2. Luis
    January 19th, 2008 at 13:05 | #2

    Interesting how this comment dovetails into my next post….

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