Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Holy Cow: Top Dems Are Serious About Investigating Bush's Criminal Acts

From AlterNet:

As President Barack Obama reverses some of ex-President George W. Bush’s most controversial “war on terror” policies, a consensus seems to be building among Democratic congressional leaders that further investigations are needed into Bush’s use of torture and other potential crimes.


The emerging consensus among top congressional Democrats for some form of investigation into Bush’s controversial policies has surprised some progressives who had written off the leadership long ago for blocking impeachment hearings and other proposals for holding Bush and his subordinates accountable.

In 2006, for instance, Pelosi famously declared that “impeachment is off the table,” and prior to Election 2008, the Democratic leadership largely acquiesced to Bush’s demands for legislation that supported his “war on terror” policies, including a compromise bill granting legal immunity to telecommunications companies that assisted in Bush’s warrantless wiretaps.

More here.

Yeah, you can add me to that group of surprised "progressives who had written off the leadership long ago." I've also, as numerous posts here at Real Art have publicly displayed for many months now, been totally outraged about it. I mean, c'mon. Torture is totally illegal, totally immoral, and totally counterproductive in the foreign policy realm for more reasons than I'm willing to go into at the moment, but it has been US policy for eight years, making our nation, in effect, a guiding light for evil in the world. Seriously. There is no debate about whether we should use torture: torture is wrong, end of discussion.

On the other hand, this appears to be playing out pretty well in terms of my best case scenario. That is, I've long realized that our new President is a centrist to conservative establishment insider, but that the national situation created by Bush has deteriorated so badly that circumstances may very well force first Congress, and then Obama, much further to the left than any of them would have ever dared imagine. I figured if that was going to happen anywhere, it would be the economy, and that is indeed what's happening. I had almost given up on the torture issue, but here we are. Democrat losers in both the House and Senate are feeling braver, now that the opposition is both weak and absurd. A new leak here. A disgruntled Bush employee there. Another seemingly unrelated investigation over there. Suddenly, it's a brand new ball game.

Is this really all coming together? What's going to happen when it becomes plain as day that torture orders came down from the very top? Will our leaders have the stomach to put a former president behind bars for crimes against humanity? Oh god, I hope so.