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New Democrats And Crime: Responsible Executive Oversight

By Bill Henderson

07 December, 2006

A responsible citizen who witnesses a crime can't choose to turn a blind eye and just move on. The newly elected, now Democratically controlled Congress is responsible for executive branch oversight.

There is abundant evidence of serious Bush Administration criminality. These responsible citizens have witnessed the Bush Admin cynically deceive the American people about the reasons for the US aggression in Iraq. There is more than enough evidence of illegal intent, planning and deceit to warrant Congressional investigation into the run up to war. There is no more serious crime than waging a war of aggression.

There is also substantial evidence that members of the Bush Administration committed crimes in unlawfully imprisoning supposed terrorists in Guantanamo, in 'extraordinary' renditions, and in condoning if not advocating torture against these illegally detained foreigners and in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Congressional investigation is also needed into potentially illegal domestic survivance and other highly suspect Executive Branch actions initiated as part of 'the war on terror'.

If the responsible citizen doesn't act the rule of law is corroded and the perpetrator of the crime is free to commit more crimes against other citizens. If the newly elected Congress does not investigate the Bush Administration when there is overwhelming evidence of criminality then Congressional oversight over the Executive Branch will be gravely weakened and the Bush Admin will remain free to commit maybe even more serious crimes in the final years of their mandate.

There is an even more important reason why Congress must resist the temptation to let bygones be bygones and just work with the Bush Admin. The world has been witness to serious crimes done in America's name. Most informed people globally have been made aware of the accumulating evidence of deceit and aggression, kidnapping and torture, imperial plotting and unilateral military adventurism. Americans more than any other global citizens require a working, shared rule of law and Bush Admin criminality has considerably corroded and weakened the existing international rule of law. Ignore the crime and the world just gets increasingly dangerous for Americans.

The world needs to see justice being done. Crimes were committed. There can be no moving on from the quagmire in the Middle East without justice. Of course, America can't leave the Persian Gulf - further destabilization threatens the flow of oil; but the pragmatic path out of the quagmire has to begin with America admitting and correcting the Bush Admin mistakes.

Iraq is the present festering symptom of building geopolitical tension over energy supplies. The end of cheap oil - peak oil, if you wish - is the immediate example of severe resource depletion predicted as burgeoning human populations utilizing fossil fuel powered technology press against planetary limits to growth. Climate change and biodiversity extinction are the other two similarly generated global-scale problems which threaten America's prosperity, the global civilization we are nested within, and, unfortunately, with ever increasing probability, humanity's very existence.

These building problems require a much deeper global commitment to multilateral cooperation and an America capable of essential American leadership. Instead we have been taken dangerously far down the resource war, military unilateralist path. We must retrace our steps, admit and learn from our mistakes and take proper remedial action. The first step is Congress reasserting responsible oversight and investigating all evidence of criminality. Then, hopefully, we can and need to move on.


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