Gen. George Washington in Battle During the Revolutionary War
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 current 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. U.S. Army General Antonio Taguba (Ret.), Common Dreams, 6/18/08
“I thought I was working with the Jedi Knights and I was working for the Sith Lords,” Iglesias acknowledged, as the audience broke into applause. Former US Attorney David Iglesias, Raw Story, 6/17/08
Iglesias and Taguba Reflect A Brilliant Ray of Hope
By Richard Power
It has been a grim and agonizing eight years, starting with the Supreme Injustice of the Bush v. Gore ruling, which was handed down in December 2000, in an eerie atmosphere of unnatural darkness.
But now there is a brilliant ray of hope that the nightmare might end in January 2008, that the balance might somehow be restored, and that there will be some legal, financial, political, social and spiritual reckoning for those who have betrayed this nation in so many ways.
Valerie Plame deserves such a reckoning.
Don Siegelman deserves such a reckoning.
Pat Tillman deserves such a reckoning.
So many more known and unknown deserve such a reckoning -- e.g., the innocents slaughtered on 9/11, the men and women of the US military who perished in the foolish military adventure in Iraq, and the poor who perished in the flood waters of New Orleans while Bush and McCain cavorted in Arizona.
Strangely, even after all that has happened, and worse yet, all that has not happened, I love my country more than I ever have.
Yes, the US mainstream media failed. Yes, the political establishment failed. Yes, the electorate itself failed; no, not by how it voted in 2000 or 2004, but for not rising up after its will was thwarted, first in Florida and then in Ohio.
If we survive this terrible plunge into national psychosis, it will be due in large part, not only to the alternate media, including the blogosphere and progressive talk radio, not only to the grassroots organizers, including MoveOn, not only to cultural warriors like Michael Moore and true statesmen like Al Gore and Jimmy Carter, but perhaps most of all to the "revolt of the professionals," i.e., the principled resistance of career intelligence, military and national security professionals (mostly Republicans) who understood that their oath was to protect and defend the US Constitution against all enemies whether foreign AND domestic.
There is a litany of names:
Lt. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (Ret.)
Former National Security Council officials Richard Clarke and Rand Beers
Former Ambassador Joe Wilson
Major Gen. John Batiste (Ret.)
Major Gen. Paul Eaton (Ret.)
Lt. Gen. Greg Newbold (Ret.)
US Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatowski (Ret.) ...
There are many more.
If it were not for the "revolt of the professionals," you would not know about the lies that led to the invasion and occupation of Iraq, or the violatons of the Geneva Accords, or the violations of FISA, FOIA and the Bill of Rights, or the failure to heed the pre-9/11 warnings, or the failure to finish off Bin Laden in Tora Bora, etc., etc., etc.
It is their courage and their conscience that has led to this strange stirring.
Here are two recent statements that are worthy of your attention. Take them to heart, and share them with others. They reflect the brilliant ray of hope.
Writing in his preface to Broken Laws, Broken Lives, a remarkable report by Physicians for Human Rights,Major General Antonio Taguba, USA (Ret.), makes a profound statement:
In order for these individuals to suffer the wanton cruelty to which they were subjected, a government policy was promulgated to the field whereby the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice were disregarded. The UN Convention Against Torture was indiscriminately ignored. And the healing professions, including physicians and psychologists, became complicit in the willful infliction of harm against those the Hippocratic Oath demands they protect.
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 current 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. Common Dreams, 6/18/08
In an interview with Jon Stewart (that's right, it is the US mainstream news media that is a joke, not Comedy Central's Daily Show), David Iglesias, one of the US attorneys (all Republicans) who were fired by Bush-Cheney, also spoke with bold and principled directness:
“They wanted us to file politically oriented prosecutions instead of just doing what our normal job is, which is enforce Federal law, to file voter fraud prosecutions when the evidence wasn’t there beyond a reasonable doubt. It wasn’t just me. It was a guy in Missouri and it was a guy in Seattle, Washington.” ...
Iglesias then suggested it might be possible to go after the Justice Department officials who were ultimately responsible by “using the model we used against the Mob in the 60’s. You find a small fish, you threaten prosecution, you roll them, they give up the bigger fish.” ...
Stewart ended by asking Igleaias, “Is the greatest disappointment for you that you were a guy who believed in what they were doing? … Do you feel betrayed in that sense?”
“I thought I was working with the Jedi Knights and I was working for the Sith Lords,” Iglesias acknowledged, as the audience broke into applause. Raw Story, 6/17/08
Richard Power's Left-Handed Security: Overcoming Fear, Greed & Ignorance in This Era of Global Crisis is available now! Click here for more information.
Antonio Taguba, David Iglesias, Richard Power, Words of Power