The most dangerous problem in America is an attack on our democracy. It has been going on for some 20 years. Bit by bit and year by year the right wing has been acquiring more power and becoming more extreme. Like climate change, it’s just a matter of time before this shift in political power will be irreversible. Then, only a public revolt or a revolution can save our democracy.
Both the 9/11 and Benghazi disasters were preventable. Warnings on both were clear and from highly reliable sources. Here, the similarities end. On 9/11 the White House ignored warnings from heads of state and allies and breached our national security. The White House then covered it up by (1) blocking an investigation for a year and (2) stonewalling the 9/11 Commission throughout its lifetime. The 9/11 Commission report was politicized and damaging evidence omitted. Neither responsibility nor accountability has ever been established for 9/11.
On Benghazi, the State Department immediately set up a high level independent review panel on Benghazi and cooperated with the investigation as opposed to a cover-up. Responsibility was taken and accountability established.
The differences in the damage done to our country by 9/11 and Benghazi are astronomical. Below are the 9/11 advance warnings as documented in the book, The Right-Wing Threat to Democracy.
FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
The right wing took over the Republican Party in the 90's and began to exile its moderates and exploit flaws in our system of government to gain power. The great Republican moderates who helped make our country exceptional have all but disappeared.
The right-wing controlled Republican Party has the money, but neither the votes nor the agenda to win elections. To compensate, it has undermined two presidencies, stolen two elections and is on its way to stealing a third. When in office it mismanaged government both times.
The right-wing 2012 nominees for President and Vice-President have made convention speeches and produced TV ads that are intellectually dishonest. They are charging the President for things which are untrue or were the direct responsibility of its own Party in prior administrations -- but, more about that later.
The right wing has taken over the Republican Party and exploited flaws in our democracy to regain control of government. It has stolen two elections in this century and then mismanaged government both times. Now it is attempting a third coup and may succeed unless a misled public becomes better informed.
The great Republican moderates of the past are gone and the few remaining moderates are being exiled. The right wing has the money, but not the votes or the agenda to win elections. Nor do many of its members truly believe in the democratic process. Still living in the last century, they believe they have a divine right to govern. To remain alive they steal elections as shown in a new book, The Right-Wing Threat to Democracy.
By Ed Asner and Burt Hall
"Even If Washington leads the nation in incivility, it is not likely to change until those outside of Washington demand it. What gets rewarded gets done, and for those of us in Congress, reelection is the ultimate reward. Vote out of office – or not elect in the first place – those who put partisanship over progress..."
Republican Senator Susan Collins
Washington Post, Oct 10, 2010
As we all know, our political system is broken. Not even the President of the United States can fix it. Our country is headed toward the status of a second-rate power. Some advanced countries have already surpassed us in things like economic growth, clean energy technologies and education. The 20th century belonged to America; the 21st will not unless we change our politics. Most Americans today complain about our politics, not realizing that they are the ones, and the only ones, with the power to change them. This article describes why such a change is necessary and how it can be accomplished.
When we tolerate manipulation of our political system -- our very democracy -- there can be painful consequences that follow. In the new century, such consequences did occur and are too enormous and long term to even fathom. A repetition is on the horizon.
As we all know, our political system is broken. Not even the President of the United States can fix it, although he campaigned on it and tried. Only the American people have the power to change our politics. Before describing how, you may want to look at the problem.
The Republican Party has been dominated by radicals ... who, at a fundamental level, do not accept anyone else’s right to govern. Hastening ... a return to power is all that matters.
Traditionally, after intense campaigning and political infighting, our system of democracy has pulled together and supported the newly-elected president. The losing party becomes the loyal opposition and the winning candidate becomes the President of all the people. This democratic process has worked well over time as we became a world leader and global super power. For the past two decades, however, this tradition has been broken. Republicans, hijacked by right-wing extremists, no longer accept the results of our national elections. The Republican Party great moderates of the past have largely vanished and our country has steadily gone downhill every since.
Faced with the highest level threat in decades and severe warnings of the upcoming attacks, President Bush, Vice-President Cheney and their national security team did not take reasonable and prudent precautions to protect the nation. The warnings were:
• A Bin Laden declaration of war, a history of al-Qaeda attacks, and expert advice that the al-Qaeda network was the gravest and most immediate threat to the United States.
• An unprecedented surge of warnings during the spring and summer that a major catastrophe was about to befall our nation. These warnings came from various sources, including three Heads of State and a number of close foreign allies.
• The warnings reported that (1) al-Qaeda intended to hijack our aircraft and use them as weapons and (2) al-Qaeda members were here in the U.S. planning the attacks and learning to fly.
The state of our politics is not good and getting worse with each presidential term. Our country is steadily declining. It's time to stop the far-right trend of undermining government when out of power and mismanaging it when in power. A simple solution is available, but it depends on an informed public.
The Republican Party has set its sights on retaking control of Congress in 2010 and the White House in 2012. Yet, we are barely beginning to recover from the last Republican administration. They put our economy and national debt into a deep hole, but couldn’t wait to harass the new President for not digging us out soon enough. The President has had no choice but to increase the national debt or suffer a total financial collapse -- a Hoover-style great depression. Republicans constantly harp on deficit spending, but conveniently ignore their responsibility for it.
McCain has not learned the lessons he should have taken from his war experience in Vietnam and still favors military action over persistent and skillful diplomacy. His outdated war experience is not relevant to today's threats. A Vietnam combat legend and fellow prisoners have challenged his POW story he often tells on the campaign trail. McCain’s associates will confirm that he is unpredictable, has difficulty controlling his temper and is trigger happy. He has eroded his own trustworthiness by the precipitous way he promoted war in Iraq (see "John McCain in Crisis") and by conducting a dishonest presidential campaign. Serious questions arise as to McCain’s fitness to be Commander-in-Chief.
In response to 9/11, McCain trumped up a case for war in Iraq and the administration eventually followed suit. He became so obsessed with taking us to war that he failed to do his oversight job in Congress and ignored readily-available evidence that might have prevented it. McCain's rush to the wrong war shows Americans all they need to know about his "crisis management" abilities and foreign policy judgment.