"I'd vote for Condi!" That was Facebook's COO, Sheryl Sandberg's response in a Parade
magazine interview (March 9, 2014, page 10) by Lynn Sherr, when they were discussing the possibility of a female president being able to help change the status quo.
Of course, by the time I got to that part of the article/interview, I've already gotten over my initial shock of seeing former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, featured prominently on the cover of the March 9th issue of Parade, under the title "3 Influential Women, ONE POWERFUL MESSAGE."
The subtitle just added to the sense of irony: "What Condoleezza Rice, Sheryl Sandberg, and Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chávez want girls everywhere to know."
As I was reading the article and digesting the visuals, and content, what kept coming to mind is "So, this is how history is whitewashed, how the victors rewrite it, how powerful propaganda works, by using something wholesome and uplifting, like the International Women's Day, to buttress the image of controversial figures." I was seeing it right there, in real time.
As an alert citizen, I've come to the conclusion that the Bush administration committed war crimes (including war profiteering), and that Condoleezza Rice played a central role in the malfeasance. As such, key members of his administration should have been subjected to investigations and possible prosecution for a host of high crimes and misdemeanors if we had a functional legal system. But regardless, at a minimum they should have been universally discredited and shamed for their involvement in one of the most shameful chapters of this country's history.
Instead we have Ms. Rice being exalted as an example of "one powerful message" girls everywhere should know...
Here are a couple of findings from the "U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence" report released on June 5th, 2008:
“Before taking the country to war, this Administration owed it to the American people to give them a 100 percent accurate picture of the threat we faced. Unfortunately, our Committee has concluded that the Administration made significant claims that were not supported by the intelligence,” Rockefeller said. “In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent. As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater than actually existed.”
“It is my belief that the Bush Administration was fixated on Iraq, and used the 9/11 attacks by al Qa’ida as justification for overthrowing Saddam Hussein. To accomplish this, top Administration officials made repeated statements that falsely linked Iraq and al Qa’ida as a single threat and insinuated that Iraq played a role in 9/11. Sadly, the Bush Administration led the nation into war under false pretenses.
“There is no question we all relied on flawed intelligence. But, there is a fundamental difference between relying on incorrect intelligence and deliberately painting a picture to the American people that you know is not fully accurate.
Fast forward to today, when The New York Times
reports that "Feinstein Publicly Accuses C.I.A. of Spying on Congress
Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California and the chairwoman of the committee, suggested on the Senate floor that the agency had violated federal law and said the C.I.A. had undermined Congress’s constitutional right to oversee the actions of the executive branch.
Ms. Feinstein leveled the new charge as part of a lengthy public recounting of the years of jousting between her committee and the C.I.A. over the legacy of the detention program, which President Obama officially ended in January 2009.
The disclosure comes a week after the first reports that the C.I.A. late last year had carried out a separate search of computers used by her staff. The C.I.A. said it carried out the search to uncover how the committee gained access to an internal review of the detention program cited by Democratic lawmakers critical of the program.
Calling the present conflict a “defining moment” for the oversight of American spy agencies,” Ms. Feinstein forcefully denied that committee staff members had obtained the internal review improperly, saying that the internal document had been made available as part of the millions of pages of documents that the agency had given the committee to conduct its investigation.
Now, given our sordid recent history, when government functionaries with apparent conflicts of interests have refused to hold accoutable the most consequential criminals
of the times, including members of the Wall Street Criminal Racketeering Cartel TM
, I see this hole kerfuffle between the Senate intelligence committee and the C.I.A. as just another installment of political theater. Nevertheless, I do find the investigation useful for me, as a citizen wanting to have an informed opinion about our current state of affairs.
My take, my opinion, my conclusion on all this is that the C.I.A. is basically going out of its way to prevent the public from knowing the extent of malfeasance and criminality (including war crimes) prevalent during the Bush administration, post 9/11.
Here's another take on the issue, from AlterNet: "Key Senator Blasts CIA for Coverups, Intimidation to Halt Probe into Agency's 'Un-American and Brutal' Torture Programs"
In a bombshell statement on the floor of the US Senate, Feinstein, normally an administration loyalist, accused the CIA of potentially violating the US constitution and of criminal activity in its attempts to obstruct her committee’s investigations into the agency’s use of torture. She described the crisis as a “defining moment” for political oversight of the US intelligence service.
Her unprecedented public assault on the CIA represented an intensification of the row between the committee and the agency over a still-secret report on the torture of terrorist suspects after 9/11. Resolution of the crisis, Feinstein suggested, may come this week at the White House.
Feinstein, who said she was making her statement “reluctantly”, confirmed recent reports that CIA officials had monitored computer networks used by Senate staff investigators. Going further than previously, she referred openly to recent attempts by the CIA to remove documents from the network detailing evidence of torture that would incriminate intelligence officers.
She also alleged that anonymous CIA officials were effectively conducting a smear campaign in the media to discredit and “intimidate” Senate staff by suggesting they had hacked into the agency’s computers to obtain a separate, critical internal report on the detention and interrogation programme.
[The emphasis is mine]
Basically they are doing everything possible to suppress the truth about Bush's torture program; because, of course, if the truth is known it may lead to serious consequences for those involved in the crimes.
As I said, at this point I don't think our captured government is going to do anything meaningful about the findings of this report, regardless the level of criminality and malfeasance.
However, the voting public can. And the United Nations or other countries could also take some steps to hold war criminals accountable, unless the whole world is willing to admit that only leaders of weak third-rate powers can be held accountable for crimes.
And this brings me back to Ms. Rice. I do hope that all the truth about these war crimes come to light, and I do hope that those involved are fully identified so they can never be in a position to whitewash history.
I think the most powerful message our society would want girls (and boys, and citizens everywhere) to know is that nobody is above the law, that those who commit crimes will be held accountable, regardless of their station in life.