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View Diary: Investigate, impeach, indict, convict and sentence (546 comments)

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  •  Our "national healing process" after Watergate... (46+ / 0-)

    has been entirely, and purposefully, undone. And undone by the very people we thought we were imparting the lessons to, no less.

    The major public policy changes that emerged from Watergate's aftermath were FISA and campaign finance reform. FISA was enacted in recognition of the fact that, yes, a president might indeed one day have a legitimate and pressing national security need for immediate action and warrantless wiretapping. So it granted him that power for 72 hours, after which he must account for himself, but can do so in secrecy.

    The FEC and its regulatory scheme was also an outgrowth of Watergate, seeking to put an end to the "secret slush fund" operations maintained by the Nixon White House and the Republican Party.

    How's that going?

    So let's catalog things for a moment. The accusations againt Nixon were that he was conducting warrantless surveillance of American citizens, maintained secret political slush funds, lied to and misled investigators, and conducted a secret, illegal war in Cambodia. He was threatened with impeachment, but allowed to slink away in exchange for his resignation, and ultimately pardoned.

    Fifteen years later, for some strange reason, we found ourselves confronted with the fact that Ronald Reagan's administration was maintaining secret political slush funds, was lying to and misleading investigators, and conducting a secret, illegal war in Central America. Although there were occasional hints that some Members of Congress were considering impeachment, there was tremendous political pressure not to bring such charges forward, because of the "damage" impeachment would do to the American political system. Underlings were prosecuted, of course, but ultimately, Reagan was allowed to ride off into the sunset, and those convicted in Iran-Contra were ultimately pardoned.

    Fifteen years after that, for some strange reason, we found ourselves confronted with the fact that George W. Bush's administration was conducting wholesale, nationwide and comprehensive warrantless surveillance of American citizens, is openly using the U.S. Treasury to maintain a vast network of outrageously inflated, no-bid contracts related to "security" and the "war on terror," is lying to and misleading Congress, and conducting an open, illegal war in Iraq, and threatening to expand it to Iran. On top of which, he's managed to engineer for himself the power to order torture, indefinite detention of American citizens without charge, the suspension of habeas corpus, and the unilateral power to simply decline to enforce the expressed will of Congress.

    So I ask you, do any of the people who think we need to let this go have kids?

    What will even be left to fight for when this metastasizes again, fifteen years from now?

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