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I find I must reiterate a point that I've made for six years...

...that there is a great, unifying issue, one that the Democrats COULD raise, drawing support even from decent conservatives, and yet, one they seem stolidly incapable of even noticing, let alone realizing its power.

This issue is one that has nothing to do with standard, left-right politics.  But rather, the mutant-level criminality of a neocon cult that has waged brutal, repressive war against America's professionals.

Especially the men and women of the civil service, the justice services, the intelligence community and the United States Officer Corps.  The Bushite campaign against these people -- many of whom wear crewcuts and seem socially somewhat "conservative" -- has drawn far too little notice or sympathy from liberals and moderates and Democratic leaders...

...who have thus missed and overlooked THE GREAT ISSUE that could unite our nation, while offering succor and safety to the very men and women who KNOW where the neocon skeletons are buried!

The very same men and women who are sworn to protect us from enemies foreign and domestic.  All we have to do is help them to remember their duty and do their jobs.

See more, below.

First, for background on the looming crisis,
Russ Daggatt offers another illuminating look at the crisis:  

"It was widely acknowledged before and after last November's elections that probably the biggest consequence of Democrats gaining control of one or both Houses of Congress would be their acquisition of subpoena power.  (In October 2006, Pelosi was asked what was most important about regaining majority status. "Subpoena power," she said.)  After six years of a Rubber-Stamp Republican Congress there might, at last, be some oversight of the Bush administration.

"Yet even before the election, the Bush administration was preparing to defy those subpoenas.  A Bush strategist told TIME magazine last October (as it was becoming increasingly clear that the Democrats would win at least one House of Congress) that the administration would fight any efforts at Congressional oversight, "all the way to the Supreme Court on every issue, every time, no compromise, no discussion, no negotiation."

"A bit of background:  The office of Attorney General and the offices of US Attorney are creations of Congress and, pursuant to Article I of the US Constitution, Congress has the power, "To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for ... the execution of all powers ... vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof."  

As a matter of Constitutional law, there is simply no question that Congress may pass laws that regulate the conduct of the Attorney General and the US Attorneys.  One such law is 2 U.S.C. 194, which deals with enforcing a Congressional contempt citation.  It provides that when the House has voted for contempt it may then certify that fact to the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, "whose duty it shall be to bring the matter before the grand jury for its action." 2 U.S.C. 194 (my emphasis).  That is the law.  The US Attorney shall bring the matter before a grand jury.  It is his legal duty.  Nothing elective there.  Nothing up to the president or Attorney General.

"So how do you think Bush plans to get around the law that provides for enforcement of Congressional contempt citations?  Simple.  Just defy it (as he defied the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- FISA -- and any other law he doesn't like).  As one "Senior White House Official" said recently, "We are not going to blink on this one. The President is not going to buckle to the threat of subpoenas."

"So is it now perfectly clear why it was so important to Bush and Rove that the US Attorneys all be compliant partisans?  If you control the enforcement mechanism, you can frustrate any attempts at Congressional oversight -- at least long enough to run out the clock.  And if anyone actually is found guilty of contempt of Congress?  Can you spell S-C-O-O-T-E-R?"

-----

Whoosh... please everybody read up on this!

Things are coming to a head.  The neocons appear confident that they have stacked the Justice Department, so that US Attorneys won’t enforce Congressional subpoenas.

And then, in a layered defense, that they have stacked the Court, so it won’t support the principles of transparency, accountability or oversight.  Or even precedent.

Failing there, they seem convinced that Bush pardons can ensure the safety, impunity and loyalty of the top thousand henchmen.  It all seems good for the next 18 months.  But thereafter?

How about the mind-bogglingly hypocritical and short-sighted approach to establishing precedents of imperial presidential power?  Precedents that a Democratic president might use?  How to explain why those Bush supporters who aren’t worried about indictments aren’t wringing their hands about a super-empowered Hillary, right now?

Alas, explanations range from dim-wittedness to scary confidence:

  1. "When a dem president is in office, we’ll deny we supported ANY of this!  And you smarty pants moderates can scream hypocrisy all you like, but who cares? We control the media."
  1. "When a dem is in office, he or she will get all prissy and refuse these powers! So we haven’t a thing to worry about.  Still, seeds will be planted for when it is our turn again."
  1.  "We have solid reasons to believe that no democrat will ever take office to use these powers.  No matter what polls say or what the people want.  So go $&*#! yourselves."

Okay, let’s pause a moment.

Look, my forte is asking people to step back and see things from a different light. So I am going to once again appeal for folks to see this at another level than just a partisan political fight.

And yes, what I am about to say repeats a rant that I (and only I) have been shouting for six years. Still, I feel that I must go over the ground again, praying that Cassandra will be heard, this time.

We will not win this fight through normal politics... or even abnormal politics, like subpoenas and hearings, or going through the (stacked) Justice Department and (stacked) Courts.

It has all gone too far.  Hell, even if we win the next dozen battles, loosen the monsters’ grip on the Republic and make it through elections that turn the bastards out in droves, that will do some good, but it will still leave us mired in "culture war," with one third of our countrymen nursing grudges that would make the post-Watergate GOP look like Pollyanna.  

Moreover, that one-third will be poised to use every trick to win back the one-sixth they’ll need for "another round".  Even marginalized, they can make life hell for all of us.  Remember Monica.  They don’t need a meaningful pretext. Only hate.

The real challenge for us is not to win the next round of Culture War, but to end it.

And we have only one real hope for that to happen. The entire neocon movement must be stripped so bare, revealing so many horrors, that 80% of Americans see how horrible this has been and that the remaining Culture Warriors are genuine, certifiable loons.  

So that a decent American conservatism can begin rebuilding with Barry Goldwater as its model, and not Savanarola.

There is only one way that any of this can happen.  It will not be a miracle wrought by politicians.  It will not be a revolution led by the People  - though they will rise up when it all comes out.

This is a matter that requires action by the tens of thousands of skilled men and women who we have hired to protect us.  It is time for the pros to stand up, to listen to their hearts and obey the oaths that they have sworn.

I have long forecast that our nation-saving breakthrough may only come from a rebellion in favor of the law and Constitution, on the part of the skilled professionals in the horrifically abused civil service, intelligence community and US Officer Corps.

In this particular case, an appointed US Attorney -- or even a civil servant, non-appointed DEPUTY US Attorney -- might gather the courage to defy his or her screeching/tyrant boss and make the test case, by serving enforcement papers upon Harriet Meiers and others who have been subpoenaed, in obedience to the legal and constitutional powers of Congress.  

Ponder it.  

The spectre that the Bushites have most to fear is such a rebellion in favor of law, in even one small part of the professional caste, spreading to other parts.  Already the biggest victim of the monsters – the military Officer Corps – is roiling with so much anger that they may refuse, when the inevitable order comes down, to create political distractions by attacking Iran.  If the CIA likewise were to report  to Congress (as it is legally obliged to do) that the pretexts are bogus...

...well, that’s just one example of a situation in which sworn protectors might show the guts and brains that we hired them for.

Indeed, helping the professionals feel ready to take such steps should be seen as the number one goal and objective of Democratic endeavors and rhetoric.  Because if such a dam were ever to burst, encouraging other professionals to tattle, the cleansing tsunami that followed might sweep all the monsters away.

Clearly, the Bushites know this, or they would not have bent almost all of their efforts, across a decade, to harrying, bullying, browbeating , suborning and destroying the professional caste.

It is their most consistent behavior set...

...just as the most consistent pattern of the Democrats has been to stupidly ignore this issue.  The one totally non-political and no-brainer, killer issue that crosses all party lines and should appeal as much to honest conservatives as it does to liberals!  

The one issue that might instantly unify the nation.  

The issue that could crush the monsters, as if they were made of spun sugar.  

If any major Dem were to speak out about the War Against Professionalism, offering our public servants protection and shelter from the freaks and inquisitors who have oppressed them for a decade, the levee might, indeed burst.

Bigtime.  

Their failure to do so speaks volumes about how poorly the opposition is led.

.

Originally posted to David Brin on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 12:42 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I've enjoyed your books (8+ / 0-)

    and it's nice to see you posting here. I agree with you completely, particularly on the subject of whistle-blowers, who should be sobpeonaed en-masse to testify before the relevant committees.

    Keep posting, BTW. It takes a little while to gain a readership here.

    T.

    George Bush - the guy in the Godzilla movie who says, "Ummm... Let's bring the giant egg back to Tokyo!"

    by troutwaxer on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 01:13:47 PM PDT

  •  David, it has been a core objective of this govt (9+ / 0-)

    to eviscerate the existing professional military and replace it with  praetorian guard, loyal first and foremost to its culture, its partisan flag, its leadership.

    That is why the army is in Iraq, where it cannot get in the way.

    Iraq is not important; ending this military so a more tractable one can replace it is.

    Conspiracy-esque, perhaps?

    Well...

    If I were in the inner circle of a totalitarian movement in America, my first consideration would be reducing the strength of the military while at the same time having an excuse to build up a budget at taxpayer expense and divert funds for the creation of a successor force structure.

    The Reserves would be the first to go. Too close to the people.

    Then co-optation of the more technocratic branches, the Air Force and the Navy.

    The Marines I'd not be worried about; I'd just give them some countries to kill on the far side of the planet.

    The Army would be my chief concern -- a vast diverse pool of skills and perspectives, difficult to corral and very difficult to separate from its oaths, a consequence of its immense size relative to the other branches.

    I'd just have to find a long-term occupation to keep it busy.

    The farther away from home the better.

    And gradually, over time, replace its officer cadre with partisans, placeholders, really, and let the NCO corps die on the vine.

    Because once the sergeants are gone, the army is gone.

    But maybe that all happening is just coincidence.

    In which case never mind.

    factses! we loves them forever!

    by cskendrick on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 01:14:14 PM PDT

  •  Never thought (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, cfk, Sagittarius, CA Nana

    of it in quite that way.  I have been shocked and embarrassed at how some of our military officers have been treated, but you put it all in a context that makes sense.  Thanks for the info!

    "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

    by luckylizard on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 01:30:42 PM PDT

  •  Maybe (7+ / 0-)

    the Christainist movement in the Air Force
    and the other services, along with the power
    of Blackwater has done this already.

    Although some of the professionals are speaking
    out. Carmona, the previous Surgeon
    General, for one.

    ....to eviscerate the existing professional military and replace it with  praetorian guard, loyal first and foremost to its culture, its partisan flag, its leadership.

    That is why the army is in Iraq, where it cannot get in the way.

    Iraq is not important; ending this military so a more tractable one can replace it is.

    snip....

    If I were in the inner circle of a totalitarian movement in America, my first consideration would be reducing the strength of the military while at the same time having an excuse to build up a budget at taxpayer expense and divert funds for the creation of a successor force structure.

    The Reserves would be the first to go. Too close to the people.

    Then co-optation of the more technocratic branches, the Air Force and the Navy.

    The Marines I'd not be worried about; I'd just give them some countries to kill on the far side of the planet.

    The Army would be my chief concern -- a vast diverse pool of skills and perspectives, difficult to corral and very difficult to separate from its oaths, a consequence of its immense size relative to the other branches.

    I'd just have to find a long-term occupation to keep it busy.

    The farther away from home the better.

    And gradually, over time, replace its officer cadre with partisans, placeholders, really, and let the NCO corps die on the vine.

    Because once the sergeants are gone, the army is gone.

    I have no doubts that this administration, if
    it so desired, would bring the troops home, only
    to turn them on us.

  •  Thanks for good comments... (12+ / 0-)

    Cskendrick nailed much of this, except for a few off-target moments and some things he’s missed.

    1. A major push has been to "outsource" many Army services to civilian contractors, on the theory this will be more efficient and free soldiers to fight.  In fact, the no-bid crony contracts have been a huge gravy train, costing vastly more while creating huge psudo-armies like Blackwater Security Services, who are not answerable to the Constitution or the Marshallian officer tradition.
    1. The destruction of the Reserves goes to the heart of neocon illogic.  Reserves should NEVER be used in military endeavors that amount to "elective surgery"... the pursuit of non-emergency foreign policy objectives.  Even the professional forces should be used thus sparingly.  Whatever the (de) merits of the Iraq War goals, they were all elective policy pursuits.  Thus, use  and destruction of the reserves is tantamount to treason.
    1. As is the destruction of US military readiness.  See my lengthier screed on this at: http://www.davidbrin.com/...  THIS SHOULD BE A KEY PART OF DEMOCRATIC POLEMIC.  Instead, they ignore an issue that would fracture the GOP base.  

    Consider this.  Only two of our active brigades is currently fully equipped and trained for actual "war."  Only two.  All of the rest are worn down and trained primarily for counter-insurgency.  The fact that illustrates this treasonous situation is that despite terrific efforts by our officers & noncoms,  Bill Clinton’s US Army could have whipped or present Army with both hands tied.

    1. Cskendrick is wrong about the Navy, which is apparently the one service that has almost completely escaped neocon infestation and control and debilitation.  God bless the Navy.  Watch for when it is sent into harm’s way.  Be paranoid.  Be worried.

    Please do visit: http://www.davidbrin.com/...

    And :  http://www.davidbrin.com/...

    Why are the good guys led by such unimaginative politicians?  Are the dems really unable to see the need no is not for political sumo... but for jiu jitsu... throwing the enemy off balance and winning over the "decent" wing of conservatism, to join liberals and moderates in saving civilization?

    Discussion continues at:
    http://www.davidbrin.blogspot.com/

    Things to repeat: "CITOKATE -- Criticism Is The Only Known Antidote to Error." "IAAMOAC -- I Am A Member of a Civilization"

    by David Brin on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 05:57:28 PM PDT

    •  A couple of points: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, Clember, Tigana
      1.  Thank you for writing this.  For those of us who would consider a federal career if Kerry has won in '04, this is the sort of thing we pray will happen.  I am too much of an independent thinker to be able to survive in the agency I'd choose under this administration.
      1.  I hope you are right about the Navy.  I am concerned, though, that they are being sent into harm's way (the Persian Gulf).  I've also heard about reports saying that sailors (as well as airmen) are starting to be farmed out for ground operations, and not just as medics in Marine units.

      Blog bookmarked.

      "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, volume three, issue 18

      by Noor B on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 09:56:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Glad to be wrong about the Navy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose

      Except new JCS Admiral Michael Mullen does have a lot of neocon-friendly rhetoric

      It's a mixed story...if I have the wrong idea, if the technocratic aspects of the Navy and its own unique cultural tradition are strong enough to resist neoconservatism, well splendid.

      factses! we loves them forever!

      by cskendrick on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 03:09:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This diary overwhelms me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    also mom of 5

    The real challenge for us is not to win the next round of Culture War, but to end it.
    And we have only one real hope for that to happen. The entire neocon movement must be stripped so bare, revealing so many horrors, that 80% of Americans see how horrible this has been and that the remaining Culture Warriors are genuine, certifiable loons.  

    This is the single most vitally important and relevant diary I have seen on this site. Unless and until we understand this and direct our efforts toward these objectives, all other efforts are pointless.  

    I feel such grateful relief to finally see these obvious, yet ignored facts spelled out so succinctly, yet such painful frustration in the knowledge that so many people remain oblivious, or even worse, somehow inexplicably convince themselves that we should ignore all of this and focus on 2008 campaigns.

    Every Senator and Member of Congress needs to read this diary.  Especially Feingold (who seems to be trying to understand some of this).  If it were up to me this diary would be permanently placed at the top of the front page until everyone understands.  As I am certain that will not happen, I hope you will consider resubmitting it as a new diary everyday!

    "Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it." Robert F. Kennedy June 6th, 1968

    by enough already on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:23:01 AM PDT

  •  This diary deserved much more attention (0+ / 0-)

    I'm very glad the b.o. hooha has brought it to the attention of those of us who missed it, including me.

    Everything you have said makes perfect sense. I would like to see more emphasis on the whole "privatizing" scheme. Boy, did the American public allow themselves to be sold a bill of goods on that one!

  •  Your brilliant SF work (0+ / 0-)

    I have enjoyed so much over the years is now matched by the manner in which you have so succinctly described the current state of the political/social scene in the US at present. ONLY by bringing the disparate factions to a realization of how they have been manipulated, and separated philosophically, will there be a chance that there will be any meaningful change in our current situation. The puppet masters that you have alluded to can only function in an atmosphere of hate, of us against them. Until there is unity at some basic level level of what is right and wrong will the the artificial differences between the conservative and liberal factions of our political world find their proper place, that of two reasoned viewpoints in a debate, rather than name calling and accusations.

    I wish that I could have seen this diary when it was posted rather than a week late so that I could have rec'd it, but I am grateful that it was posted as a link so that I found it, and a consequence your web page. I agree with troutwaxer, please keep posting here, DailyKos will benifit from your insight.

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