Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Where Does Loyalty Lie?
The old adage that 'one cannot serve two masters' is the real issue in the belated Congressional attempt to determine how high up in the chain of command the decision to torture detainees from Iraq and Afghanistan originated. This determination must be pursued relentlessly and thoroughly. At stake is the honor and integrity of our country. The oath of office taken by the president of the United States upon entering office states with clarity the duty that is imposed. Every president since George Washington has uttered these words. "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Over more than two centuries, Americans, at home and abroad, as well as the rest of the world have come to marvel at the respect and dignity placed upon individual values and liberties as provided by the Constitution. Our current president (He Who Would Be King) has damaged this national legacy in no small way by placing corporate interests, big money and small-minded neo-fascists in power positions. Despite the few chinks in the armor (e.g. Scott McClellan) the small group of fanatics is likely to hold form and keep their mouths shut about who authorized what. Karl Rove is perhaps the best example of what is going on. He claims that executive privilege prevents him from telling what he knows about decisions made by the White House. Rove confuses the distinctions about where his loyalty lies. He owes his country more than he owes Bush, the man. The same applies to all of the Bush fellow-travelers. As Democrats have taken over Congress and the imperial presidency winds down, the important purpose of investigating the actions that have undermined our constitutional values must be kept in mind. This is not a Republican versus Democrat issue as many commentators would appear to suggest. This is basic stuff which mandates a thorough vetting and final accountability for the decision makers. If this means impeachment or jail, so be it.