Keith Olbermann: Obama Must Prosecute Bush Administration

It won't be happening of course given Obama already said this is an issue he won't be pursuing, but at least one journalist is showing signs of riding his ass to do just that. Below is the transcript. Of course he's blinded by the notion of this nation being a :::cough gasp::: people's democracy, but hey, at least he's removed a large portion of his head from the sand. And given the Obama Mania sweeping the nation from those looking upon him like the next Messiah and as such, aggressively defensive towards anyone who may offer the slightest criticism, this took some guts. Rock on Keith!

"Sadly, as commendable as the intention here might seem, this country has never succeeded in moving forward without first cleansing itself of its mistaken past. In point of fact, every effort to merely draw a line in the sand and declare the past dead, has served to only keep the past alive, and often to strengthen it. We compromised with slavery in the Declaration of Independence, and, fourscore and nine years later, we had buried 600,000 of our sons and brothers in a civil war. After that war’s ending, we compromised with the social restructuring and protection of the rights of minorities in the South. And a century later, we had not only had not resolved anything, but black leaders were still being assassinated in the cities of the South. We compromised with Germany in the reconstruction of Europe after the First World War. Nobody even arrested the German kaiser, let alone conducted war crimes trials then. And 19 years later, there was an indescribably more evil Germany and a more heartrending Second World War.

We compromised with the trusts of the early 1900s, and today, we have corporations too big to fail. We compromised with the Palmer Raids and got McCarthyism, and we compromised with McCarthyism and got Watergate. And we compromised with Watergate, and the junior members of the Ford administration realized how little was ultimately at risk. And they grew up to be Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.

But, Mr. President-elect, you are entirely correct. As you say, what we have to focus on is getting things right in the future, as opposed to looking at what we got wrong in the past. And that means prosecuting all those involved in the Bush administration’s torture of prisoners, and starting at the top. You’re also right that you should not want your first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt. But your only other option might be to let this sit and fester indefinitely because, Mr. President-elect, some day, there will be another Republican President or even a Democrat just as blind as Mr. Bush to ethics and he will look back to what you did about Mr. Bush or what you did not do, and he will seek precedent or, as Cheney saw, he will see a not to get caught next time. Prosecute, Mr. President-elect, and even if you get not one conviction, you will still have accomplished good for generations unborn because merely by acting, you will deny Mr. Bush what he most wants, right now, without prosecutions, without this nation standing up and saying this was wrong, we will atone, Mr. Bush’s version of what happened goes into the historical record of this nation: Torture was legal. It worked. George Bush saved the country. The end.

We have tortured people. You and I, Mr. President-elect. This is a people’s democracy. We are the people. These were our elected officials. That they did not come to us and ask to act thusly in our names is unfortunate and indeed criminal, but it is almost irrelevant. They worked for us, they tortured people, and so we have tortured people. Thus, beginning tomorrow, it is up to you, not just to discontinue this, but to prevent it. At the end of his first year in office, Mr. Lincoln tried to contextualize the Civil War. For those who still wanted to compromise with the evils of secession and slavery. "The struggle of today," Lincoln wrote, "is not altogether for today. It is for a vast future also." Mr. President-elect, you have been handed the beginning of that future. Use it to protect our children and our distant descendants from anything like this ever happening again. Good night and good luck."


Devin said...

Really wonderful post Nina!-if only this could happen! Best to you as always!

Nina said...

yeah, if only.

ya know, i'm getting bored with all of this political stuff. i need something new to focus on. i have some playdough. maybe i'll make sculptures and post them here online.