Monday, January 19, 2009

Bush Legacy, Obama Hope

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------John McCain and George W. Bush.

Contrary to what you hear the talking heads say on television, the legacy of George W. Bush will not be tied to the fate of the beleaguered country of Iraq or to the democratization of the Middle East.

Former President Bush illegally, and unnecessarily, invaded the sovereign country of Iraq in what he referred to as a “War on Terror.” Sadly, his actions were endorsed both by his Administration and Republicans in Congress as well as by many Americans who believed he had the national security of the country at heart. Disappointingly, Democrats in Congress voted for the war resolution, generally relying on the expression in that resolution that there would be diplomatic efforts by the President. President Bush chose to ignore the request of the weapons inspectors who found no evidence of weapons of mass destruction.

Even if Iraq were to become a model of democracy (a desirable but unlikely outcome), an objective observer of history would have to endorse the illegal invasion and occupation of a foreign country in order to assign credit to President Bush.

Democratic Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, image above left, defeated Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona by a decisive margin. It was a clear repudiation of the failed Bush Administration.

Obama, the 44th president of the United States, received 66,882,239 votes (53 percent of the popular vote) and 365 electoral votes to McCain’s 58,343,671 votes (46 percent of the popular vote) and 173 electoral votes. That’s an 8,538,559 majority of popular votes for Obama. The new President’s overwhelming victory also significantly increased Democratic majorities in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.

President Obama inherits an economy in chaos on the heels of collapses in the real estate and mortgage markets, the banking meltdown and the stock market dive that combined to put the government into record deficits, business in a tailspin and consumers losing their homes and their savings. President Bush’s policies of deregulating business and industry, his efforts to privatize Social Security and virtually every industry, the uncontrolled spending and anti-labor attitude, not to mention a belligerent, aggressive stance in international relations had more than a little to do with the financial problems in the United States and the world today.

In the 110th Congress, the Senate was composed of 49 Democrats and 49 Republicans with two independents, Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, both of whom caucused with the Democrats. In the new, 111th Congress, there are 57 Democrats with the same two independents caucusing with the Democrats and 41 Republicans.

The Democratic count includes Al Franken whose tentative victory in Minnesota is being challenged by Norm Coleman. In the 110th Congress, the House of Representatives was composed of 233 Democrats and 202 Republicans. In the 111th Congress, the new House will have 257 Democrats to 178 Republicans, a pickup of 34 seats for the Democrats.
The statements of President Bush speak for themselves.

If you were on the planet over the past eight years you are familiar with them. There are many of them, including many funny, foot-in-mouth quotes, but here’s just four that show the general flavor of his thinking:

*"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."

*“Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

*“I'm the commander — see, I don't need to explain — I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being president.”

*“See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.”

It would take volumes to hash over the most grievous faults of President Bush, so I’m offering here only the alleged high crimes and misdemeanors detailed by Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich in the articles of impeachment filed with Congress on June 9, 2008.

On June 9, 2008 U.S. Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio put forward 35 articles of impeachment in a resolution against President George W. Bush detailing charges of high crimes and misdemeanors. The House buried the action by voting, 251-166, to send the articles to the House Judiciary Committee. Kucinich previously had introduced articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney that suffered the same fate.

Rep. Kucinich’s resolution of impeachment gives a comprehensive list of the allegations against President Bush. Here is an index of the articles of impeachment:

Article I
Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq.

Article II
Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression.

Article III
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War.

Article IV
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States.

Article V
Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression.

Article VI
Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of HJRes 114.

Article VII
Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.

Article VIII
Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter.

Article IX
Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor

Article X
Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes

Article XI
Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq

Article XII
Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation's Natural Resources

Article XIIII
Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other Countries

Article XIV
Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency

Article XV
Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq

Article XVI
Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors

Article XVII
Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives

Article XVIII
Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy

Article XIX
Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to "Black Sites" Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture

Article XX
Imprisoning Children

Article XXI
Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government

Article XXII
Creating Secret Laws

Article XXIII
Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act

Article XXIV
Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment

Article XXV
Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens

Article XXVI
Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements

Article XXVII
Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply

Article XXVIII
Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice

Article XXIX
Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Article XXX
Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare

Article XXXI
Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency

Article XXXII
Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change

Article XXXIII
Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.

Article XXXIV
Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001.

Article XXXV
Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders.

Here is the link that is the source of this outline. It provides a more detailed and comprehensive index of the charges:

Here are some Barack Obama quotes from
* “Americans... still believe in an America where anything's possible - they just don't think their leaders do.”

* “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

* “I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war.”

* “I don't take a dime of their [lobbyist] money, and when I am president, they won't find a job in my White House.”

* “I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we've struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We've made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.”

* “I think when you spread the wealth around it's good for everybody.”

* “If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists - to protect them and to promote their common welfare - all else is lost.”

* “It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today.”

* “Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and the war on terrorism have reduced the pace of military transformation and have revealed our lack of preparation for defensive and stability operations. This Administration has overextended our military.”

* “The Bush Administration's failure to be consistently involved in helping Israel achieve peace with the Palestinians has been both wrong for our friendship with Israel, as well as badly damaging to our standing in the Arab world.”

* “There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.”

Can President Obama bring peace, security and the good old American dream back to America?

Let’s hope so.


pinkpackrat said...

Obama can't do it alone. He needs our help--but together, like he says, Yes we can:-)

William F. Torpey said...

We start today, pinkpackrat. Yes we can, and we will. Thanks.

SxFtTallBarbie said...

As always, an intelligent article that is well written.

William F. Torpey said...

Thanks, Barbie. I'm glad you liked it. It's something I've wanted to write for some time now. I hope to begin writing about the Torpey and Hogan families very soon, but I think I may need to start a new blog for that purpose. I'm presently in the process of gathering additional information for the stories.

lisleman said...

While in agreement with your Bush summary, I don't think America is served by bringing charges against him.

We need to unite and move forward.

I recently read a thought provoke line. "The past always rides with us into the future,..."
Well it rides along but we can't let it slow or divert our progress.

William F. Torpey said...

I believe we should do our best to unite with Republicans and those who seek to maintain American values, but I don't believe it's possible to unite with right wing extremists who already are busy trying to tear down Obama and his appointees. The impeachment of Bill Clinton was unwarranted and, as a sitting president, distracted him from his job. Investigations into the allegations against George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, however, need not distract Obama from his work. One congressional committee could do the job. If criminal behavior is uncovered, justice requires action. Allowing criminal behavior to go uninvestigated and unpunished would be a very damaging precedent. In my opinion, if the congressional elections of 2006 had been different, we may have lost our democracy entirely.

JamaGenie said...

I'm with you, Bill. GWB and Cheney's actions *need* to be investigated a congressional committee and let the chips fall where they may. To *not* investigate sends the wrong message to future presidents and administrations that "Bush & Cheney got away with it, so it must be legal".

Looking forward to that (possible) new blog!

William F. Torpey said...

Thanks JamaGenie, for commenting. You have it exactly right. \

I've got a little more research to do on my family, but I hope to have that new blog relatively soon. Thanks.

make money online said...

Bush definitely needs investigated, if there is absolutely no investigation and they just push it aside, how the hell will that unite anyone in america??? that will turn even more of it's own people against it's own country even more!! It is well known that 50% of americans find their own country a total joke and disgrace any longer, so these people that are suggesting just to forget about it and move on ARE THE REAL TERRORISTS if you ask me!! Hey! i just invaded my neighbors home, stole his belongings, shot up his T..V. and car, and kicked his ass, but it is ok, you see i suspected him of letting his dog crap on my lawn, so there is no need for investigation!!!

way to go americans...

good article by the way

William F. Torpey said...

Thanks, make money online. Those who think we should forget all the lies and deceit (and their consequences) so we can just "move on" are kidding themselves Mistakes can be forgiven and forgotten, but criminal behavior must have consequences, otherwise it will become the norm. It must be stopped, and stopped now! Let's hope that Congress, for a change, has the guts to do their job the way it should be done.