Last week the White House released seven memos heretofore kept secret by the Bush Administration. What do these memos reveal? Well, they reveal that things really were as bad as they seemed. It’s like the paranoid learning that everyone really is out to get him. There’s a satisfied sense of “see, I told you,” followed by the chilling realization, “holy shit, it wasn’t just a bad dream!”
The memos confirm that the Bush Administration was interested in more than just good, old-fashioned, Republican governance. Indeed, according to commentator Scott Horton, “…in the period from late 2001-January 19, 2009, this country was a dictatorship.” The memos, written by John Yoo, Robert Delahunty, Jay Bybee and David J. Bryant for the Office of Legal Council (OLC), demonstrate that some of the highest ranking officials in the US Attorney General’s office expressed and implemented their belief that the President of the United States was above the law and above reproach. Under their guidance the Executive had the power to suppress freedom of speech, ignore habeas corpus, invade personal privacy and eradicate the most fundamental human rights. In essence, their weltanschauung was that of a police state, for which they were among the highest police authorities.
Of course, all of this was going on while the President and his ogreish minions were spewing rhetoric about the advancement of freedom and the protection of democracy from the threat of terrorism. They encouraged our young people to kill and shed blood on foreign soil for the sake of the very liberties that they were subverting. Democracy was nothing more to the Bush Administration than a smoke screen for tyranny.
Of course, this is no surprise. And my guess is that these seven memos are just the tip of the iceberg. As the years progress and more little tidbits of the truth trickle out I predict that American citizens will be appalled. The Bush White House was bursting at the seams with dark secrets. Despite the almost air-tight culture of the Bush Era, enough secrets pushed through the cracks to make their devious goals obvious. This is just the terrifying beginning.
Of course, if men like David B. Rivkin have their way the cracks will be sealed forever. Rivkin, according to the New York Times, contends that, “they want to destroy their reputation.” The reputations he’s referring to are not just Yoo, Bybee, Delahunty and Bryant. Indeed, the whole top tiers of the Bush Administration stand to be sullied by these revelations. God forbid!
Rivkin’s right, at least as far as I’m concerned. I want to ruin the reputations of those who dare compromise human rights and democracy for the advancement of unadulterated power. Tyranny, or the approximation of tyranny, should be exposed. Dictators should be identified as dictators; and the cronies of dictators should carry the reputations that they deserve.