When former President George W. Bush left his presidency he has left President Barack Obama not a legacy of principles but piled cases of callous crimes that need to be amended to restore the rights and dignity of the American people. Obviously after the big party was over what was left was the sickening truth that Bush and his boys did something exceedingly inappropriate for government officials. Bush along with his former allies in the White House the likes of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales were found to be connected with illegal war crimes on different occasions here and abroad.
Many disclosures were revealed by those who are once victims of their inhuman treatments which made President Obama shudder in his new presidential chair. Although he has all the sympathy to proclaim, all he can do now is to promise restoring the rule of law to prevent future transgression of high-level government officials. The participation of Bush and his political allies in the issue of war crimes and tortures were not as simple as committing violations against a federal government but it is directly violating the law of humanity itself.
The broken laws here do not only involve the so-called “enemies of the American people” but other persons as well who were suspected in creating disorder against the ruling of the Americans. Once again we committed torture, illegal surveillance and illegal detention of persons that are not even proven to be the enemy of the state. Familiarity breeds contempt for during the events of the Vietnam War, the Korean War and the recent Iraqi War that we familiarized ourselves in torturing people that did not cooperate with America’s force occupation.
And once again the guys in the White House were seen as the perpetrators of these crimes. But the torture itself is not only the issue here. What is worst is the denial of these government officials in their involvement with these crimes. They have developed the habit of committing dirty political tactics just to stop investigation. Still, the American Congress is being denied of their cooperation even though they are threatened with obstruction of justice and contempt of Congress. Silence has become their shield, the law has become their playground, the members of Congress to be their pawns and the people their playthings.
From the time President Nixon was involved with the Watergate scandal, the American high courts have been fully gripped with lies and treachery by the government officials. Until today, nothing has changed. No one actually is safe even from the leaders whom the people elected to rule. We now begin to think that the Bush administration is not too far from the immoral governments of Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin or Mao Tse-tung who have created so much sin against men and civilizations in general (Fein). What is more appalling is that the Bush administration became very good in the art of stonewalling and evasive maneuvers.
One good example is Gonzales’ actions when he was called to Congress on January 18, 2007 to answer the role of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) on Bush’ secretive surveillance program. Gonzales gave only superficial answers without any direction of concepts. He even reprimanded the Congress for challenging his office about the surveillance program. Although FISA is under the Congress’ judicial contract, Gonzales was very firm in keeping for himself what he knew and what he did with his group. However, this kind of scenery is not totally new with Bush’ administration.
This administration is very good in keeping secrets from American people. Recently the media came to know that as part of the Bush government’s secret program, the former president has allowed transport of some suspected terrorists to other countries who are notorious in espionage and conducting tortures (Kirkpatrick). Bush administration has learned to live with secrecy which became their embodiment. But as John F. Kennedy stated, the word ‘secrecy’ itself is a revolting word in a liberated society because inherently, American people are always opposed to secret societies and other secret proceedings.
In other words, the American people want to live freely in a world of democracy and accountability. America is a democratic government formed by a democratic society wherein the elected government officials are supposed to be accountable to the people and not transgress them with hideous ways. The Bush-Cheney administration and their Republican cohorts have launched their own policy of pre-emptive war laced with illegal, immoral, unconstitutional and unnecessary conflicts against sovereign nations that are not even threats to America.
They went against the American and International Law by ordering and allowing the torture of people and damaged the doctrine of separation of powers represented by the Constitution and its people. In this manner, Bush has place himself above the law and has violated the supreme law of the United States as well as undermining the charter of the UN (Whitehead). Sadly, as a leader and the omnipresent teacher of such a great nation, he became a model for those who want to become anarchists of their nations. This is exactly what Brandais meant when he said that crime is contagious.
From the time the Americans occupies Iraq number of tortures were being caught on tapes and presented to the media. Brandais clearly hit his mark when he pertained that whatever our political leaders exemplify in their leadership the society follows suit. Thus when the leaders place themselves above the law they became model of the law-breakers themselves. Everything comes out to this conclusion. Bush as a leader failed in his right to rule because he did not only set an example of misconduct but created an institution that is most prone to lawlessness.
Hopefully for the millions of Americans who still believe in an open democracy, there will come a time when the stains that Bush has left us will be wiped out by the new system of administration. For now supporting the policies of the new government is the only thing we can do to get rid of the dark past. But we have to be vigilant and always remember what Brandais has warned us. President Barack Obama has given us his promise of a new society and pray this will come true. References: Fein, Bruce.
“Fein: The Rule of Law. ” News Online. The Washington Times January 20, 2009. 2009. <http://newspapertree. com/opinion/2081-the-constitution-under-attack>. Kirkpatrick, Don. “The Constitution under Attack. ” Newspaper Tree (2008). May 11, 2009 <http://newspapertree. com/opinion/2081-the-constitution-under-attack>. Whitehead, John W. “Bush’s Secret Government Undermines Democracy. ” The Rutherford Institute (2007). Ma11, 2009 <http://www. rutherford. org/articles_db/commentary. asp? record_id=454>.