A letter to the editor of my local newspaper:
Is this the America we have become?
In recent testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, CIA director Michael Hayden testified that the agency had used waterboarding on three "enemy combatants" and that the technique is probably illegal under current statute.
Later, like a spoiled brat, President Bush, strutting his macho Rambo stuff, announced that he reserved the right to authorize water boarding on those he, in his wisdom, decides need it.
A short video at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19259.htm about American torture gives a small glimpse of how America under Bush has strayed from its founding principles in the last seven years.
Is this the America we have become? Is this an America we can be proud of? Is this who we are?
George W. Bush has taken us on a path from which there is no return to undo the evil we have wrought. We are an empire with more than 700 military bases in about 130 countries (see "Nemesis" by Chalmers Johnson).
Defense and expansion of that empire requires belittling, demonizing, even torturing anyone who gets in the way of our crusade to dominate the world (as has been true of every empire in history - in the end there are no benign empires).
It's called American exceptionalism. In his 1920 poem, "Four Preludes On Playthings Of The Wind," Carl Sandburg laments the demise of an "exceptional" nation with the monotonously repeated hollow refrain; "We are the greatest city, the greatest nation, nothing like us ever was."
Even as the nation decays into rubble populated only by rats and lizards.
Robert R. Regl
Great letter, Bob.
Mr. Regl never said or implied that GWB put 700 military bases around the world.
As Bob said, Bush has publicly admitted to at least one other criminal act--warrantless wiretapping. It doesn't matter whether GWB has one year or one hundred years left in office. He should still be impeached, tried, and put in prison.
The trial ought to be very short--it could consist of someone reading the FISA act and then playing videotape of Bush admitting to warrantless wiretapping. Then someone could read statutes relevant to cruel and unusual punishment or whatever law forbids waterboarding (granted, it's not decapitation, but since when is it OK for us to do exactly what the bad guys do) and then play videotape of Bush's latest admission. Cut and dried. Open and shut. Maybe it'd take about 45 minutes. Bye bye Bush.
Then we let Cheney go ahead and take the oath of office, after which he'd also be tried and convicted in a similar manner. So with the swearing in and the trial, maybe an hour and half goes by. Then we go to lunch, by which time President Pelosi knows that she better mind her p's and q's or she'll get the same treatment (this would have the added benefit of taking the potential title of "first female president" away from Hillary Clinton, thereby cancelling out the novelty of the idea of Clinton becoming president, turning the mood of the country toward another novelty--following the Constitution and voting for Ron Paul)!
Also, Regl is far from alone when it comes to "hating Bush." Nobody likes the guy or wants to have a beer with him anymore. He's got miserable poll numbers. It's not divisive to speak out against Bush, it's mainstream!