Take it to the top

Sep 11, 2005 by

When Bush says he doesn’t want to play the blame game, it’s because he doesn’t want to poke himself in the eye. He can peg plenty of blame on others, as so can anybody else. But he, of course, doesn’t want to hear about his own role in the catastrophe.

Well, Dale don’t play that game. I hold him responsible for a great deal.

I will acknowledge that it may be almost impossible to punish him for his malfeasance, his neglect, his genocide…but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t guilty of plenty of other crimes which led directly to the fiasco which has been the federal response to Katrina.

And the public sentiment is ready to hear about, and to respond to it.

It is time to take BushCo out.

It is time to act.

Here’s the Letter to the Editor I sent to my 3 local papers, the Rockford paper, and the Chicago Tribune & Sun-Times–

Three letters – WMD. Oh, wait. That’s right. There weren’t any. (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/06/07/iraq/main557473.shtml, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3439673.stm, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4066462/, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1615880) Nor was there any imminent threat. Nor a viable nuclear arms program. Nor any connections to 9-11 and al-Qaeda. In fact, of all the reasons Bush & Cheney offered to justify their pre-emptive war, none are true. They were flat-out lies. Lies which have cost almost 1900 American deaths and 15,000 American casualties (http://www.antiwar.com/casualties/

, http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2003/iraq/forces/casualties/), some 25,000 Iraqi lives (http://www.iraqbodycount.net/), almost $200 billion in funds (http://costofwar.com/), and a widespread, perhaps irrevocable, ill-will in the international community, not just in the Arab world, but even among our staunchest allies.

These lies are most certainly impeachable offenses (Article VI, U.S. Constitution). And yet, the spin team of Karl “oops, I leaked the identity of a CIA operative in the name of political retaliation” Rove was so successful in preying on the fear of Americans that at one point a full 70% of the electorate wrongly believed that Saddam was responsible for 9-11. (This, while the true perpetrator, Osama bin-Laden, was allowed to escape and has yet to be found.) (http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-09-06-poll-iraq_x.htm)

Just because Bush has maintained these lies for 3 ½ years does not mean he is immune to their repercussions. He is still liable; he is still impeachable.

And in the wake of Katrina, Bush and company have continued with more lies and more spin to conceal these lies. “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.” How blatantly false. Reports abound about the potential devastation to New Orleans from a hurricane strike, including the government’s own simulation, Hurricane Pam. (http://www.ohsep.louisiana.gov/newsrelated/incaseofemrgencyexercise.htm )

What hubris is it to blame the destruction of a unique cultural site, the disruption of the American economy, the displacement of tens of thousands and deaths of thousands on a bureaucracy he himself created? The blame falls squarely on Bush’s shoulders. He did not allocate the required funds, but rather co-opted them to fund his illegal war; he appointed inept officials who couldn’t run a dog-and-pony-show; he eviscerated an agency capable of responding rapidly & properly and folded it into a megalith of mismanagement. And then he had the gall to congratulate FEMA’s director, Michael Brown, on doing a “great job.”

It is time that Bush accepts the blame for his actions and decisions. It is time that Bush face the punishment due to a man who is attempting the genocide if the poor and working citizens of this country–from the minorities being trolled by military recruiters, to the unprotected in the Ninth Ward, to the drought-stricken farmers who are unable to get their meager crops to market.

And the blame starts with impeachment. The process is outlined simply in our Constitution. It starts by the people, the voters, expressing their views to their Congressional members, particularly the House Judiciary Committee. A single member of Congress refers charges to this committee, which then weighs their merits and may then call for an official investigation. The Congress votes on this investigation, and if passed by a majority, the Committee then holds formal hearings. The Committee reviews each charge, refers it back to the House, which must then vote yet again. As the majority accepts each charge, it is then referred to the Senate for the official trial. Yes, there are a lot of hurdles to overcome, but it all starts with we the people, the voters who pay the elected officials’ salaries.

Let your representative know that you’re outraged by Bush’s lies. (Speaker Dennis Hastert (http://www.house.gov/hastert/write1.shtml) Let them know that you, as an American, will no longer tolerate a President who willfully kills thousands of Americans through inaction and poor decisions. Let them know that Bush is directly responsible and ought to be held accountable.

And this is the letter I sent to Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House, my local Representative, and, unfortunately, third in the chain of command after Bush & Cheney—

Mr. Speaker,

You’ve questioned the wisdom of rebuilding New Orleans, you’ve criticized the management of FEMA and other emergency responders, you’ve made moves to open investigations into what went wrong in the wake of Katrina. These are all reasonable thoughts, but they only address the symptoms of a much larger, more insidious, disease. That disease is President Bush and his team of sycophants with their lies and spin control. Bush is responsible for an illegal war, a war that sapped the resources needed to respond to such an emergency. Bush is responsible for appointing inept bureaucrats to positions of national importance. Bush is responsible for the loss of a great city, the deaths of thousands, and the disruption of life for millions across our country. Bush is responsible for a deliberate and malicious attempt to destroy the poor and working classes.

Mr. Speaker, the only war to treat this disease is to excise it like a malignant tumor. The time has come to halt President Bush’s destructive lies. The time has come to impeach Bush for his crimes.

Already several Representatives have petitions of impeachment prepared for committee and review. I urge you to allow these petitions to progress unfettered and unhindered through the House you control. Furthermore, I urge you to co-sponsor any one of these petitions. Demonstrate to us, the voters, your employers, that you believe that the United States is a great country, a country where democracy is truly alive and viable, a country which will no longer tolerate a President who lies for his own personal gain and at the expense of those with true ethics and morals and values, at the expense of every citizen who believes in the Constitution and the greatness of America.

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary actions by extraordinary people. I hope you will answer this call and prove yourself an extraordinary man.

Dale Bonk
Dekalb, IL

I’ll also be writing my Senators tomorrow about FEMA. I’ll be pointing them directly to http://www.livejournal.com/community/hurricane_fema/ . This community has been doing an outstanding job detailing and collaborating the paucity of the federal response to a national crisis. I’ll also be expressing my revulsion at the idea that it’s already becoming privatized. Excuse me, but when ought a disaster become an opportunity to make profit? (And that’s not being duplicitous just because I’ll be going down to work on reconstruction in a couple weeks.)

I’ll also be writing the House Judiciary Committee members (http://judiciary.house.gov/CommitteeMembership.aspx) encouraging them to be responsive to calls for impeachment. Rep. John Coyners of Michigan has already attended meetings with various bar associations framing the language of impeachment proceedings.

Katrina has caused a sea-change–not just in the areas she directly hit, but across the country.
She has laid bare much of what is wrong in our country.
She has exposed that our government needs to be fixed—not just from the ground up, but also from the top down.

Americans really don’t like being lied to, and it’s time that Americans take out the liars.

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