The other day Evo posted a comment in response to my post on the CIA torture tape destruction, saying, “Lion, what should be of most concern about the CIA story is that things like this no longer elicit much outrage. It already seems like yesterdays news.”
I responded in a light vein, but then kept on writing and as I did so my anger grew into a Lionesque snarl. Oh, yes, I am outraged. And I suspect a lot of people are.
There’s certainly plenty to be outraged about. The Bush Administration has been nothing but a progression of incompetence, lies, deceit, criminal acts, and sleazy, disgusting conduct. Day after day. Week after week. Month after month. Year after year.
The illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. Failure to provide proper equipment to the troops. Halliburton and others profiteering off the the death of American troops. Dead soldiers smuggled into the country in the dead of night instead of in the light of day and in the sight of Americans. Torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib. Black prison sites, unaccountable to anyone. An Attorney General politicizing and corrupting the Department of Justice – the Department of Justice, for chrissake – and lying to Congress. The White House complicit in breaking the cover of an undercover CIA agent doing valuable work on weapons of mass destruction. The President commuting the sentence of Scooter Libby, a convicted felon involved in the treason of outing the CIA agent. A new Attorney General claiming that a globally recognized method of torture, abhorred for five hundred years, was outside his knowledge and depended on the President’s definition. A President who seeks a new war, despite having, according to every United States intelligence service, no cause, and in fact that essentially claims the President is a liar. Which he is and has been. Federal tax dollars being fed to religious organizations, with no accountability. Fanatic religionists infesting the government, infesting the Justice Department and pushing their pathological agenda. Military academies crawling with religious fundamentalists and raging evangelicals pushing religious bigotry against non-Christian cadets. A Vice-President spewing lies and hatred and continuing the same lies and hatred even when he’s proven to have lied. Legitimate scientific research, crucial to the nation and the world, and to individual Americans, lied about, twisted, distorted, suppressed by the White House. Torture approved by the President. Habeas corpus suspended. Americans wiretapped for no cause, apparently by the millions at hubs operated by complicit communication corporations. Mercenaries given full immunity in America and Iraq, murdering Iraqis at whim and will. A Republican Senate and Congress agreeing to all of this. A Democratic Senate and Congress unable to get its thumb out of its ass to fight the destruction of Constitutional law by a Republican President and his gang of thugs. An Attorney General (Mukasey) committing the Justice Department to supporting voter ID laws that are nothing more than a cover for Republican suppression of the vote.
And on and on. I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch, just as I’m sure that in the stinking underbelly of Republican and Bush rule there is more foulness that has yet to come to light. If all of this were condensed into a stench, everyone in the world would be vomiting a dozen times a day.
And if the people of this country ever gave vent to their justified outrage at this government, Bush and Cheney, Rice, Wolfowitz, Bremer, Gonzales, Rumsfeld, a dozen others, and the likes of Limbaugh, would all be hanging from the tree nearest the White House.
But to answer Evo as to why there is no outrage, I can only surmise that a portion of the population chooses ignorance; some choose apathy, seeing only business as usual; others have chosen party over nation, party over the rule of law and justice, party over the Constitution, party over decency; others are, I think, simply overwhelmed by the sheer volume of outrageous and criminal acts and have to some degree gone numb; and yet others hold their anger at bay, putting their hope into next year’s elections, and not seeing that the Republicans are doing their best to subvert those elections, locally, and with the support of the new Attorney General, whose nomination the Democrats refused to fight.
White House crime, incompetence, deceit, lies, the worst of the worst running the government, day after day – this has become the norm. It’s simply not possible to maintain outrage month after month, year after year, and keep one’s health and sanity.
I’m tired, and I’ve only been writing on these things since May. Before I began blogging, I was simply furious every time I opened the paper or watched the news. Now, by blogging, I’ve relieved some of that stress, but more and more I come up against the feeling that it makes no difference, that there is little to be done to stop the slide of the United States under the Republicans and the fascist Conservatives into the kind of nation that the founders abhorred when they wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. I’m not young anymore and I likely will not live to see the worst of it. But I’d like to see my side win. I’d like to see that before I go.
But I think the United States will do what other nations have done. We will slide into tyranny and oppression, leading to bloody revolution, and follow the cycle again and again. That’s going to be the legacy of George Bush and the Republicans and their arrogant, foul, brain dead religious supporters who glory in the tyranny they’re seeking to create here.
Next year is a crossroads in our history. We can choose the rule of blood and wealth or the rule of American Constitutional law.
Yeats, I think, had it right.
[And then of course there's this...]
[And this over at Atheist Hornet...]