Sunday, December 14, 2008

Video: Glenn Greenwald on 'Tragic Legacy' of Bush

Constitutional lawyer and leading progressive blogger, Glenn Greenwald, visited Bill Moyers this week, and discussed 9-11, unitary executive theories, and the constitutional excesses of the Bush Administration.

Mr. Greenwald asserts that failing prosecution of high-ranking Bush government officials who broke the law by engaging in warrantless wiretapping, torture and suspension of habeas corpus rights, America will essentially have adopted a two-tiered justice system that subjects ordinary Americans to the harshest form of "three strikes" criminal sanctions but wholly exempts the ruling elite from any criminal accountability at all.

I've embedded Part II of the interview, below, which sets out the nub of Mr. Greenwald's argument:

Also see Part I  and Part III of the interview at YouTube.

I've previously tacked this issue in our November 4th post, On Greenwald, and Kerr and the Chicanery of the Intellectual Right.

I continue to ponder the degree and kind of accountability that must be demanded of the soon-to-be-former Bush administration for its reckless disregard of basic human rights in the guise of the marketing operation formerly known as the War on Terror.

I have great concern that if the new Obama administration pursues such accountability via congressional investigations or criminal law processes, it will tie itself, Congress and the nation in all-too-familiar knots. Beyond that, by doing so it may simply re-energize the partisan warfare that has so embarrassingly eroded the effective working of the federal government since the Clinton impeachment fiasco.

The international standing of the United States, however, will not be restored by an Obama America that turns a blind eye to the Bush administration's legacy of torture, unlawful detention and rendition, domestic and international invasion of privacy and ongoing manipulation of the civil and military judicial systems.

In the absence of an unambiguous and total rejection by American lawmakers and Courts of the outrages that have blackened America's standing among its greatest allies, the world will properly be entitled to assume that not much has really changed, at all.

...I do not anticipate that Mr. Obama will seek to restore America's place as a shining beacon by way of an international charm offensive, alone. America is beginning to wake up to the reality that among his many gifts, their next President has considerable skill in walking the walk.

One of his many challenges, however, will be to establish a process for review of the sins of the past that will not limit the country's ability to move forward toward the promise of a better tomorrow.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

Visit our Toronto Law Firm website:



Post a Comment