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An Aggregation of High Crimes and Misdemeanors

by RALPH NADER

What will it take for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to be held responsible for a multitude of political crimes, recklessness, prevarications and just plain massive ongoing mismanagement of the taxpayers government?

The first step is to aggregate these travesties so they add up to a more comprehensive judgment. Then, together they confront us with an awful truth — that our present system of constitution, law and checks and balances have failed to be invoked by the elected and appointed officials of our Congress and our Courts. This is happening even though the polls have been dropping on the Bush regime for over a year and are now quite negative on many important questions.

Consider the following sample of irresponsibility and flouting of the law and then ask yourself how much more will it take to start holding the Bush/Cheney crowd of serial fibbers and dictacrats accountable? Is there ever to be a tipping point in the Washington world of spineless Democrats and supine Congressional Republicans worried about Bush losing the 2006 elections?

1. The drug benefit boondoggle, starting January 1, 2006, has been by all reports maelstrom of confusion, deprivation, gouging and misadministration, leaving many sick people in a frightening limbo. That is Bushland messing up big time while giving the gouging, long-subsidized profit-glutted drug companies hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade paid by the taxpayer.

2. Katrina! The breaching of the levees was predicted at least over a year before and warned about just before the Hurricane hit by federal officials but ignored by the Administration. Bush’s godliness complex let him give the public the impression that the destruction was an unavoidable Act of God, when it was an avoidable disaster of Bush. The White House earlier had cut the Army Corps of Engineers budget designed for hurricane defense in the New Orleans area. The Corps itself is not blameless, but its commander in chief is, after all, George W. Bush.

3. Bush-Cheney plunged our country into an endless war-quagmire in Iraq on an often repeated platform of falsehoods, cover-ups and deliberate distractions from the ignored necessities here at home. Tens of thousands of American have lost their lives, their limbs or their health over there and casualties of innocent Iraqi adults and children are much more numerous. Already costing hundreds of billions of dollars, the mismanagement of this war of choice is the material of hundreds of Pentagon audits, Congressional reports, official admissions, firsthand press reports and Congressional condemnations by the respected Government Accountability Office (GAO).

“Iraq Rebuilding Badly Hobbled”, U.S. Report finds, “is a recent front page headline in The New York Times– one of many such headlines in recent months. The corporate contractors, such ass Halliburton, will set records for waste and worse as the facts spill out to the people.

4. The impeachable George W. Bush imperiously asserts that he will continue to violate federal law and place the American people under any surveillance that he chooses to impose without ever using a Congressionally approved procedure which requiresfor a quick and secret court warrant that is even permitted to be retroactive.

He and his pitchmen claim that they are pursuing terrorists. But the National Security Agency’s (NSA) electronic dragnets are enveloping millions of people, flooding the FBI with what that agency says is mountains of indiscriminate undigested data that are useless.

Besides, as of the end of 2004, Bush and John Ashcroft, his then Attorney General had arrested 5000 people on suspicion of terrorism, jailed them, most without charges, and then proceeded to strike out. Two were convicted and the convictions were overturned in Michigan. The Bush scorecard, according to Georgetown Law professor David Cole was 0 for 5000! Does this record qualify for chronic abuse of legal process or is it just sloppy law enforcement designed to produce political press releases?

5. Bush pumps “the ownership society” and opposes attempts to give investors the power that should accrue to them as owners over the self-enriching managers of the giant corporations. As a result, big time corporate executives keep vastly overpaying themselves, through their rubber-stamp Boards of Directors (starting at $7200 an hour in 2002 and upward for the CEOs of the top 300 corporations). Warren Buffet called runaway executive compensation and stock options a central cause of cooking corporate books and undermining jobs and their own companies’ financial stability.

6. Cutting life-sustaining programs for needy children, sick adults and regulatory health-safety protections for most Americans while reducing the taxes of the richest one percent, including his own and Cheney’s taxes, invites Biblical condemnation. He has left many Americans defenseless from preventable hazards here at home, while he plays the providential Viceroy of Iraq. At the same time, Bush’s forked tongue touts “the safety of the American people” as his highest responsibility.

7. He encumbers young children with taxes (who will have to pay the debt) through massive federal deficits brought about significantly by huge numbers of corporate handouts, giveaways, subsidies and tax escapism. That’s one way of leaving children behind.

8. Mismangement and underfunding implode his educational distraction called No Child Left Behind. Just ask the Republican state of Utah or millions of teachers beset with constant, vapid standardized multiple choice tests created by corporate consultants.

9. He huffs and puffs about spreading democracies around the world while condoning and encouraging the shipment of whole American industries and jobs to the communist Chinese dictatorship, and other dictatorships on which he continues to lavish such globalized policies.

However, his boomeranging foreign policy may yet turn him into an unintended patron saint of elected Islamic theocracies.

These and many other documentations of his tortured tenure can demonstrate what their aggregation can contribute to motivate the American people toward holding him and Cheney accountable to them under the rule of law. But don’t count on the Democrats leading. They blew another election — Congressional and Presidentially — against the worst Republicans in American history.

Aggregation, my fellow citizens, is up to your independent minds and judgments to absorb and act upon.

For a sample of aggregation , see DemocracyRising.us.

 

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! 

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