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Sorry, Nixon

If the impeachment of our 37th president showed that the system works, what does Obama’s continued political survival say about it?

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014
AP Photo
Richard Nixon

Forty years ago this month, President Richard M. Nixon resigned his office.

At the time, aside from a tiny minority of dead-enders and a few desultory Congressional Republicans, an exhausted nation had arrived at a consensus that Nixon had to go. Politics had become too toxic, distrust of government too profound, and most of all the seriousness of the president’s crimes couldn’t be ignored. Judicial sanction wasn’t in Nixon’s future—Jerry Ford’s controversial pardon ensured that—but the ultimate political punishment, impeachment, seemed like the absolute minimum sanction in order to send the message that no man, no matter how powerful, was above the law. Nixon’s resignation, Ford assured Americans and the media agreed, proved that the system works. 

Looking back now at what felt like a national cataclysm, however, we probably ought to dig up Tricky Dicky’s bones and beg him to accept our big fat apology.

Students of the Watergate scandal that led to that surreal day in August, 1974—the third day, expunged from history for fear of a repeat performance, when great crowds surrounded the White House, demanding that Nixon depart—will recall that it wasn’t the botched 1972 break-in at Democratic national headquarters that did Nixon in, but the cover-up.

By today’s standards, however, Nixon’s efforts to protect his henchmen, including his screwing around with the FBI investigation that led to an article of impeachment for obstruction of justice, look positively penny-ante, more worthy of a traffic ticket than a high crime or misdemeanor. Obstruction of justice, scandalous and impeachable just 40 years ago, has become routine.

Case study: Obama’s cover-up of torture.

Much bigger crime.

Much longer cover-up.

Much less of a problem.

Five and a half years after taking office, President Obama finally admitted what informed citizens have known since 2002: the United States tortured.

Obama has been covering up Bush-era torture throughout his tenure. (Not the act of torture by Americans, which has been widely reported and has inspired best-selling books and hit movies, but the governmental admission that attracts widespread attention and eventually creates pressure for action.) And even now, after finally admitting that the U.S. ranks with Myanmar and North Korea when it comes to this most basic of human rights, Obama refuses to authorize a formal investigation and prosecution of America’s torturers.

Bush’s torturers shouldn’t be hard to find: many of them are still working for the U.S. government, either force-feeding hunger-striking POWs at Gitmo or working for one of the branches specially exempted from Obama’s “no torture” order.

“When we engaged in some of these enhanced interrogation techniques, techniques that I believe and I think any fair-minded person would believe were torture, we crossed the line,” Obama told a press conference last week.

Better late than never. But not much better. Because, like so much of Obama’s rhetoric, they’re empty words.

Normally, when one crosses a line—is there a more clearly disgusting line than torture?—one faces consequences. Thanks to Obama, however, no one from the CIA, US military or other American government employee has ever suffered so much as a 1 percent pay cut for nearly drowning detainees, many of whom were released because they never committed any crime whatsoever, sodomizing kidnap victims with flashlights and other objects, subjecting people to extremes of heat, cold and sleep deprivation, not even for murdering detainees or driving them to suicide at American-run torture centers like Guantanamo concentration camp.

Though Obama had repeatedly promised throughout the 2008 presidential campaign that he would investigate war crimes under the George W. Bush administration and prosecute anyone found to have committed torture, soon after moving into the White House in 2009 Obama backtracked and infamously said that it was time to “look forward as opposed to looking backwards.” In other words, there would never be a serious investigation.

That promise he kept. “At the CIA,” Obama said in 2009, “you’ve got extraordinarily talented people who are working very hard to keep Americans safe. I don’t want them to suddenly feel like they’ve got spend all their time looking over their shoulders.”

The president didn’t explain why causing concern to torturers would be bad.

Lest there be any doubt about his intentions to kowtow to the national security police state, Obama even traveled to CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia to reassure nervous torturers that they would have nothing to fear from him. In 2011, Obama’s Justice Department officially exonerated “anyone who acted in good faith and within the scope of the legal guidance given by the Office of Legal Counsel regarding the interrogation of detainees”—i.e., pretty much every U.S. government torturer.

Even now, while Obama is supposedly admitting that torture happened, he uses hokey countrified verbal constructions to diminish the horror while making excuses for those who committed them: “I understand why it happened. I think it’s important, when we look back, to recall how afraid people were when the Twin Towers fell,” Obama said, as though there had been a universal demand for indiscriminate torture against teenage goatherds from Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11. “It’s important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job those folks had.”

The torturers, you see, were the victims.

Incredibly, Obama added the following nugget to last week’s some-folks-tortured-some-folks statement: “The character of our country has to be measured in part, not by what we do when things are easy, but what we do when things are hard.”

Richard Nixon covered up political dirty tricks and got impeached for it; Barack Obama is covering up torture and continues to authorize it with impunity.

It hardly seems fair. But when we measure Nixon’s character against that of Obama’s, we’ll take note of the one who finally did the right thing and resigned.•

Comments (8)
Post a Comment

I saw the title of the article and said "ignorant liberal media suck ups for Obama". And yep....Valley Advocate! Don't have to read the article. Obama is an ass clown, whom, while still in office, is ranked at the bottom of every presidential list....beating out even Carter! But oh yeah, idiot liberals loved him too.

Posted by Ickster01 on 8.27.14 at 17:02

NIXON WAS NOT IMPEACHED. Aren't there any editors at this paper?

Posted by war blur on 8.28.14 at 5:40

Our 37th president was not impeached. Our 17th and 42nd presidents were impeached.

Posted by D. C. Al Fine on 8.28.14 at 16:39

While I agree that the interrogation techniques sanctioned and defended by the Bush administration - and by Bush himself - were deplorable, I am not inclined to think that a satisfying investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators of such techniques could have been in the offing, precicely because of how widespread, entrenched and staunchly defended those tequniques were. How many people would have been the sunbject of investigation and prosecution in such a quest for justice? How long would that take and at what cost?

I am appaulled that such crimes could go unpunished, but certain that a deep probe into the matter would have required the prosecution of hundreds if not thousands of people - including a former president, and that it would have become the all consuming issue of Obamas' administration, all while dealing with the effects of the great recession, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and all of the domestic issues pressing on our country today. I am unconvinced that Obama's decision not to persue that line of policy is an impeachable offence.

Posted by Craig Dunlap on 8.29.14 at 6:14

Exuse is the biggest thing with compare to attitude.No one has gotten to the bottom of what happened in the early morning of February 27, 2009.The troubling question is why not—and whether the deficient investigation by the Westfield police, WiFi security camera

Posted by Carolyn Cooley on 9.1.14 at 15:29

Not so fast, This President has infected the Main house with Muslimism underpinned with Marxism. We the people are pressing this issue so put name on this form, use house address for speaker and sent it. Form is expanotory!

JOHN ROWE USMC

the Speaker of the House, copy paste with you name
http://www.speaker.gov/contact

Mr. Speaker John Boehner or Congressman John Boehner of OHIO

America Under Attack

After much work to understand Obama's change of America, it is not a pretty sight. Obama has illegally stolen his way in government by the help of many over the birth certificate issue where found is British Citizen and not a U.S. citizen and has violated the Law (Rico Act) to get a clean birth certificate illegally altered where Hawaii Government officials violated law implementing this for him to make the Presidential eligible, which its a crime. This alone is prosecutable.

He has allowed our enemy the Muslim brotherhood, to infiltrate our government Homeland security and to erase Much of our capitalistic rules and culture by replacing it with Muslimism where the FBI rules and training has been scrubbed and many other not yet discovered. He is replacing our Countries Culture and Heritage.

He has concepts of doctrines being implemented underpinned to Muslimism, in Marxism where the EPA is now without due process of law. He has invoked executive creation of orders contrary to Constitution as in a Monarch or Ruler king.

He has creatively made concepts of an Illegal border & immigration to change the American culture through changing nationalities of our culture. The implementation of the Green left and Marxist ideology to Marginalize white Caucasian, changing voting patterns to replace capitalism with socialism, massive wealth redistribution, and social regimentation and population replacement.

The introduction of a re-education campaign called "Checking Your Privilege and students in the tainted colleges are brain trained. The concepts and components with Muslimism and the History implies they are not going to waste their time to win any hearts or minds but will by force of population increase or rapid breeding the Americans out of existence.

This is Culture and Country genocide along with our religion. This is why black racial riot issues will be a common occurrence as they are configured into this Marxism concept also, which many of the black population are of Marxism.

So our current status in Government is the FBI is tainted and un-trustworthy. The D.O.J is tainted and un-trustworthy. The Homeland Security is tainted and un-trustworthy and its terrorist list will not even contain an Radical Islamic reference, one of 3 rules of the Muslim Brotherhood. The senate is tainted or supporting the President even when Non-American ideologies are implemented thus must be of the Marxist support.

The lower House of Representatives is said they do not want to impeach, instead they may suite. Pick one, you are out of time. Currently the President by Executive order has implement new rules into banks that are as Anti-American where business are forced to close without any reason except rules underpinned to Non-American doctrines and concepts, referred to here as Choke Point.

So, Mr. Speaker what say you, We the people want you to lead & prosecute, or impeach now while you can. In any case Media will soon eat you up for this..... as you are now out of time.... and so are we.

Wars against enemies dictate a Nation must have an Honorable President, not a Non-American Prsident with divided loyalties. If we have suite for every Crime to bypass the House to get crimes in preview of courts that will prosecute, then so be it.

The sleeping Giant, Americans are awake now, we demand action, as this will hit the media waves by droves!

cc: All fox media, cnn, radio channels, new papers
support doc: Sheriff Joe, 5 governors, Tea Party, more

Signed a Citizen of the United States of America

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