Impunity breeds yet more impunity

The Imperial Presidency has struck once again with Libby being pardoned. The Democratic Party has allowed Bush-Cheney to act with total impunity since the word GO. Now they say that they are outraged! It’s a little too little and too late for that.

Here in Colorado Springs, we have the same mindset by government officials. They have acted to allow the use by John O’Donnell of all public monies necessary to help organize for them, pro-war ‘patriotic’ parades, airshows, and troop marches through the city. Then they gave him the impunity to use police municipal police to attack dissenters.

Similarly, School District 11 officials have acted with impunity to fire Iraqi War vet, Brian Wolfe, from his substitute teacher position. They did this because he began to speak out at weekly vigils and in city council meetings against the ugly events in Iraq he had earlier participated in. Employees of all sorts have no real rights to due process, and neither do paraders in downtown Colorado Springs. Abuse has become generalized as impunity breeds yet more impunity breeds yet more ways to abuse those who challenge impunity.

The Iraq War is about much more than Iraq. The ‘War on Terror’ is about much more than opposing terrorism. Like the ‘Drug War’, too, all these ‘wars’ are merely excuses for extending impunity to yet more impunity to yet more impunity. And we mainly twiddle our thumbs, finding reasons not to act so that we shall remain yet more impotent as impunity becomes generalized.

2 thoughts on “Impunity breeds yet more impunity

  1. and it was done, just a truly bizarre coincidence, mind you, no conspiracy to see here, move along Citizen… on the Fourth of July Extended Weekend.

  2. This is a good summary of Bush’s record on commuting sentences.

    The Ghosts of Texas
    The Quality of Bush’s Mercy

    When George W. Bush was governor of Texas, he presided over more than 150 executions. In more than one-third of the cases “57 in all ” lawyers representing condemned inmates asked then-Governor Bush for a commutation of sentence, so that the inmates would serve life in prison rather than face execution.

    Some of these inmates had been represented by lawyers who slept during trials. Some were mentally retarded. Some were juveniles at the time they committed the crime for which they were sentenced to death.

    In all these cases, Governor Bush refused to commute their sentences, saying that the inmates had had full access to the judicial system.

    I. Lewis Libby Jr. had the best lawyers money can buy. His crime cannot be attributed to youth or retardation. He has expressed no remorse whatsoever for lying to a grand jury or participating in the administration,s effort to mislead the American people about the war in Iraq. President Bush’s commutation of Mr. Libby’s sentence is certainly legal, but it just as surely offends the fundamental constitutional value of equality.

    Because President Bush signed a commutation, a rich and powerful man will spend not a day in prison, while 57 poor and poorly connected human beings died because Governor Bush refused to lift a pen for them.

    David R. Dow is a professor at the University of Houston Law Center who represents death row inmates, including several who sought commutation from then-Governor Bush.

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