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Adelante Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-18-07 10:44 AM
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Iraq War: The Case for Accountability
Of all of the major public figures on the political scene, Clark is the first I have heard make the case for accountability.

Here's why we can't just consider this a black chapter of American history and move on: because we did that once before---in Vietnam. The Johnson and Nixon administrations took the nation into Vietnam and kept us there on the basis of lies, deceits and violations of the law. No one ever was held responsible or made to pay a price for it. Except, of course, for the 55,000 men and women in U.S. uniform who were killed, the hundreds of thousands who were wounded and scarred for life, and the million or so Vietnamese casualties.

Charges should have been brought against those in office who ordered such carnage. If that had happened, just maybe the Bush-Cheney White House would have been more sensitive to the truth and less willing to bend and violate the law to take us where we are today.

Clark isn't talking about a show trial, either. He specifically called for an inquiry into "the highest authorities" at the Pentagon, the Justice Department and the White House.

"We have to hold our leaders to high standards of behavior," said Clark. That's a line many politicians use in speeches. But it's a tough line to enforce when the people you call to account are the most powerful in government. Clark has the guts to say what many people are thinking. It would be tragic if the costs and humiliation of Iraq were to come and go without accountability.

Here is the speech referred to in this op-ed: "Legitimacy: First Task for American Security"

audio -

transcript -
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BOSSHOG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-18-07 10:48 AM
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1. Roger That
If one of my Sailors came to work late with alcohol on his breath I would be compelled to at least kick his ass, if not something else with a paper trail. The bush crime family, PNAC, right wing hate radio are killing thousands and stealing billions and have not had to be held "accountable" for anything. Ironic, they call themselves the party of integrity and accountability.
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Adelante Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-18-07 11:05 AM
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2. From the speech
"with respect to the consequences for those who led the nation. <>

We have something here which simply cant be washed away and covered up. Ive met with too many parents whove lost their children. Ive met with too many foreign leaders whose faith in America has been damaged. Ive met with too many military leaders who are struggling to come to terms with what they felt were the pressures and orders from above and what they knew in their hearts and had reservations about as a consequence and tried to resolve it.

This doesntthis is not an issue thats going to go away so I think it needs to be followed step-by-step and I think the way to begin is to first finish the Senate investigation that was promised on whether or not the administration properly used the intelligence information that was available. No point in having everybody write his own memoirs on it - weve just had George come out with his andlets get the facts out. We have a Congress in place that is not of the same party as the executive branch in the American system. That normally means that you could provide greater trust and reliance on the adversarial system of inquiry thats in place.

Lets have itlets have it done. And then lets go back and find out about those memos written in the Executive branch. What exactly did they mean when they saidwhen they say the Geneva Convention was an anachronism, when they redefined the definition of torture, when they indicated thatwhat was going through the Secretary of Defenses mind when he was talking about how we needed more information, not more people in Iraq? And what did he think that meant to the people on the ground? Where did the abuses at Abu Ghraib come from? What are the secret findings that are out there in the intelligence community? Why are these rumors still surfacing of people being beaten up and abused and conduct thats just notand what did the President in a signing statement in the 2006 Act on Military Commissions and the 2005 Act on detainee treatment? What have been the actual consequences of those signing statements?

These are legitimate matters of public inquiry and in our political system, we have a lot of people in office who do have political courage and I have confidence that our leaders will ask these tough questions because its the only way we can move our country forward and regain the trust and good faith of others in the world.
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Texas_Kat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-18-07 11:11 AM
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3. Rothstein writes: "Do yourself a big favor."
In just 20 minutes, Clark presented the most cogent case I've yet heard for what the Iraq misadventure has cost America and Americans, and what's needed to clean up the scene of this crime.

Another attendee at the speech wrote:

The guy is impressive. Compared to each of the mainstream presidential candidates, Clark is clear, forceful, and full of real ideas formed by real experience.

....his clinical, point-by-point dissection of the way this White House has mangled America's image, and his contention that image (not the military) is the true source of American power, is better formulated than any of the frontline Dems.

Clark wants to open investigations into the decision-making process behind the Iraq war policy, Abu Ghraib, domestic wiretapping, black sites, and the whole, disgusting Bush foreign policy enterprise, and hold the feet of those responsible to the fire.

Amen, brother. I'm not easily impressed by political rhetoric, but General Clark actually had some goosebumps going. Run Wesley Run.

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