This was posted in another forum by a guy who goes by “Wazier”… It seemed to touch on many of the discussions we have had in here, so I am throwing it out there for you guys.
[quote]In this posting I place before anyone who might be interested in an argument. I take a stand on the facts as I know them, and I rely on the understanding of the members of this forum that it is an argument and not intended as an attack on anyone. It is, in my view, an invitation to reason.
Although few politicians rise to the brilliance of Henry Kissinger, there are shades of Richelieu and Bismarck in who I believe are the individuals that have, along with the President Bush, have succumbed to a species of ideological Groupthink. These individuals, the presidents primary advisors on the issue of the war in Iraq, incude Vice President Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and, by implication, Karl Rove, who I claim manipulated events hidden by orchestrated images of the Presidential intended to influence the public. There may be others, but these advisors have received the most attention in the media. Mentioning them in the context of the most notable figures in the pantheon of the ruthless, the most obscene example of this kind of calculated behavior in recent American history was Henry Kissinger?s treasonous meeting with South Vietnamese leaders to guarantee them a better deal if they walked from the Geneva peace negotiations in 1968. Of course, as we now know, he did succeed and the election of Hubert Humphrey fell to a coup. Five years later and after tens of thousands American deaths, Kissinger made the same deal that was on the table in 1968, and American involvement came to an end. Efforts to bring Kissinger before The Hague War Crimes Tribunal in recent years somehow continues to fail, and his crimes have yet to appear on the radar screens of the American psyche. In the same election that was influenced by Kissinger, the event of the Watergate break in, an event that was consistent with the norms in terms of the politics of the day, took place. When it first appeared in the press, almost everyone shrugged it off. However, the incident did eventually lead to the impeachment of President Richard Nixon, but it was not for the break in itself; it was for the offence of attempting to cover it up and not the actions of the perpetrators who were part of his campaign organization. Some of his subordinates were convicted of participating in the cover up, none were charged for the felony of the break in itself except for those arrested for the act itself.
In lieu of the current scandal of abuse of Iraqis by the American military, the issue I want to argue is the lack of accountability, most often for both the perpetrator of the misconduct in the same fashion as Henry Kissinger, and for the person directly responsible for these abuses, the President of the United States. In terms of these historical examples, it is the question ?why do leaders consistently escape accountability for the misconduct of their followers, and why are subordinates seldom held accountable as well?? The reason for this question is to bring light the same issue as it relates to the abuses of torture and murder of prisoners in Iraq. President Bush has condemned these abhorrent acts and promised that the people who did them will be held accountable. Demands for accountability have made it upstream to Donald Rumsfeld, but, in terms of public awareness, the most that has been said about Bush?s personal responsibility is John Kerry?s promise that he will put himself on the line for what happens when he is elected.
The ultimate defense of leaders for misconduct that occurs under their authority is that no one can have knowledge of every incident down the chain of command unless someone brings it to his attention. This obvious defense surfaced as a political weapon in the Reagan administration under the rubric of ?plausible deniability.? The remarkable result of this maneuver was that no one was ever held accountable for the constitutional crimes committed in the Iran-Contra scandal. Organizational research shows the when things go awry, followers are more likely to attack the leader?s subordinates with the highest profiles of power leaving the leader empowered to protect subordinates. The outcomes of this psychological tendency are escape from accountability or the occasional sacrifice of a few subordinates whom, if not directly culpable, had the misfortune of having the incident take place ?on their watch.? Researchers speculate that there are deep insecurities and emotional loyalties that to a high degree insulate leaders from direct examination by their followers. Observing that the President is the leader of every citizen in the Republic, this fact may be an explanation for the absence of a universal demand to hold President Bush accountable.
A great number of those who objected to the proposed invasion of Iraq made the case that opening the gates of hell would have unpredictable consequences. Some even said that, since everyone knew full well that there were reasonable doubts about WMDs, President Bush was rolling the dice on his electability. In face of these uncertainties, there is evidence, as was revealed in leaked memoranda from the 2002 campaign, that Republicans deliberately inflamed the passions of war with full knowledge that these manipulations would influence the outcome of the 2002 elections. It goes without saying that the outcome was favorable to their efforts. John Madison wrote in the Federalist Papers that when any party controls all three branches of government it is by definition tyranny; but an even greater tyranny is the oppression of war itself. The failure of the opposition was to stand up to a Republican majority that would have their way with what everyone knew would be the authorization for Bush to go to war. The practical and moral obligations to almost all doctrines of just war (except for those proffered by the Bush administration) were swept away by the rallying cry of the monstrosity of Saddam Hussein. The attempts to curtail the powers given to Bush by the Congress were a weak and finally ineffective compromise that ostensibly constrained Bush from making a unilateral decision. Democrats submitted to the majority and jumped on the bandwagon for war because of legitimate fears that they would be branded unpatriotic and defeated in future elections. There was a whiff of Realpolik in their decision; it seemed predictable if they did not succumb, they would not live to fight another day.
In face of all of this, better than half of the electorate today believes that Bush is doing his job well, although their confidence is slipping. Yet the media and detractors of president Bush have taken a docile stance. Given what has been made public, it is incontrovertible that there were intentions to redirect the war on Al Qaida to an invasion of Iraq and that the advisors closest to Bush were unconditionally committed to this action long before they became the President?s advisors. It is incontrovertible that the President was informed that there was insufficient evidence of WMDs in Iraq and that there was insufficient evidence to prove the presence of a clear and present to danger to the nation. President Bush himself has since publicly and quietly announced that there were no WMDs in Iraq and that there was no connection between Iraq and Al Qaida. However, he has not followed an active and consistent path to correct his misstatements which suggests that he continues to capitalize on the trust of those who believed the incessant pronouncements of these alleged facts before the war. It is probable, given the noticeable surprise at the lack of WMDs, that the belief that there were WMDs was based on defective reasoning and an apparent avoidance of facts that were presented to him. There is no doubt, given their public statements, that his advisors used sources of information that were blatantly untrustworthy and, using this information, they devised flawed strategies and policies that led directly to the current crisis. It has also been shown that President Bush and his staff used the information provided by these advisors to influence the American public to support his reasons for going to war. Furthermore, there can be no doubt that competent staff brought or attempted to bring alternatives to war to his attention.
Arguably, these conclusions have been sufficiently substantiated that, absent convincing proof otherwise, it would be disingenuous to ignore them. Despite the contributions of Bush?s advisors, they fail to provide deniability for the act is the cause of the current crisis. It is incontrovertible that the descent into the horrors of torture and wanton murder has stained our nation and each one of us with dishonor, and it has enraged the nations of the earth. It is incontrovertible that these events are a direct consequence of the decision to invade Iraq, a decision made by a single person: the President of the United States. It is therefore, an incontrovertible conclusion that responsible citizens should pierce the veil of silence to demand that the person who brought these events upon must be held accountable for the decision he made.