An open plea to public servants: If you’ve got any professional integrity or conviction, don’t wait until you’ve retired to demonstrate it. Use it. Flaunt it!
On Thursday 22 retired US military officials signed a document stating that Senator John McCain is right and President Bush is wrong about torture. No surprise there: One went through torture and the other has been putting us through it for five years.
Why aren’t current military officials, i.e. the ones who still have some pull, standing up and saying this?
I’m not naïve. I know that as Commander in Chief of the armed forces, Bush can have a towel party ordered on any military official at any time. Whistleblowers and dissenters aren’t generally looked upon with favor.
But here’s the problem:
Our government will never have adequate checks and balances if officials aren’t willing to stand up for what’s right now rather than later.
Oversight is a funny word; one definition of it is “supervision,” while another is “a failure to notice.”
Earlier this week one Democratic and five Republicant former heads of the EPA took Bush to task for not doing enough to combat global warming and other environmental disasters-in-the-making.
Stephen Johnson, current head of the EPA, where are you? Oh, that’s right – buried deep in the pocket of George W. Bush.
James Webb, secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan, has attacked right wing critics of Democratic Representative John Murtha, a Vietnam veteran who has called for Bush to pull out of Iraq immediately.
Current military brass? Missing in action in the bowels of the Pentagon.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell knew the “evidence” of Iraqi WMDs he presented was false, even as he showed it to the world. He’s since expressed regret, and his former chief of staff, Lawrence Wilkerson, has exposed a “cabal” within Bush’s cabinet that was tasked with cooking up rationale for an Iraq invasion.
This stuff is a lot of help now, fellas!
Current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice? Bush’s loyal lapdog, hence, a lost cause.
And these are just a few recent examples! This has been standard operating procedure in the US for far too long.
It's unfortunate that some people only find the strength of their convictions once they're out of government or military service. While their candor is always appreciated, they’re powerless to offer anything of value now but criticism.