Why does George W. Bush’s former chief counter-terrorism expert hate America?


OLBERMANN: Democrats, probably the Democrats today, said impeachment was not a remedy to this. But can anybody argue with a straight face, post-Lewinsky, that these lies, the blood and treasure that they cost us, don`t demand some kind of remedy? Is there some other kind of remedy?

CLARKE: There may be some other kind of remedy. There may be some sort of truth and reconciliation commission process that`s been tried in other countries, like South Africa, el Salvador and what not, where if you come forward and admit that you were in error, admit that you lied, admit that you did something, then you`re forgiven. Otherwise, you are censured in some way.

I just don`t think we can let these people back into polite society and give them jobs on university boards and corporate boards and just let – – pretend that nothing ever happened when there are 4,000 American dead and 25,000 Americans grievously wounded. And they will carry those wounds and suffer all the rest of their lives. Someone should have to pay in some way for the decisions that they made to mislead the American people.

Adam Blickstein comments:

In a vacuum, the compendium of mistakes, misappropriations of power, abrogation of the constitution, and general recklessness of the Administration might demand strong punishment, such as impeachment. But in the current political reality, this will never happen even if it should.  Short of this, as Clarke pointedly suggests, none of these guys should have any elevated positions in academia, private business or the public sector. Just ask John Yoo or Doug Feith. The author of Bush’s torture policy is having a very very hard time at Berkeley Law School while the architect of the Iraq war recently failed to have his teaching contract renewed at Georgetown Law due to faculty protests.

There might be outlets for folks like these, say Pat Robertson’s Regent University School of Law, but when it comes to polite society, as Clarke suggests, they should be forced to stay away.

Quite.  And above all, this needs to be done in a very transparent, very public way.  These mustn’t be summary judgments – people must be allowed to defend themselves, established processes for dealing with complaints should be followed whenever possible, etc.  The model shouldn’t be a jingosphere publicity ambush, but something designed to make a lasting statement in the history, a phrase of closure to the Bush Era: … And They Never Worked In This Town Again.  Realistically, it is highly improbable that anyone important will ever go to prison for lying, or even for the actual crimes committed during the war.  It is unlikely that any of the major players will personally suffer anything more than mild inconvenience, having to settle for less-prestigious wingnut welfare handout and sinecure instead of more substantive honors.  But they are (hopefully) out of power in November, and so they are not going to be important anymore.  The important audience will be precedent and history, so that this may never happen again.