Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dear Senator Boxer,

First of all -- oh how proud we are to be Californians and to have as representatives the extraordinary Senators Boxer and Feinstein, Madame Speaker Pelosi, and our Representative Lynn Woolsey -- what a group, what accomplishments!

I felt it important -- my family and I felt it important -- to contact you and present our views on the abuses of Justice by the last administration, and the proper way of dealing with such things as the illegal buildup to the Iraq war. So many lives were lost because of the ideology of a few and the passivity of the many. As I have long suspected and as we now know, we were living for 8 years in the grip of an administration with delusions as to how much power the Executive branch should have. Any President whose legal counsel tells him that he can pick me or anyone else off the street as a suspected terrorist -- even strike my home if he wished -- that his wish alone is enough -- I mean it is clear to me that somewhere a line was crossed. The result -- we Americans have bombed -- in our delicate, diplomatic way -- a wide swath through the Middle East in a paranoid display that cost the lives of how many hundreds of thousands we will never know.

We were so insulated from what was happening over there. I was in London in July 2003 or so and I bought a Guardian newspaper. I saw pictures that in one moment told me what this war was doing to our soldiers. There had been some violent interchange in the streets of Baghdad, probably a lot of frustration on our side, and a dead tank in flames -- our helicopters were flying away. But a few men came on the street dancing around the tank and our helicopter came back to shoot them and they did and there were pictures and it was ghastly and no one could see that and think what we were doing was good. An Iraqi man pleading for his life while being shot to death from above -- but we didn't get to see it, and we are knee deep in blood and WE MUST FACE THIS IN OURSELVES, WE MUST ATONE AS A COUNTRY -- WE MUST SEE WHAT WE HAVE DONE BEFORE WE CAN MOVE ON. WE HAVE BLOOD ON OUR COLLECTIVE HANDS, AND UNTIL WE KNOW HOW WE CAME TO UNLEASH SUCH DESTRUCTION ON TO OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD -- WE CANNOT LET THIS GO. WE MUST EXAMINE OUR PAST.

I have no wish to see dear delusional George II rot in jail, but look what he has done to our national integrity, our constitution, our right to due process and habeus corpus -- oh good god you know. We feel utterly strongly that our country -- our beloved country has committed criminal acts against a sovereign nation for illegal reasons. We are feared and despised -- or we were before the election!

The truth will ultimately be the best medicine for this nation, and we can't gloss over it. If we don't face it -- well, someday somebody like Sarah Palin will talk about the "special powers of the vice presidency" and decide to exercise them because nobody did a damned thing when the President of the United States took the country into a BAD war -- he ignored all of us and everyone stood helplessly by while he did as he pleased. The nation is bankrupt. We may never recover our former standing -- and you know what? That may be just as well -- look what we do with our power -- we don't plant and heal and teach -- we bomb people into submission. I was so ashamed to be from this country for 8 years; but things are looking up -- God Bless Patrick Leahey -- so we are definitely in favor of some sort of Truth Commission -- by the Justice Department if necessary -- so that whatever powers the Executive branch may have gathered unto itself can be exposed and neutralized. We want to know what happened so that necessary safeguards can be implemented.

Just our opinions -- but after 8 years of protesting and watching this thing unfold -- knowing EXACTLY where it would go, it does seem that there SHOULD BE SOME NATIONAL EDUCATION ABOUT THE WHOLE THING! SOME PROCESS OF AMERICAN UNDERSTANDING. MAYBE ABOUT HOW MIGHT DOES NOT EQUAL RIGHT.

It's not a matter of vengeance -- it's a matter of our international standing. It is a matter of national shame and healing. We are so quick to turn on tyranny in other nations -- can we bear to see our own flirtation with it?? Can we look at our culpability, our fear, our capitulation?

Thank you Senator Boxer,

and then I signed off with the usual family signature, the four of us. I know she is in agreement with us but she needs the tangible support of her constituents. Germany was made to face its period of national shame and so we must examine ourselves before others take the trouble for us. It's our responsibility -- we broke our own laws, and we must own up.