27 Jul

Don’t Tell, Don’t Ask

The White House has raised executive privilege so often lately that one really needs a scorecard to keep track of when and by whom and in response to what inquiry. But one never has to ask why – because they are stonewalling their criminal, civil, moral wrongdoings. If you were on the fence about the legitimacy of the assertion of executive privilege in the U.S. Attorneys scandal, the CIA surveillance probe, or the Vice President’s energy policy formation, just stop and read about Pat Tillman.

Pat Tillman was a pretty good pro football player for the Arizona Cardinals. After 9/11, he and his brother felt compelled to join the military, and they enlisted in the Marines. Tillman was sent to Afghanistan, maybe the highest profile soldier in the war on terror. Sadly, he was killed. The military orchestrated a nice tribute to him, and he was honored as a war hero who was killed by enemy fire.

But he wasn’t. He was killed by American troops in an incident of “friendly fire.” But that conclusion leaves some doubt as he was shot multiple times in the forehead from a distance of approximately 10 yards. What really makes matters worse is that the military chain of command knew, and directly obfuscated the story and the subsequent investigations. And they knew long before the eulogies, long before the honors, long before the tributes. But they stonewalled and it took three for four inquiries to root out the real story. They have retired a couple officers and generals, with one general facing demotion, and the matter is done.

But it isn’t. Henry Waxman’s congressional committee has subpoenaed the White House for records as to how far and high the cover-up went. Predictably, the White House has claimed executive privilege. Why? Because the sycophant generals who surrounded Bush and Cheney when the White House decided to go into Iraq are implicated, because Bush used Tillman as a non-response response to Abu Ghraib and in the election at a time that he likely knew or should have known.

I would like to say or predict that this will end with just desserts. But I no longer have such faith. Bush has stacked the judiciary so much in his favor, and has successfully placed such loyalists ( on the District of Columbia federal district and appellate bench and the Supreme Court that there may be no relief, no recourse, no justice.

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