Sunday, November 12, 2006

Meet the new Rumsfeld,

even worse than the old one? Robert Parry:
    My book, Secrecy & Privilege, opens with a scene in spring 1994 when a guest at a White House social event asks Bill Clinton why his administration didn’t pursue unresolved scandals from the Reagan-Bush era, such as the Iraqgate secret support for Saddam Hussein’s government and clandestine arms shipments to Iran...

    ...Clinton “didn’t feel that it was a good idea to pursue these investigations because he was going to have to work with these people,” Sender told me in an interview. “He was going to try to work with these guys, compromise, build working relationships.”

    Clinton’s relatively low regard for the value of truth and accountability is relevant again today because other centrist Democrats are urging their party to give George W. Bush’s administration a similar pass if the Democrats win one or both houses of Congress.

    Reporting about a booklet issued by the Progressive Policy Institute, a think tank of the Democratic Leadership Council, the Washington Post wrote, “these centrist Democrats … warned against calls to launch investigations into past administration decisions if Democrats gain control of the House or Senate in the November elections.”

    These Democrats also called on the party to reject its “non-interventionist left” wing, which opposed the Iraq War and which wants Bush held accountable for the deceptions that surrounded it...

    ...In retrospect, Clinton’s tolerance of Reagan-Bush cover-ups was a lose-lose-lose – the public was denied information it needed to understand dangerous complexities in the Middle East, George W. Bush built his presidential ambitions on the nation’s fuzzy memories of his dad, and Republicans got to enact a conservative agenda.

    Clinton’s approach also reflected a lack of appreciation for the importance of truth in a democratic Republic. If the American people are expected to do their part in making sure democracy works, they need to be given at least a chance of being an informed electorate.

    Yet, Clinton – and now some pro-Iraq War Democrats – view truth as an expendable trade-off when measured against political tactics or government policies. In reality, accurate information about important events is the lifeblood of democracy.

    Though sometimes the truth can hurt, Clinton and the Democrats should understand that covering up the truth can hurt even more. As Clinton’s folly with the Reagan-Bush scandals should have taught, the Democrats may hurt themselves worst of all when helping the Republicans cover up the truth.
The upcoming hearings on the Robert Gates will certainly include mention of his Iran/Contra past (nutshell here). The following senators are member of both the DLC and the Armed Services Committee:

Evan Bayh
Bill Nelson
Joe Lieberman
Hillary Rodham Clinton

Keep an eye on what goes on. I intend to. More on Gates here.

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