Friday, November 23, 2007

Dishonored nation


The Bush administration still hasn't exhausted its ability and willingness to heap more shame on the United States with decisions that are revolting to thinking Americans and that lower other nations' regard for our country.

Humiliating Arab prisoners at Abu Ghraib seemed to be the lowest the scandal-plagued Iraqi adventure could achieve.

Now Republicans in Congress are blindly backing Bush policies of severe physical interrogations of suspected terrorists that other nations call torture, and the president has appointed a new attorney general who seems to accept the brutality of "waterboarding" as reasonable.

But wait. It gets worse. The newest scandal is Blackwater Worldwide, the private security agency whose swaggering, trigger-happy employees the FBI says unjustifiably murdered 14 unarmed Iraqis, and which was being investigated by the State Department's inspector general—until a Democratic congressmen discovered his brother was on Blackwater's advisory board.

Bush and the Pentagon got what they wanted when doling out billions in security work to Blackwater and appointing the unqualified Howard Krongard as State's fraud investigator. Blackwater CEO Erik Prince was once an intern in the Bush Sr. White House and his late billionaire father, Edgar Prince, was founder of the anti-abortion Family Research Council and benefactor to Republican causes. Inspector General Krongard is best known recently for trying to block an investigation into arms smuggling by Blackwater.

If this were a novel, it would be an overwrought, unbelievable tragedy populated by ideological robots. Tragically, the dishonor for the nation is all too real.




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