This Is Not How It Is Supposed To Work

Let me get this out of the way.  I understand the administration’s argument behind executive privilege; you can’t put restrictions on the advice that the president gets because then his most trusted advisers will hold back.  Sure, when you put it like that, it makes sense.  But that the president can act on that advice alone kind of mitigates that argument.

Far more vital to the state of our union, is transparency in government.  This is, after all, a government of “We the people”, and not an establishment of oligarchs.  At least that’s how it’s supposed to be.

I have always rejected the president’s claim for the necessity of executive privilege for the simple fact that we as a country are his employer.  As his employer, we have the right to evaluate his work, and if we deem it unnecessary, to investigate the reasons why.  He claims that we shouldn’t be allowed to examine the advice his advisers give him, but if they are giving him bad advice and he’s acting on it, they too should be held responsible.  This is especially true considering that those advisers are also our employees.

I fear that Americans have adopted the wrong attitude towards our government.  I fear that we have become to subservient and complicit in the governance of this country. We seem to have forgotten the basic premise above, that these are our employees, and not merely in a symbolic fashion.

I write all of this in light of the news that the Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to hold Joshua Bolten and Karl Rove in contempt of Congress.

This would seem to be good news; we’re holding them accountable.  But unfortunately this is not likely to be the case as White House press secretary Dana Perino has explained that the DOJ would not convene a grand jury if a floor vote allowed the motion to go through.  The only offer the White House is willing to give is for these individuals to discuss matters behind closed doors without transcript and without having to be under oath.

And all of a sudden I am recalling the situation of Ms. Jamie Leigh Jones who will also be denied her day in court because of the policies of Kellog, Brown & Root.  There, too, the best she can hope for is a favorable outcome in arbitration, with no judge, no jury, no semblence of justice.  It’s almost as though they’re cribbing off of the same cheat sheet.

This isn’t about advice given to the President, it’s about people misusing their office in government for political gain, and getting away with it.  We should not stand for it.  We must demand that the executive branch not only be transparent, but also, that it be held responsible for its actions.  We must demand of our government that it too must answer to justice.

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