President Obama – Continuing the Clean Up After the Bush Administration?

Mr. President,

Thank you for authorizing the release of the CIA torture guidelines from the previous administration.   This is another step toward undoing the wrongs of the past.

I also agree that the hands-on implementers of those guidelines are not the ones that should be prosecuted.   Punishing them is not the solution to the problem any more than was the prosecution of low level enlisted personnel was the solution for the torture at Abu Ghraib.  Is the problem a few bad apples or a bad barrel that confines the apples? Who is ultimately responsible?    (Refer to The Lucifer Effect by Philip G. Zimbardo.)

I can also agree somewhat with looking forward and not to the past, when it is appropriate.  Trouble is no one knows what the future will bring and we all know about the vision acuity of hindsight.

I’m an engineer.   I use historical information to help plan the future, meet customer requirements and make a profit.   I use lessons learned to update procedures and minimize the possibility of repeating the mistakes of the past.  How else are we going to get to the moon again or maintain the sovereignty of a nation?

But when I look forward to the next time a person with an authoritarian personality is elected president of the United States and wonder if the recent wrongful Bush II administration policies are still in place, I see a very probable end to our democracy.    We came as close as ever to a dictatorship under Bush II.  We need to trash his wrongful policies and the sooner the better.

What else will you do to protect the future of our nation?  May I suggest you consider reversing one particular  Bush signing statement.   

G. Bush wrote the following when he signed the National Defense Authorization Act for FY08, H.R. 4986, with which the Democrat Congress tried to restore the Insurrection Act to its original language which had be changed in 2006:

“Provisions of the Act, including sections 841, 846, 1079, and 1222, purport to impose requirements that could inhibit the President’s ability to carry out his constitutional obligations to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, to protect national security, to supervise the executive branch, and to execute his authority as Commander in Chief. The executive branch shall construe such provisions in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President.”

Thank you for any consideration you might give to my thoughts.


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About Andy Hailey

Vietnam Vet, UT El Paso Grad, Retired Aerospace Engineer, former union rep, 60's Republican now progressive, web admin, blogger.

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