Daily Wisdom

September 03, 2009

The Audacity of Hypocrisy

The response by Democrats to the recent news that New York Democrat Charlie Rangel "forgot" to disclose $600,000 in assets on his Senate financial disclosure form -- nearly doubling his net worth -- reveals the depth of their hypocrisy. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) refused to remove Rangel as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, saying she wants the Ethics Committee to investigate him.

But Rangel is already under investigation for a disclosure last September that he failed to report income from a vacation property in the Dominican Republic. And that investigation was supposed to be wrapped up 9 months ago according to a deadline established by Pelosi herself. Her failure to pressure investigators to produce a report suggests she was simply hoping people would forget about it, and that the problem would fade away. No such luck.

Contrast this with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate CIA operatives for "possible" wrong-doing regarding the interrogation of known terrorists. This despite the fact that he previously agreed with President Obama who said...

This is a time for reflection, not retribution. Nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past. For those who carried out... these operations within the four corners of legal opinions or guidance... provided from the White House, I do not think it's appropriate for them to be prosecuted.

Holder had said, "It would be unfair to prosecute dedicated men and women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in advance by the Justice Department." Yet, he now has no qualms about reversing that position in what can only be described as a blatant political move to once again try and find fault with the previous administration. Bush-bashing it seems, is a popular sport in Obamaland.

It is certainly fair game to question Holder's motives, who is acting with the tacit approval -- if not at the specific direction -- of President Obama. If Holder is motivated by a sincere sense of justice to find the truth and uncover "possible" wrong-doing, then why isn't he appointing a special prosecutor to look into Chairman Rangel's questionable activities?

The fact that the House Ways and Means Committee is the chief tax-writing committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, and has jurisdiction over all taxation, tariffs and other revenue-raising measures, only adds to the hypocrisy. Rangel is responsible for the committee that imposes taxes on others, yet it is far from clear that he has paid his own taxes. If he failed to report nearly half his assets on a Senate financial disclosure form, did he likewise fail to report them to the IRS?

The ignominy of the Democrats here, is demonstrated by the fact that while they ignore the potential abuse of power by one of their own self-serving partisan power-brokers, they malign the integrity of patriots who acted selflessly to defend our country from the very real threat of terrorist attacks in the wake of 9/11 during a time of war. They ignore the injustice of a questionable politician illicitly seeking to save his personal wealth, while ignoring the justice of unquestionable heroes legitimately seeking to save American lives.


At 9/09/2009 1:19 AM , Blogger Elroy said...

So only SOME crimes are worthy of investigation, huh?
What happened to the rule of law? Surely all crime fighting is 'laying blame for the past', that is to say that all crime happened in the past. By conservatives' standards, no one could ever be convicted of a crime again as al they have to do is run the Bush/Cheney defense of 'Oh, it happened a long time ago, your honour – I've moved on. It's old news.'

And before you start with the 'unquestionable heroes legitimately seeking to save American lives' routine, may I remind you that all this is the Nueremberg defense that was unamimously rejected by the USA and everyone else on the planet except, of course, Germany, Japan et al. You want some real hypocrisy? There you go.



At 9/11/2009 8:08 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

You never cease to amaze me, as you never cease to set-up false moral equivalences. You have the gall to compare CIA personnel to Nazis? The CIA used harsh interrogation techniques on precisely (3) high-value terrorists, while the Nuremberg trial indicted those who killed 6 million Jews. There is absolutely no comparison. D'UH!

At 9/12/2009 9:16 PM , Blogger Elroy said...

What is it with conservatives' problem with the rule of law? I thought they were all for it! Oh, that's right – it's subjective, depending on one's political stripe.

I'm not comparing CIA personnel to Nazis, I'm saying that the Nuremburg Principles , as drawn up after the Nuremburg trials by the United Nations, specifically states in Principle IV:

'The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him."

Sorry, but there it is. Furthermore, at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East the US successfully sought the death penalty for Japanese soldiers that had waterboarded US POWs – the US would not listen to the Nuremburg defense.

What changed? Torture is torture is torture. That is no moral equivalence, just an objective fact.

You obviously haven't noticed this but The Simon Wiesenthal Centre is still hunting down ex-Nazis for just being there – not torturing in the cells but for being guards.

Now, I'm not saying that they don't deserve it – if a case can be mounted against them then sure, prosecute away, but if you agree with that then you can't say that the CIA are immune from the exact same charges.

The CIA tortured and now they are pleading what is now known as the Nuremburg defense, the very defense the US has thrown out and that, Hawkeye®, is hypocrisy. There are no mitigating circumstances. None. Unless you are in the Republican Party.



Only three? Whatever gives you that idea? And how many is too many? Five? Six? When would you prosecute?


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