The Bush administration has reasons to be nervous. Not just because of mismanagement or incompetence, although there is certainly plenty of that. But they are guilty of criminal activity – indictable and impeachable violations of the law.
Among these open and confirmable crimes:
- Lying to Congress is a crime.
- Disclosing the identity of a covert intelligence agent is a crime.
- Perjury is a crime.
- Influence peddling ("graft") is a crime.
- Torture of prisoners and violation of the Geneva Conventions is a crime.
- Violation of civil liberties (denial of rights to counsel, trial, etc.) is a crime.
- Failure to obey a court order (i.e. of the Supreme Court) is a crime.
- Misprision (i.e., incitement) of a felony is a crime.
- Voting fraud is a crime.
- Obstruction of Justice is a crime.
Congress refuses to investigate, and the mainstream media refuse to investigate and report, which means that the Congress and the media are (in an unindictable sense) "accessories" to these crimes.
Can the public be aroused from its slumbers? On that question, history will turn.
We, the public, need not sit silently, as helpless spectators, hoping for a reversal of fortune while our democracy is being taken from us. In fact, a significant and growing portion of the public is taking action, as the Bush administration and its bodyguard media lose credibility. The mainstream media remains answerable to its stockholders. That media might thus face the choice of either becoming irrelevant or, to avoid bankruptcy, practicing honest journalism again.
Thus it remains the responsibility of each private dissenting citizen to join the struggle – a thousand, better millions, of "points of light," to use George H. W. Bush’s metaphor in a manner he never intended. The citizen can act with boycotts, letters to editors, demonstrations, and by supporting progressive voices in the independent media and the internet. The citizen can act by being heard in public meetings and private conversations, and, if sufficiently resourceful and courageous, with acts of civil disobedience.
But can private citizens make a difference? Ask that question of the protesters at Camp Casey, and you will find your answer. Joseph Wilson made a difference. Cindy Sheehan made a difference. Colleen Rowley made a difference. Who’s next? Maybe you.
As Margaret Mead once said: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world: Indeed it's the only thing that ever has."
The Bush Administration is engaged in a contest against the truth and against reality, as it spins out lie after lie, and as it rewrites and censors scientific reports. This is a contest that it must eventually lose. Our job as responsible citizens is to pull away the curtain and expose the wizard as soon as possible, to minimize further damage to our country – to its economy, to its international reputation, to its honor.
For, to quote the late physicist Richard Feynman in his dissent to the Challenger Disaster report, "reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled."