Investigating Bush in the post-Bush era
Matt Stoller: What do we do about the, I ugh, as someone who has seen a rogue administration that has engaged in multiples acts that are beyond the bounds of American legitimacy in the political system and the international system, this country's done some very bad things over the last seven years, what do we do after the Bush administration is out of office to root out the networks of people who have engaged in these kinds of behaviors?
Wes Clark: Hold them accountable. We've got to hold them accountable under law and do the investigations and have the heart and fortitude to stay with the investigations against the partisan cry of the right-wingers who say 'oh it's over now let's move on and let's look to the future'. No, it's not over, because the people who did it are still there.
Matt Stoller: So you think Senator Clinton as President will do those investigations?
Wes Clark: Yes.
Matt Stoller: And you think Congress should continue those investigations once Bush is out of office?
Wes Clark: Absolutely.
Not so fast General. If and when a Democratic President wins in 2008 with an increased majority in both houses of congress, there will be an almost immediate call by the Washington establishment to "put all the bad things behind us" and move on (heh). It happened after Nixon resigned when the establishment praised Ford for the pardon. It happened when Bill Clinton came into office and immediately announced that there would be no further push to investigate malfeasance during the Reagan/Bush years. Can there be any doubt that it will happen again?
Some of the calls for comity will come from a serious desire to "put it all behind us". Some of it will come from a serious desire to "get out of jail free". But whatever the reason, the pull for "let's let bygones be bygones" will be overwhelming.
In fact, I'd lay even money that the Democrat elected President in 2008 will eventually issue a blanket pardon of Bush and Cheney.
And then the whole sick cycle will start all over again.