S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"Failure to protect"

This is a very serious charge. Since our current president (OCP) George W. Bush was first elected, we as citizens became more vulnerable to harm from our own government. "Failure to protect" applies to people in government who leave citizens and aliens vulnerable to harm. "Failure to protect" applies to citizens who have the responsibility to maintain a vibrant democracy. In effect the requisite number of citizen voters failed to protect our nation from Bush's reelection in 2004.

"Failure to protect" applies to parents responsible for seeing to the well-being of their children. When I was actively working as a social worker, an advocate for kids, any parent who knowingly failed to protect the child from abuse by another person could be in trouble with Child Welfare. And as a social worker I had a legal duty to warn about a threat to harm, in certain cases that overrode my duty to maintain confidentiality.

Since the turn of the century things have radically changed for me personally and for our nation. In 2002 I went into retirement. Because I have retired does not mean that I am absolved of responsibility, however. I remain a citizen. I see my job as a blogger as an advocate for vulnerable people. At times I see this writing as fulfilling a duty to warn. Here are some more current issues about which you should know, if you do not already.

Failure to protect U.S. citizens' civil liberties is one of the serious charges leveled at our current president, (OCP) and increasingly, our current Congress as foreign intelligence surveillance legislation (FISA) is contemplated. Glenn Greenwald is a powerful advocate for civil liberties. Writing for on Tuesday June 17, 2008, his headline read, "Targeting Steny Hoyer for his contempt for the rule of law." To quote:

It is now definitively clear that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is the driving force behind a bill -- written by GOP Sen. Kit Bond -- to vest the President with vast new warrantless eavesdropping powers and to vest lawbreaking telecoms with amnesty. Even as his office dishonestly denies that he is doing so, still more reports yesterday -- this one from the NYT and this one from Roll Call (sub req'd) -- confirm that a so-called "compromise" is being spearheaded by Hoyer and the House Democratic leadership.

. . . As a result, there is a major new campaign beginning today aimed at Hoyer and a handful of other key members of Congress who enable telecom immunity and warrantless eavesdropping.

Failure to protect basic human rights -- In 2002-2003 could the Pentagon not spare just a few of its 10,000 lawyers to protect military protocols and the rule of law from the assaults of the higher-ups at the Justice Department, DoD and the CIA? Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti at the New York Times reported Wednesday on the previous day's important Senate Armed Services Committee hearings on the harsh interrogation methods used against detainees suspected of terrorism. It was titled, "Notes Show Confusion on Interrogation Methods." To quote:

Mr. Haynes fended off attacks by Democrats and some Republicans, noting that the Defense Department has 10,000 lawyers and saying he had no time to conduct legal research himself on which methods were permitted.

Moreover, Mr. Haynes said, “as the lawyer, I was not the decision maker. I was the adviser.”

Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, said he thought Mr. Haynes’s advice had led American soldiers drastically astray. “You degraded the integrity of the United States military,” Mr. Reed said.

People in the Veterans Administration failed to protect veterans in this case reported by ABC News (6/17/08): "'Disposable Heroes': Veterans Used To Test Suicide-Linked Drugs"* To quote:

Mentally distressed veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are being recruited for government tests on pharmaceutical drugs linked to suicide and other violent side effects, an investigation by ABC News and The Washington Times has found.

. . . In one of the human experiments, involving the anti-smoking drug Chantix, Veterans Administration doctors waited more than three months before warning veterans about the possible serious side effects, including suicide and neuropsychiatric behavior.

And finally it has come to this -- a failure to protect from an over reaching Department of Homeland Security. Is this true or is it Conspiracy Theory? Read this regarding continuity of government, from survival acres : "The Last Roundup - Main Core" (6/7/08)*

*from my blog friend "betmo" at life's journey.

I will be traveling soon to visit my family of origin in Wyoming. Therefore blog posting may be much more sporadic. But I will be tuned in to the web as much as possible, given technology and circumstances.

This day in history - Constitutional Convention, June 18, 1787: Hamilton proposed his vision of a supreme central government.

View my current slide show about the Bush years -- "Millennium" -- at the bottom of this column.

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.

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