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We should all take a moment to thank George Bush and his Administration. Thanks to them, we don't have to worry about being held accountable for our actions any more.
Why should we worry about accountability? No one in the Bush Administration has had to answer for their errors in judgment or deed. Not a single one of them. If they don't have to face the consequences for their actions, neither should any other American.
With her track record over the previous four years, Condoleeza Rice was considered one of the most incompetent National Security Advisors ever. For example, the NSA is supposed to coordinate between the State Department and the Pentagon and make sure they pursue the same policies. While she was an NSA, she did nothing to stop the constant bickering between Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell's departments, which led to incoherent US policy towards places like Iran and North Korea. Now, both Iran and North Korea are closer than ever to possessing nuclear weapons.
What happens to Condoleeza Rice? She gets promoted to Secretary of State.
George Tenet, head of the CIA, presided over some of the worst intelligence failures in the history of the United States. While he was in charge, the CIA failed to read the signs that may have prevented 9/11, and were utterly inaccurate about Iraqi weapons capabilities.
What happens to George Tenet? He gets a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
John Bolton, as Undersecretary of State, is known to break all diplomatic rules to get his way. He consistently undermines the work of his superiors at the State Department to negotiate with North Korea. He berates all of his subordinates, and puts pressure on intelligence analysts to come up with estimates that favor his pre-determined ideas. He is reviled by virtually everyone working in the Foreign Service.
What happens to John Bolton? He is nominated to be Ambassador to the United Nations.
Alberto Gonzalez, as White House Counsel, writes memos that call the Geneva conventions "quaint" and "outdated." This (indirectly at the least, but more likely directly) results in torture scandals in the prisons at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo that not only shame the American people but also actively undermines efforts to spread peace and democracy in the Middle East as American credibility is irreparably damaged in the region.
What happens to Alberto Gonzalez? He is promoted to Attorney General.
Who lost their job over the terrible planning of post-invasion Iraq? Was anyone held accountable for leaking the name of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame? How about for the collapse of Enron - did any one of the many Bush people with close ties to that corrupt company suffer for their dealings with them? The list goes on and on, and the answer is the same. No one person in the Bush Administration has ever had to admit that they were wrong, been let go for their incompetence, or been forced to do penance for their misdeeds.
So I say, if they aren't going to be held accountable, neither should anyone else.
Remember how during the Clinton years everyone kept saying that the biggest problem with all of his ethical lapses was that the President was supposed to set the example for the rest of the country? Well, if that was true then, it should be true now, right?
I'd say it's certainly still true, and not only that, but I also think unaccountability is a great thing. Think about it - it is very freeing. Without any consequences for our actions, we can stop worrying and fretting over every little thing we do or say.
In fact, in honor of our current leadership, I'm going to start really slacking off at work. I'll be doing a lot more surfing of the Internet, and I'm not really going to worry about completing projects on time. The next time a co-worker doesn't agree with me, I will attempt to get them to change their mind through a campaign of shock and awe. Then, when that doesn't work, I'll march into my boss' office and demand I get a raise and a promotion.
If they try to say no, all I'll have to do is remind them of the example being set by our leaders in the Administration. Why should I be held to different standards? I am grooming myself for leadership! This is government by the people for the people, which means that the people in government and I are one in the same. If they're not going to be held accountable, then I shouldn't have to be either.
How could my bosses disagree? They couldn't - if the President and his Administration set the example for the rest of the country, all I would be doing is following that example. That means a big, fat promotion and raise for me - with no pressure to actually perform!
So, please, President Bush, ignore the calls to start holding more people accountable. Don't listen to the Democrats, liberals, the media, the international community or the millions of Americans with a conscience and sense of morality. They don't see the whole picture, and they don't know how much they stand to lose. Believe me, they don't want to think about it anyway. And you always want to do what's in the best interest of the people, right?
Yes, life without accountability looks like it's going to be pretty sweet, Mr. Bush. And we have you to thank for it.
Dan Filowitz is Toronto-born, New-Jersey-raised, Indiana-University-educated, and Chicago-residing. In addition to his Lost At Sea contributions, Dan is a senior staff writer for political humor site TalkStation.com and the president of ChicagoImprovAnarchy (The CIA) a Chicago-based improv theatre company. We are not mentioning the 9-5 corporate job. Apparently, Dan does not sleep much. Dan Filowitz is the perfect dinner party guest - fun, witty, intelligent, with wide-ranging interests, ecclectic tastes and a winning smile. Just make sure you have coffee available.
See other articles by Dan Filowitz.
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