Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Can they leave in time to avoid charges for war crimes?

posted by Bill Arnett @ 9:36 AM Permalink

There is an excellent article in the International Herald Times this morning discussing the fact that bush has made more interim appointments to important government positions than any previous president.

The reasons are manifold. Bush wishes to avoid contentious Senate confirmation hearings. Since the majority of nominees for open positions have little or no experience in the jobs for which they are nominated, and were nominated solely for their past contributions to the bush campaign, bush has had to resort to interim appointments to fill many positions with his cronies.

Also, now that bush is a lame duck with about fifteen months remaining before America is finally shed of its worst president ever, even the unqualified political hacks he has appointed or allowed to serve in an "acting" capacity realize that when a Democratic president is elected next year there will be wholesale firing and replacement of these people.

Many departments are severely understaffed already, with vacancy rates exceeding 25% of the required workforce, and many, many highly qualified people have been fleeing the bush maladministration while some smidgeon of their honor intact.

From the article:
[…]With only 15 months left in office, President George W. Bush has left whole agencies of the executive branch to be run largely by acting or interim appointees — jobs that would normally be filled by people whose nominations would have been reviewed and confirmed by the Senate. In many cases, there is no obvious sign of movement at the White House to find permanent nominees, suggesting that many important jobs will not be filled by Senate-confirmed officials for the remainder of the Bush administration. That would effectively circumvent the Senate's right to review and approve the appointments. It also means that the jobs are filled by people who do not have the clout to make decisions that comes with a permanent appointment endorsed by the Senate, scholars say.[…]

"You've got more vacancies now than a hotel in hurricane season," said Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University and one of the nation's best-known specialists on the U.S. bureaucracy. "In my 25 years of studying these issues, I've never seen a vacancy rate like this."[…]

Professor Light said it was not surprising for the number of vacancies in senior government posts to grow near the end of a president's term, when political appointees seek work outside government and it becomes more difficult to recruit candidates for what may be short-term jobs.

But he said the situation in the final months of the Bush administration was dire. Since Bush may well be replaced by a Democrat who would almost certainly want a wholesale turnover of political appointments, the vacancies could continue well into 2009 at many cabinet departments and other agencies, Professor Light said.

He said the problems of having so many acting senior government officials were obvious: "One of the things we know is that they just aren't as effective as Senate-confirmed appointees. They just don't have the standing in their agencies. Acting people are very shy about making decisions."
Please go read the entire, well-researched, well written article for more detail, but I would like to posit another possibility for so many maladministration members resigning and others withdrawing their names from consideration for a position: When bush is out of office I believe there is the very real possibility that he and other members of his maladministration could find themselves in the uncomfortable position of facing a war crimes tribunal.

bush/cheney would be a really easy conviction, all the enablers in a Pentagon staffed by sycophant generals following illegal orders, Justice Department employees who have given opinions that allow bush to torture captives, the CIA agents and private security contractors implementing that torture, companies such a Blackwater USA who kill Iraqis without compunction, and the indiscriminate use of WMDs by the U.S. that have the unfortunate side effect of killing many innocent women and children could separately or together be used as the basis for charges of having committed war crimes begging for prosecution.

I think such a prosecution would go a long way towards restoring some of the honor America formerly enjoyed, as well as showing the world that even a rogue U.S. administration is not beyond the reach of international law.

bush has conducted a systematic genocide of the Iraqi people, killing more than one million, over two million have fled to points outside Iraq, and another two million or more are displaced within Iraq that is causing a humanitarian disaster.

It's hard to think of any person or group of people who deserves international condemnation and prosecution than this bunch in charge of America today.

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