The Washington Post reports today
that six Blackwater mercenaries connected to the Nisour Square shooting that senselessly slaughtered 17 innocent Iraqi civilians September 16th last year have received target letters from the Department of Justice indicating that a grand jury is close to indicting them.
Elsewhere, ABC also tells us the sunny news
that a complaint originally filed in federal district court in the District of Columbia has been amended and expanded to include former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and former WH liaison Monica Goodling in connection with the politicized hiring process at the Department of Justice.
On the face of it, this sounds like America is finally getting back on track and once again observing the rule of law. However, being the cynic that I necessarily am, two questions immediately come to mind:
What the fuck took so long and why does accountability and comeuppance only come in an election year in which we're seeing the last days of power of an administration that not only aided and abetted these high crimes and misdemeanors but even ordered them?
And, more importantly, why are these looming indictments and complaints stopping short of the men at the top?
On the face of it, it would seem that real progress is being made by naming Alberto Gonzales in the complaint but it ought to be understood that 1) It is a complaint filed by several victims of a corrupt and unforgivably politicized criminal justice system, not a federal indictment nor even inherent contempt. It is a complaint that could easily go nowhere.
And 2), Alberto Gonzales was a stooge, a glorified mob lawyer in less expensive suits who never worked for anyone else but George W. Bush after law school. Gonzales had said time and again that he was completely oblivious to the hiring criteria being implemented by Goodling and her minions and one begins to suspect that Gonzo may be telling the truth for once in his bootlicking life.
Regarding the impending indictments against Blackwater for its mini genocide in Nisour Sq. in Baghdad last year, one has to wonder why accountability for that even more serious crime is being choked off at the thug level.
In spite of massive quantities of evidence that was being assembled by American and Iraqi military authorities plus the FBI in its parallel investigation, Erik Prince gave the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee a testimony that would've done Hannibal Lecter proud. In spite of photographs having been taken of bullet holes in the roofs of the Iraqi cars that were obviously strafed from above, Prince calmly denied there being any Blackwater gunships anywhere near the one-sided firefight.
The only acknowledgements that Prince and his own minions ever made to those murdered Iraqi men, women and children was to say that shit happens in a war zone, to quickly whisk his killers out of Iraq and then to bribe the surviving family members into silence through third parties (these same families rejected the bribes and, instead, sued Blackwater Worldwide
As a flourish, Prince then at the end of his testimony, stole right out from under Henry Waxman's nose the nameplate with his name on it. It was pure sociopathic theater that was engineered to say, "Anything that belongs to this government is mine to take and you can't do a damned thing about it."
So why isn't Erik Prince also being named in this possible indictment?
Impeachment of Bush and Cheney is now a wistful memory inspiring daydreams of what might have been. It's obvious that 99.9% of Congress never had the slightest intention of impeaching Bush and Cheney. Even if we're to take Henry Waxman's recent admission at face value, that impeachment and observing the rule of law could and would be called "partisan politics" by the minority
GOP (that will see its numbers shrink even further come this November), then it still augurs very badly.
However, one suspects that Pelosi's refusal to impeach Bush and Cheney for high crimes that far, far exceeded a blow job lied about under oath, even exceeding the excesses of power in the darkest, most paranoid days of the Nixon administration, involves a deeper, darker agenda than a mere fear that the Republican party will call them names with schoolyard bully tactics.
We're seeing a choking off of accountability that's reminiscent of the Abu Ghraib scandal. Yeah, they toppled Janice Karpinski, demoted her to Colonel, but what about Rumsfeld? Lynndie England, Charles Graner and Sabrina Harmon was a good start but they're not Rumsfeld nor the top brass that institutionalized if not ordered the torture and murders of Iraqi citizens in Abu Ghraib prison.
Karpinski, like Gonzales, also claimed ignorance of what her underlings were doing.
Criminally clueless though these hacks are, accountability should not be limited to them. For every blithely oblivious idiot like Alberto Gonzales and Janice Karpinski, for every cruel and stupid stooge like England and Graner, there are at least five or ten neocon puppet masters pulling their strings who will not be held accountable for any high crimes and misdemeanors no matter what year is on the calendar.
1. It's filled with Russians.
2. Russians are xenophobic.
3. Not democratic.
4. Comfortable with corruption as a way of doing business.
5. Who appears to be in charge is not necessarily who is in charge.