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Change is Not Always Good

When you think of words like government secrecy, it stirs up memories of a “Cold War” Soviet Union. When you think of words like government sanctioned torture, N. Korea, China and a Saddam controlled Iraq come to mind. When you think of words like rampant government corruption you think of a post-“Cold War” Russia, that due to a rapid destabilization of their economy, was run by thugs, crooks and the officials that were overcome by greed.
I never thought that the United States government would fall into the same disgusting pot.

The Bush administrations constant assault on the "Freedom of Information Act."

The seven media organizations involved in the Sunshine Initiative are the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Society of Professional Journalists, Coalition of Journalists for Open Government, National Newspaper Association, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Radio-Television News Directors Association and the Newspaper Association of America.

The fact that a coalition such as this one even needs to be created, is proof that the First Amendment does not mean what it used to mean. There should not have to be coalitions and initiatives ensuring that our most basic and fundamental right is followed. Then again, a lot of things have happened since Sept. 11 that should never have happened.

After Condoleezza Rice's appearance in front of a panel investigating the 2001 terrorist attacks, the Bush Administration made it clear that they would be open and forthright about what "the people need to know." The problem isn't that the administration lied when they said they would tell America what it needed to know. The problem is, they actually feel justified in holding the information back. It's not that they are making empty promises, it's that they truly believe such a high level of secrecy is good for America.

Consider the following, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence issued a 500-plus page report on intelligence failures in the lead up to the war in Iraq. For weeks, there had been a heated back-and-forth on what needed to stay secret in that report. When it came back from review by intelligence officials, fully half had been blacked out. One senior committee member called that "absolutely an insult... they redacted half of what we had," including many parts "that revealed nothing" and were "everyday, unclassified words." The angry senator: former Majority Leader Trent Lott, Republican of Mississippi.

Bush administrations push for the right to torture foriegn prisoners.

VICE PRESIDENT Cheney is aggressively pursuing an initiative that may be unprecedented for an elected official of the executive branch: He is proposing that Congress legally authorize human rights abuses by Americans. "Cruel, inhuman and degrading" treatment of prisoners is banned by an international treaty negotiated by the Reagan administration and ratified by the United States. The State Department annually issues a report criticizing other governments for violating it. Now Mr. Cheney is asking Congress to approve legal language that would allow the CIA to commit such abuses against foreign prisoners it is holding abroad. In other words, this vice president has become an open advocate of torture

Government corruption and questionable ethics issues under Bush administrations watch:

"Hauled into court alongside Representative Tom DeLay, the Texas judicial system is also on trial."

" Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist remains under investigation by federal authorities for his sale of stock in his family founded hospital chain this year."

"Cheney's 2000 income from Halliburton: $36,086,635
Increase in government contracts while Cheney led Halliburton: 91%
Minimum size of "accounting irregularity" that occurred while Cheney was CEO: $100,000,000 (One hundred MILLION dollars)
Number of the seven official US "State Sponsors of Terror" that Halliburton contracted with: 2 out of 7
Pages of Energy Plan documents Cheney refused to give congressional investigators: 13,500
Amount energy companies gave the Bush/Cheney presidential campaign: $1,800,000"

"On Oct. 28, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald announced that Libby had been indicted on one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury, and two counts of making false statements. According to the indictment, Libby lied to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents and a federal grand jury about his conversations regarding the identity of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative Valerie Plame with both Time reporter Matthew Cooper and Tim Russert of NBC News."

" A Time magazine reporter testified in the CIA leak case that she alerted Karl Rove's lawyer in early 2004 that the top Bush adviser had leaked information to her colleague about Valerie Plame, according to a first-person account published Sunday in Time."

Is this acceptable?
I remember when we were the "Good Guys." I remember when we were the beacon of light and the safehaven of Democracy.
The Bush administration has failed us. Our government is in the pockets of the wealthy corporations that really run this once great nation.
Tax cuts for the rich takes precedence over programs that help children, the poor and elderly.
The people at the bottom are paying financially for a war that has cost the poor and middle class emotionally as well. Meanwhile the wealthy few not only are not in harms way but manage to profit.
This is not a partisan attack. It is merely an observation from a concerend American.
We need less secrecy, a government that speaks out against torture and ends corruption.

Posted by Andre M. Hernandez at December 13, 2005 11:36 AM