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Ignorance of the Lawmakers Is No Defense

Friday, May. 15, 2009 4:02 AM

No, it's not okay to torture prisoners if you brief Nancy Pelosi.

And, no, I'm not buying 'the CIA lied to us' as an excuse, because the question as to the extent of the interrogations and the abuses at Abu Ghraib was raised. The issue was debated as Congress worked on the Military Commissions Act, and we were treated to Alberto Gonzales' opinion that the Geneva Conventions were 'quaint and outmoded,' and the White House spinning the need for 'moral clarity.'

Pelosi chose to float, 'impeachment is off the table.' So did Harry Reid.

On the other hand, Dennis Kucinich put together Articles of Impeachment. It's clear someone knew right from wrong and where their constitutionally mandated duty lay.

It's time for accountability, folks. Our system of government is designed with checks and balances to prevent one branch from running roughshod over another. Republican and Democratic leaders are both complicit in allowing the Executive Branch to wilfully, knowingly break the law, and are now complicit in covering it up.

As children, we are taught the lessons of honesty and responsibility. If we throw a ball and it breaks a neighbor's window, we're supposed to own up to it. No one expects a child to make financial restitution, but we do expect them to make amends within their means - an apology, at the very least.

Often, when we trot out the 'I didn't know' excuse, it's clear that we did know, and we chose to ignore the consequences and/or believe we wouldn't get caught.

The price tag on our ignorance is climbing, and it's already one we can't afford.

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