...of Rhode Island gave a powerful speech on the floor of the senate the day after Obama was sworn in as our new president. The full speech can be read at Rachel Maddows Blog and there is a link to a video of it. I very much encourage everyone to read and watch it, I just hope our new president rteads it as well. Even just reading a section of it has me shedding tears of anger.
Image via WikipediaSo when an administration rigs the intelligence process and produces false evidence to send our country to war;
When an administration descends to interrogation techniques of the Inquisition, of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge - descends to techniques that we have prosecuted as crimes in military tribunals and federal courts;
When institutions as noble as the Department of Justice and as vital as the Environmental Protection Agency are systematically and deliberately twisted from their missions by odious means of institutional sabotage;
When the integrity of our markets and the fiscal security of our budget are opened wide to the frenzied greed of corporations, speculators and contractors;
When the integrity of public officials; the warnings of science; the honesty of government procedures; and the careful historic balance of our separated powers of government, are all seen as obstacles to be overcome and not attributes to be celebrated;
When taxpayers are cheated, and the forces of government ride to the rescue of the cheaters and punish the whistleblowers;
When a government turns the guns of official secrecy against its own people to mislead, confuse and propagandize them;
When government ceases to even try to understand the complex topography of the difficult problems it is our very purpose and duty to solve, and instead cares only for these points where it intersects with the party ideology, so that the purpose of government becomes no longer to solve problems, but only to work them for political advantage;
In short, when you have pervasive infiltration into all the halls of government - judicial, legislative, and executive - of the most ignoble forms of influence; when you see systematic dismantling of historic processes and traditions of government that are the safeguards of our democracy; and when you have a bodyguard of lies, jargon, and propaganda emitted to fool and beguile the American people...
Well, something very serious in the history of our republic has gone wrong, something that dims the light of progress for all humanity.
As we look forward, as we begin the task of rebuilding this nation, we have an abiding duty to determine how great the damage is. I say this in no spirit of vindictiveness or revenge. I say it because the thing that was sullied is so, so precious; and I say it because the past bears upon the future. If people have been planted in government in violation of our civil service laws to serve their party and their ideology instead of serving the public, the past will bear upon the future. If procedures and institutions of government have been corrupted and are not put right, that past will assuredly bear on the future. In an ongoing enterprise like government, the door cannot be so conveniently closed on the closets of the past. The past always bears on the future.