coming back to New Orleans. I know I must bore you. Some of you
have increased your computer speed three or four times since people
died on the streets of an American city for lack of food, water
or medical care. We are onto the next thing quickly. Even the
most moral of us find the next outrage, the next cause.
just can't get past this.
about it before. It was a tipping point for me. It was a grand
illustration of the little amount of regard elected officials
paid to the citizenry. Senators, presidents, representatives that
have supposedly come from the ranks of the people and elected
by us to serve and protect, turned their backs upon us with a
stunning laissez faire.
played air guitar. My senators, Democrats Durbin and Obama held
the sheet music. My representative, Rahm Emmanuel, always described
as a powerful voice, was silent and still. The American public
was standing on tiptoes in an attic, gasping for breath from an
air vent, until our legs gave way. Some of our bodies weren't
recovered for months. Some may be there still.
We now know,
as Americans, that whatever dire tragedy may befall us that no
help will be forthcoming. If there is no profit to be had we are
as good as dead. If we are lucky the vice-president may put on
his sweatpants and show up at a funeral.
come as no surprise that another chasm in our faith has been exposed.
have been there.
of 2006, my senator, Dick Durbin, addressed the secrecy issue
concerning the illegal wiretapping of American citizens to Chris
Wallace of Fox News: "Having
served on the Intelligence Committee, I can tell you they put
you in a box. They tell you the secret information and then say
you're sworn to secrecy. You can't repeat it.
to suggest that you can then hold a president or any member of
the administration accountable publicly would mean that you'd
have to break the law and leak information to the press, which
many of us are loathe to do, as we should be. So we're in a terrible
situation here, being given information and you can't do anything
Durbin, you work for
the American people. You are
in office to protect our interests
and our lives. Your allegiance is
to us and not the Intelligence
Committee. If you knew that the
excursion into Iraq was a lie,
it was your duty as a senator
to expose it before one
American life (or Iraqi life) was lost.
Beyond your duty to the
American people, it would be your
moral duty as a human being.
Senator Durbin changed the title of his statement and delivered
it on the Senate floor: "I
was a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and I would
read the headlines in the paper in the morning and I'd watch the
television newscast and I'd shake my head. The information we
had in the Intelligence Committee was not the same information
being given to the American people. I couldn't believe it.
see, in the Intelligence Committee, we're sworn to secrecy. We
can't walk outside the door and say, 'The statement made yesterday
by the White House is in direct contradiction to classified information
that's being given to this Congress.'
so in my frustration, I sat here on the floor of the Senate and
listened to this heated debate about invading Iraq thinking the
American people are being misled. They are not being told the
be surprised. I am infuriated.
you work for the American people. You are in office to protect
our interests and our lives. Your allegiance is to us and not
the Intelligence Committee. If you knew that the excursion into
Iraq was a lie, it was your duty as a senator to expose it before
one American life (or Iraqi life) was lost. Beyond your duty to
the American people, it would be your moral duty as a human being.
that you are privy to are kept only to protect the American people
not to lead us blindly into harm. We trusted you. I voted for
you. My fellow citizens of Illinois voted for you. We can only
apologize to the world for our mistake and count our dead.
our children for you to place in harm's way and you turn our sacrifices
into a Sgt. Rock comic book recruiting poster. Pat Tillman believed
his country needed his assistance and gave up a lucrative professional
sports career only to lose his life in a messy screw-up in Afghanistan.
It wasn't enough to plaster posters of his chiseled features across
the news. It wasn't enough to sell football jerseys with his name
on it. The government had to make his death into some glorious
made for TV movie that it wasn't.
If Pat had returned home without a scratch, he would've still
been honored by us. We know the sacrifice of service. It is glory
enough for us. Wasn't it enough that the only way that Jessica
Lynch could get enough money to enable a lifetime of service to
us as a teacher, was by doing a tour in the military? There was
honor enough there. The wounds, the rescue and the "girl Rambo"
nonsense wasn't necessary.
might not be aware of this constant snow job that our government
gives us. When all else fails, when we can't invoke the privilege
of "secrecy" to hide the misdeeds, we are reminded of the blood
and the sacrifice of our fathers and mothers. Sorry to say that
some of us are doing all the sacrificing and dying and others
are always reminding us of it and profiting by it.
should hoist this flag up...
are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the
consent of the governed... But when a long train of abuses and
usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design
to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it
is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new
Guards for their future security."
of our Declaration of Independence. That's part of what we are
about. And if you want to know how we are doing, look to New Orleans.
We hold those truths to be self-evident and that's no secret.
We look to
our country and believe and we are misled. Some talk of impeachment
as a punishment for the betrayal of the faith. It is too easy.
Robert McNamara couldn't be bothered to research the history of
Vietnam before concocting his "domino theory" and 60,000 American
lives (and up to 4 million Vietnamese lives, but who's counting?)
were lost. At least he claimed ignorance. Durbin claims knowledge.
I think prison is in line here. It makes me wonder what does constitute
Besides operating the Record Emporium and running Wealselworld,
Mike Felten also has Landfill Records. Visit http://recordemporium.com
for a rockin' good time.