When a Speaker Fails to Speak Up
How pathetic. At a news conference yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi summed it all up for us, clearly intimating that she believes Congress has no Constitutional authority to restrain an Executive Branch run amok. When asked if she wished she had done more to try to stop the CIA’s use of torture, she replied:
“I mean, the point is, is that we had the conversation. They told us they had legal opinions. As I say in my statement, we now know what they didn’t inform us then, that there were other opinions within the executive branch that concluded that these interrogation techniques were not legal. So no letter or anything else is going to stop them from doing what they’re going to do. My job was to change the majority in Congress and to change — to fight to have a new president, because what was happening was not consistent with our values, certainly not true, and — and something that had to be changed….”
Legal opinions?! Oh my gosh! Everyone hit the deck, they’ve got legal opinions!
What is a legal opinion, Ms. Pelosi, compared to the Constitution and the rule of law (a law outlawing torture and passed by Congress incidentally), which you have sworn to uphold? If you thought the law was being broken, it was your duty to speak out, to take your case to the Congress, the media, the American people– not to wait for the next election.
So I guess the Constitution and the rule of law no longer have any power and cannot afford us any protection? You mean to say that our safety lies only in the Democratic Party and that it was your duty to make sure they won the election, rather than to speak out against the lawlessness of an imperial regime?
If this woman has so little faith in our Constitutional form of government, so little respect for the laws of this nation, she is not worthy to hold her office. While she is not responsible for forming the Bush administration’s policy of waterboarding detainees, she is certainly complicit in making it all possible and in failing to enforce the Constitutional checks and balances she swore to uphold. Qui tacet consentire videtur. Silence implies consent.