Anybody Got a Motive?
I agree with Glenzilla that definitely nailing down motivation for the actions of others is almost always a futile endeavor, but I never look at it as wasted effort or time, for once in a while motivation becomes perfectly clear and then leveraging that actor or institution—if so desired—becomes instantly possible. There are millions of righteously pissed off Americans mightily banging on whatever window of government they can this morning to get prosecution of Bush war criminals started who would dearly love to know why Obama isn’t prosecuting, and even if a definitive answer isn’t available (no, it isn’t here), truth and wisdom discovered along the way can be very valuable.
Two possible motives slanting out of the same odious prism are the complicity/enabling theories. Either the Democrats knew and basically gave permission for war crimes and are thus held hostage to them, or are such weak political players they don’t have the political will to take on the huge fight prosecutions would require.
Plain baffling infuriating cowardly weakness should not be dismissed out of hand, it’s just incredible how this record of liberal and progressive fury at Party leadership to be Democrats has been played over and over and over again over the last nine years. The two main theories behind it are that Democrats got tired of losing and became reflexively appeasing—a sort-of Stockholm syndrome--and automatic groveling to a viciously hounding “jourmalism” corps that will endlessly knife them with Republican talking points, no matter how stupid.
Another old idea making the rounds is the legendary DC culture of zero accountability, no consequences for anyone, all the time! It makes for such a collegial, relaxed atmosphere when trying to get things done, doesn’t it? Loot the Treasury, lie endlessly, invoke fear on a daily basis and then commit some war crimes, hey, don’t worry about it, laws are for people outside of DC, Lord knows what they might find out or do to us if we’re held responsible for our actions like everyone else!
Another fun idea to cheer up our Tuesday is The Deal. Somewhere, somehow in some back room in the last three months Obama made a deal, no prosecutions for war crimes if he gets such’n such, it could be anything. This motive is way out there and too devious for my taste, I don’t see Obama as that manipulative and scheming (unfortunately). Still, The Deal should always be considered, it’s often the sole reason some politicians exist, they live to broker any deal to get something done.
Like all human constructs motive is often weaved from multiple variables, possibly making it more futile to discern but not always. In this war criminal coddling case I personally think it’s a mix of DC No Accountability and Reflexive Democratic Groveling, God a fight for war crime prosecutions would be so ugly and nasty, the press skewering us unmercifully in an journalism game we can never win, just let it go and protect us from our own heinous mistakes in the future.
I do think the Obama team forgot about tipping points in this lovely little accountability imbroglio. Yes the Bush administration frantically shielded anyone who broke the law (almost all of them) for eight years and got away with it, yes the “journalism” corps enabled them the entire time and shows very little signs of changing, and yes all the screaming idiot felons who crashed Wall Street get to skate and take in bonuses, but…eventually all bubbles burst, wells go dry, and human patience, seemingly so endless all those years, suddenly snaps and vanishes.
Sorry about fate and the way the cookie crumbles, John Yoo, but you’re going to prison while the CEO of B of A gets a perfumed massage before sex in his mansion. Tipping points can be a real bitch, believe me I know.
How truly likely is that fun little paragraph? Surprisingly, about 50-50 on this grim April 21st Tuesday morning in 2009. The optics for Obama are absolutely terrible on this, coddling war criminals is not hope, it is not change, and even they must finally admit that felons constantly waltzing out of DC could never go on indefinitely, all fantasies eventually must end, for once someone will be held responsible. Will that be enough to put Yoo and Adelman behind bars? We’ll find out soon.