One would think we would feel some sense of validation
knowing that all we accused our government of doing: the lying,
the torture, the deceit, is true. Piece by piece and time after
time, those of us in the peace movement and, in particular,
Gold Star Families who have worked in the peace movement have
learned we were right. I don’t know about the rest of the families
today, but I can tell you, I do not feel in the least bit happy
those of you whose heads have been in a hole somewhere out in
Never Never Land, let me explain to you what I am talking about.
Former White House Press Secretary, Scott McClellan, wrote a
book that has been talked about hour after hour this week called
“What Happened”. He talks about the lead up to the war and how
the Bush administration fed all of us, including him, propaganda
as they beat the drums to illegally invade Iraq.
It is, seemingly, a tell-all book written by a man who now says
he has a duty to the truth.
Sir, you have always had a duty to tell the truth,
to speak truth to power. As a public servant, that should have
always been your moral and ethical responsibility! To do anything
less leaves you culpable in one of the greatest crimes against
humanity of all time. If
you knew what the administration was spewing were lies, you
should have said something and done something. But you did not
and because of it, all of us have suffered. You were not alone
in this, I’ll give you that. There were many others who spewed
the lies, the rhetoric, the propaganda that cost so many lives
and so many trillions of dollars. You helped to totally ruin
a foreign country and kill their civilians.
I can feel little more than anger today, after
I have listened to hours of interviews and talking points on
the TV and radio.
A few years ago I never thought I’d find myself
in the position I am in today, as I look back over time and
what I have experienced because of this war and this disastrous
have been called a traitor to my country, unpatriotic, and a
disgrace to my son and his service to his country. I have been
threatened physically and shouted at by misled people (who are
generally otherwise probably pretty decent people) who thought
I was crazy because I did not believe. My phones have been tapped
and my emails read illegally. One morning during August of 2005,
shortly after coming home from Crawford, Texas, my husband
went outside to find a government car parked in front of our
home, the windows blacked out. The car sped away as soon as
they spotted my husband.
We have worried for our jobs and the safety of
our family. Many of our friends thought we were just plain nuts,
while we have had others, who worked for the government, tell
us, we can’t be friends anymore – it endangers us and our jobs.
Even our own family thought we had lost our marbles.
I cannot lay full blame on Scott McClellan. The blame for all
of this also lies with the media, who did not question properly
even though it would have put their jobs on the line. The blame
also lies with our elected officials who should have questioned
more carefully and explained to the American people what they
We no longer have a system of checks and balances
on the Presidency of this country, in Congress or in the media.
When responsible, patriotic citizens stand up to hold our government
and the media to accountability, we are generally ignored and
pushed to the side like an unwanted pile of weeds.
corruption goes down to the very deepest, darkest levels of
our society now. When people like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly
and the likes of Fox News and the other Murdock-owned media
outlets only report what the government wants them to report,
there is something seriously wrong. When people are getting
rich off the war there is something wrong.
We know the truth. There is inescapable
evidence right in our faces as to what the truth is. Yet, absolutely
nothing is being done to hold the Bush administration accountable
for its actions. Those
few honorable elected representatives who have tried eventually
get buried and forgotten. It is not just the Republicans who
are responsible for this, the Democrats hold equal responsibility
for not taking responsibility, holding the administration accountable
and doing what is right.
What we have all feared for so long has come
to pas… The terrorists won, but not in the way we thought
they would. It did not take more violence, only a government
and military industrial complex that fed upon our worst nightmares
and fears. Worse, We, The People, let them.
BlackCommentator.com Guest Commentator,
Amy Branham, is the mom of the late Sgt. Jeremy R. Smith. Her
blog is: http://amybranham.blogspot.com/. Click here
to contact Ms. Branham.