Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Bystander syndrome

Bystander syndrome was a term coined in 1969 after a man stabbed and killed a woman named Kitty Genovese while 38 people watched and did nothing. Similar occurrences have happened since. Some people are scared that they would be hurt or their families threatened with retaliation if they intervene or call for help. Others assume someone else is calling the police or will do something.
We had eight years of criminals running our country, violating their oaths to preserve the constitution, engaging in a war based on lies with the intent of making a few favored corporations wealthy in first tearing the country down and then rebuilding it. Anyone with half a brain knew what they were doing and why they were doing it. These leaders did not try to cover their crimes, they openly boasted of them, or at least denounced what they were doing with a wink and a nod.
  • Bush clowned around about trying to find weapons of mass destruction
  • Cheney made speeches talking about the need to resort to dark tactics to get information.
  • Bush mentioned in a state of the union address, "Many who opposed us are no longer with us." A wink and a nod reference to assassinations.
  • After the abuses were found at Abu Gahrib Bush gave another wink and a nod by saying that the US doesn't torture, but did anyone really believe that whopper? At that point he had no credibility, everyone with half a brain knew he was lying through his teeth every time he opened his mouth.
  • Before leaving office Bush admitted to giving the go ahead on waterboarding.
  • Before and after leaving office Cheney had made repeated statements justifying the use of torture, which amount to a confession that he ordered it.
  • Condoleza Rice just admitted on tape to a college student that she passed on the orders, making her a co-conspirator in the use of torture.
  • This is not a complete list of all the crimes Bush and his minions committed by any means, but you get the idea.
This brings to mind the questions, why aren't these guys and gals under indictment? Why are they out on the speaking circuit making money instead of testifying before congress under oath?
My theory is bystander syndrome. While these crooks were robbing the treasury and destroying the economy, while they were fighting two wars on the cheap leaving our military overextended, over deployed, under provisioned, under protected, the wounded under cared for, and the dead disrespected. While they set up an illegal concentration camp, tortured and killed without getting any useful intelligence destroying this country's reputation and losing us allies as well as making us more enemies. Where was the fourth estate, a free press to report these crimes? Where were the democrats? Where was public opinion?
 The News Media not only did nothing to adequately report these abuses they condoned them. With most newspapers owned by a few supporters of the crooks, they slanted the news and are still doing it today (they've lost all credibility and are fast dying because of it). Television and radio followed suit. Bill Moyers at PBS is the only journalist to seriously challenge Bushco and they tried their damnedest to fire him. All others that criticized these crooks were comedians. Keith Olberman stepped up to the plate a little late in the game, but did hit some home runs.
The democrats, why were they not a true party of opposition to this madness? Why did they vote to fund these wars after the truth came out? Why did they not impeach Bush and Cheney?
Why are they still so spineless that with a filibuster proof congress they won't hold hearings and right these wrongs?
Because they stood by for eight years and said or did nothing. They were bystanders watching people dying from delay and neglect in New Orleans while homeland security and FEMA kept out all charitable relief organizations and siphoned off government money to hire mercenaries like Blackwater half heartedly dealt with the problem. They had their own wink and a nod. They would sound pious and decry what Bushco was doing, but never took action even after 2006 and regained the house, Scott Horton repeatedly urged them to hold hearing and make Rove and the other testify under oath. Something they won't do even now!
Are they cowards? No, they are accomplices. They stood by and watched and did nothing. They aided and abetted these crimes with their lack of action. Their reasons might have been fear of being called a traitor, losing re-election, being investigated by the most corrupt justice department in history, or knowing that eventually the voting public would get sick of what was happening and they would be back in power.
Well you're back in power, stop being driven by guilt and fear and uphold the law.
  1. Obama needs to clean up the justice department, not just change policy.
  2. Congress needs to investigate and bring criminal charges against those that wrote the torture memos and those who ordered it.
  3. Doing this will not shut down the government or detract from all the other problems we're facing. 
It will let the world see if they took their oaths of office seriously. That's my public opinion.


One Fly said...

Great post PM and what you put forth is part of it but there's more I tell you. I've posted on this but the only thing that makes common sense to me given the magnitude of no accountability is that many have been threatened or their families or whatever with great harm.

And don't forget Democracy Now as that is where I learned the truth about these killers long before Irak.

P M Prescott said...

I agree, I think Obama is afraid of being assassinated if he pursues this.