05 January 2007

Let There Be Hearings

The Democrats are playing way too nice. This White House has secrets it has kept and lies it has told. It is our service men and women who suffer for those secrets and lies. Those newly in power may want to leave impeachment off the table for the time being, but asking questions and demanding proof is their job.

This President has ignored the will of the people. He appears not to have noticed that an election was held last November. He stubbornly sticks to a failed policy with the aid of cohorts who enjoy their power and influence more than ethical conduct.

The major problem with secrets and lies is that someone eventually finds out what really happened. It is best when this happens while those responsible can be held to account, but sooner or later the truth will out. One of the most famous cases of secrets, lies and the desire of a government to protect its power structure happened in France. To this day The Dreyfus Affair is the symbol of the miscarriage of justice.

Richard Dreyfuss, a descendant of Alfred Dreyfus, spoke at The National Press Club and called for President Bush to be impeached for his role in the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy. So history repeats itself one more time. The public demands truth and openess and those in power deny that demand.

So let the hearings begin before anyone else is killed for the pride of a President.


1895 : Dreyfus Affair in France

French officer Alfred Dreyfus, condemned for passing military secrets to the Germans, is stripped of his rank in a humiliating public ceremony in the courtyard of Paris' Ecole Militaire. Convicted on flimsy evidence in a highly irregular trial, he began his life sentence on the notorious Devil's Island Prison in French Guyana four months later.

In 1896, evidence disclosed that French Major Ferdinand Esterhazy was the guilty party. The army attempted to suppress this information, but a national uproar ensued, and the military had no choice but to put Esterhazy on trial. A court-martial was held in January 1898, and Esterhazy was acquitted within an hour.

In response, the French novelist Emile Zola published an open letter on the front page of the Aurore entitled "J'Accuse," which accused the judges of being under the thumb of the military. By the evening, 200,000 copies had been sold. One month later, Zola was sentenced to jail for libel but managed to escape to England.

In 1898, Major Hubert Henry admitted that he had forged much of the evidence against Dreyfus and committed suicide. Soon after, Esterhazy fled the country. The military was forced to order a new court-martial for Dreyfus. In 1899, he was found guilty in another show trial and sentenced to 10 years in prison. However, a new French administration pardoned him, and in 1906 the supreme court of appeals overturned his conviction.

4 comments:

COLORADO BOB said...

I found someone you my like, she's a librarian at a history museum.

Library Diva

crpitt said...

Fascinating post! hmm what Island could we ship Bush off to?
Claire

crpitt said...

No not the UK!
Claire

Jamie said...

In line with today's post, Devil's Island would do. I doubt that he has read Papillion so it should be more permanent than Napoleon at Elba.