A response to Mr. Goodlatte

Column by Eddie Garcia

Congressman Bob Goodlatte released a statement for Independence Day.

“This Fourth of July we look to the blessings of liberty and are reminded of how precious they are.”

On the Fourth of July, I looked at the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act of 2006, violations of FISA statutes and the Fourth Amendment, secret prisons, torture legitimatized, the Valerie Plame matter and everything connected with it, from the Niger yellowcake nonsense that your president infamously included in the State of the Union addres to the commutation of I. Lewis Libby’s sentence and everything in between, from Mr. Bush’s allowing Osama bin Laden to escape justice in a manner not dissimilar, in some ways, to his staying the hand of Justice’s action against Libby, to the lies that led us into an unnecessary and disastrous military adventure in Iraq, I, too, am reminded of how precious those blessings are.

And I fear for them.

And when I consider you have voted at this criminal president’s behest 97 percent of the time, I conclude that your discharge of the office to which you were elected has been, to say the least, somewhat lacking.

“Two hundred and thirty-one years ago, merchants, lawyers, farmers, educators, soldiers, physicians and pastors met in Philadelphia as members of the Second Continental Congress and risked charges of treason, because they possessed a vision of freedom.”

And today, those who oppose this president, his crimes, his unjustified wars, his lies, his politicalization of the Justice Department and his blatant disregard for the rule of law risk a similar fate: the mainstream media questions their patriotism, and calls them traitorous, because they possess a vision of freedom.

“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

-Nazi minister Herman Goering

“They recognized that liberty is a birthright, not something granted by a king.”

And clearly, those who support this administration and the concept of the “Unitary Executive” do not.

“They had the courage of their convictions to pledge their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor so that a new nation might be born.”

And you might be surprised at how many of us still will. And do.

“American Independence was not something that was won on a single summer day in 1776 when Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. Rather it was a movement that gained momentum from the heroic acts of these chosen few who thought liberty was worth standing up for amid a sea of opposition.”

And that call is again being heard, and it is because of the actions of such as you, Representative Goodlatte, your Republican Party, and its sycophantic fealty to a failed and criminal president.”

Few could have imagined how this experiment in self-governance might unfold. <b>Our founders’ legacy is the triumph of a set of ideas – ideas which have galvanized the modern age and are the hope of oppressed people around the globe.

This was true until the neoconservatives and their policy of preemptive war turned my country from a paradigm of reason and morality, of liberty, justice and tolerance, into a monster to be hated and feared by most of the rest of the world.

And if you cannot see that, sir, you are willfully blind.

“Ours is a noble heritage marked by self-sacrifice for causes greater than any one individual. It is particularly fitting that as we all gather to celebrate the birth of this great nation and the freedoms we enjoy here, that we remember and honor our brave servicemen and women on the front lines defending and promoting liberty.”

How are our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers dying for George W. Bush’s lies “defending and promoting liberty?”

I demand an answer to this.

“Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who are fighting the global war on terror …”

That phrase has been shown to be disingenuous, and is no longer used. This was a decision of the House Armed Services Committee.

You serve in the House of Representatives, do you not?

Did you not get the memo?

“… and our firefighters, law-enforcement and emergency-medical providers who are working to keep us safe here at home are putting their lives on the line to defend our freedom and make America safe. These brave men and women seek a just and lasting peace for those who embrace the cause of freedom and understand the good that democracy can do for humankind.”

While you assist the most criminal president in this nation’s history, the greatest danger to the democracy that you natter emptily about, in destroying it. Please.

Your words are hypocritical, and insulting.

“Our service members have made enormous sacrifices even before setting foot on the battlefield, leaving behind loved ones, and for the Guard and reserves, their livelihoods. Our troops have volunteered to defend our country wherever and whenever they are called, and they are executing their mission with professionalism and unparalleled courage.”

And you are in the service of a President who has wrongfully exploited the unquestionable professionalism and courage of which you speak. These noble qualities which you tout have been defiled by your Republican Party and your criminal President. Time and time again.

You have no room to speak of professionalism and courage.

“I encourage you in the midst of family BBQs, parades and fireworks to remember and honor our founding fathers and their vision of a great and free nation. Let us also take a moment to pay tribute to the brave men and women in uniform who continue to serve the cause of freedom today and carry out the vision of our founding fathers. These noble individuals deserve our honor, respect, confidence and above all our continued prayers for their sacrifice here at home and abroad.”

Many did so, including me and my family. But this was not without recognizing, once again and always, who is responsible for wrongly placing them in harm’s way, for causing funerals and grief and widowed spouses and orphaned children for nothing but a pack of despicable, murderous lies.

“From my family to yours, I wish all of you a happy and safe Fourth of July.”

From my family to yours, I assure you that I will work tirelessly to see that you and your ilk will not win reelection to office.

You do not, shall not, and cannot represent me, for I am a patriot, and I wish no truck with such as you, sir.

And your words of July 4th, when considering the source, are contemptible.

Eddie Garcia is a regular contributor to The Augusta Free Press.

The views expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect those of management of The Augusta Free Press.



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