Breaking News

George W. Bush had a stint implanted yesterday as treatment for some coronary artery blockage. Presidents present and past get top-notch health care. Few of them ever die before they are well into their 70s. Ronald Reagan made it to 93, as did Harold Ford. Jimmy Carter will be 89 in October, while George H.W. Bush turned 89 this past June. Bill Clinton–looking vigorous as usual–will be 67 this month.

In the 20th century, excepting the assassinations of William McKinley and John Kennedy, the only president to die of natural causes under the age of 60 is William Harding, in 1923. President Obama just hit 52 on August 4, and one would assume that he will be around for a few more decades, at least.

Well, bully for him and our ever-older and older and older living ex-presidents. As much stress as being President of the USA obviously carries with occupying that office, it seems a likely combination of decent family genes and world-class healthcare make for a long life.

But back to George W.Bush and his stint. W will be 67 on his next birthday. He’s likely going to be around for a good while longer, continuing to enjoy the perks of being an ex-President. He’s been writing books (well, with the help of a “ghost” or two) and doing book tours; he was shilling “Decision Points” on Oprah Winfrey a few years back. As with all Presidents, even after leaving office, he is protected by Secret Service personnel. He’s free to wander about, guarded, and if he gets a sniffle, no sweat. Presidential healthcare is on-call.

Ironic, though, that while George W. is spinning tales, getting free five-star medical attention, his actual presidency is quite controversial. Oprah may gleefully give him a bright smile and a stage to perform his historical reductions, but many legal scholars here and in other countries accuse him of being a war criminal. Some countries have even announced that if he sets foot on their soil, he’ll be arrested.

Which bring us to Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning. Snowden and Manning both are considered “whistleblowers” by many legal and constitutional experts. Others view them as treasonous villains. Manning is about to be sentenced, possibly to 100 years in jail after being convicted by a military court for revealing classified documents to Wikileaks that cast a negative light on U.S.military combat operations in Afghanistan.

Mr.Snowden also shared some apparent secret info to Wikileaks that reveal the National Security Administration is apparently snooping everyone’s phone calls. Snowden is in Russia. The U.S.wants to prosecute him too, if U.S.authorities can nab him.

Do you see where I’m going with this? Manning is tried and convicted for shedding light on just how cruel and cold combat realities can be. And Afghanistan, along with Iraq are both dubious and deadly military operations started under George W.Bush. Remember? WMD? Saddam’s soon-to-be nuclear capabilities? Revenge for 9-11, even though Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11? Recall, over 5000 American soldiers dead, and countless “collateral” dead, innocent Iraqi civilians? In the meantime, since post-military operations in Iraq, the sectarian violence goes on and on. What was the reason we invaded? Was it not unconstitutional? So say many of those legal scholars. Where’s there’s smoke, perhaps there is fire. Accountability, anyone?

Afghanistan is still costing U.S.military lives, and likely creating new anti-American terrorists day-by-day. President Obama should have ended the Afghan fiasco as oon as he took office. Not so. Obama is busy denouncing Mr.Snowden and wanting his hide. Justice must be served. National security. Snowden must be held to account. But when President Obama was asked about holding George W.Bush accountable for possible war crimes, he said he’d prefer to look forward, not backwards. Thus, W. gets a pass, even though those many legal and constitutional experts unequivocably accuse him of being, ipso facto, a murderer of tens of thousands of people during the course of his administration. But he gets that special protection. He’ll likely never have to be defend himself in a court of law. He’s apparently perpetually free to write more books and go on media-intense book tours. Paging Oprah…

So, Manning is already legally dead military meat. Snowden is being monitored and sought as a dangerous, traitorous, transgressor. The mainstream media, however, does not attempt in the least to shed light on their reasons for doing what they did, for their stated concerns about the U.S.’s legal and moral culpability in its foreign and domestic modus operandi. Not anymore than the same media ever attempted to find the truth about Bush’s frenetic “rush to war” and the possible atrocities that took place because of them. Spying on U.S. citizens by our government? Nevermind. It’s Snowden that must be caught and tried. Innocent casualties of war? Never you mind. Bradley Manning was a loose cannon who had to be punished. 100 years behind bars…

Breaking news! George W.Bush just got a coronary stint implanted…and is likely to have many, many more years of good health. Unlike Manning now, or Snowden if he’s ever apprehended, George W. apparently won’t have to defend his actions as president, or ever contemplate living out his days behind bars. Jail cells are for criminals, whoever our government decides is such.

Just ask Mr.s Manning and Snowden.

About jharrin4

mass communication/speech instructor at College of DuPage and Triton College in suburban Chicago. Army veteran of the Viet Nam era.
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