Dear President Obama,
After a little over three months in office, you have accomplished so much, and have remained true to your stated ideal of being able to disagree without being disagreeable. I have not approved of all of your decisions, but I appreciate your willingness to consider various opinions, and I am deeply grateful for the tremendous amount of time you have spent informing the public, and the care with which you have presented your views. I have never doubted that you are deeply committed to the good of your fellow citizens. I sense the deep respect you bear toward the American people, and feel as if am once more part of a living representative democracy after the past eight years of arbitrary and secretive rule.
My question for you is this: What are you doing to address the legal and constitutional violations by the previous administration? I realize that you have much to do, but the wrongdoing by the Bush administration was so extensive and was met with almost no opposition from Congress, that in a few years it will be all too easy for another imperial president to cite the history of our era in order to justify another war of opportunity or further erosions of our civil liberties.
The Bush administration violated our fundamental values as a people. They disregarded the constitutionally mandated division of power between the legislative and executive branches of government. They deceived the American people into supporting a catastrophic war and then violated the Geneva Conventions by the manner in which they prosecuted that war. They retaliated against critics like Ambassador Joe Wilson, Governor Don Seligman, and the U.S. Attorneys who refused to abuse their power to punish political opponents. With the complicity of Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine Harris, members of the Bush administration may have systematically disenfranchised thousands of black voters in the 2000 and 2004 elections. Despite compelling evidence linking such an unthinkable betrayal of the American people to Bush operatives (most notably in BBC journalist Greg Palast’s exhaustively researched book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy), there has yet to be a full Justice Department investigation into these charges of election fraud.
Our leaders serve only by the consent of the governed, but it is not consent if it is granted on the basis of lies. Please make sure that these breaches of our trust do not go uninvestigated and unpunished. Our future depends on it.
With support and respect,
Takoma Park, MD