Great article. This is a concept that I've struggled with for a long time now... The same mistake over and over. Except, in certain cases, we have to assume that "mistake" is not the correct word. The correct word would be "theft" or "lie." You hit on every aspect of the problem. If there's a problem (financial meltdown, illegal and immoral wars, torture of detainees) usually there is a response. The response sometimes results in the criminal or civil trial of a couple dudes or dudettes and the major players disappear into the ether. That can only happen over and over due to willful ignorance. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said repeatedly that impeachment of Bush II is "off the table" and that the nation should move forward and not spend time mired in the past. We hear that one all the time; "We need to look forward and not back." Listen, all that humanity possesses is history. We experience the present and hope for the future, but we own the past. That is the only wellspring of experience and judgement that we have, so to ignore history and only "look forward" is a ridiculous concept. What is to prevent Obama or the next five Presidents from implementing policies every bit as destructive as Bush II's if Bush II is not held accountable? I'll tell you... Nothing. It's all about accountability.
The incoming Sheriffs have a duty to investigate and and prosecute, and begin the hard work of drafting new regulations for the financial industry that actually work, redefine US war policy so that it actually helps to defend America, make sure that FEMA helps people REGARDLESS of color, etc. A large part of that would be parading war criminals through the streets in a scene reminiscent of "Judgement at Nurenberg." A sitting US vice-president has admitted to approving the torture of detainees. We already know that there has been at least one death as a result of the torture policies. That blood is on Cheney's hands, among others. History (yes remember history class? this is what they were trying to teach you... always the same s**t, different epoch) may judge the US experiment in democracy as a farce, given the unlimited power of its few leaders to implement personal belief as public policy, and face virtually no retribution when those policies fail or result in tragedy. Why is there no accountability? I am seeing story after story now about all the wealthy folk who lost money to Bernie Madoff. That story shouldn't even be reported. The labor force of America, which is its only true wealth, is being decimated and has been under attack for decades. Equity has been wrung out of their hands and replaced with debt, and ever increasing work hours in a manner that has been systematic and informed. If you've actually been fortunate enough to make a large pile, then KEEP IT! Why are billionaires investing in funds solely designed to earn more money? By that I mean, did people believe in the companies that they were investing in? Did they know what the companies manufactured or provided services for? Ever visit the R&D units that their money was supposedly supporting? Investigate the companies' new products? No they didn't. They didn't care where there money was, as long as it was earning more money. Why would Spielberg's charity need or want to INVEST? No one's answering that question.
The chance for a new beginning was lost in 2006. The democrats were elected to power with the mandate to do something. They've done precisely nothing. If Bush II and his cabal can safely escape Washington, then I guarantee that in the next decades, everything we're going through now, will rear its head again. No oversight and no accountability means dishonesty, venality, and unbridled ambition, yesterday's watchword for "greed."