Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Universal Wolf, Universal Prey

Hooray for accountability:

The Bush administration has declared itself immune from whistleblower protections for federal workers under the Clean Water Act, according to legal documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)….The opinion invoked the ancient doctrine of sovereign immunity which is based on the old English legal maxim that “The King Can Do No Wrong.” It is an absolute defense to any legal action unless the “sovereign” consents to be sued.
One might say that the whistleblower’s right to sue ends where the sovereign’s right not to be sued begins. Except that as PEER notes, "The opinion and the ruling reverse nearly two decades of precedent" regarding the government's waiver of sovereign immunity in such cases.
“The Bush administration is engineering the stealth repeal of whistleblower protections,” stated PEER General Counsel Richard Condit, who had won several of the earlier cases applying environmental whistleblower protections to federal specialists. “The use of an unpublished opinion to change official interpretations is a giant step backward to the days of the secret Star Chamber.”
BushCo's self-protective logic here is basically that of Mark Steyn and his cowardly ilk: security is infinitely more important than the law. The difference is that we’re talking about the security of corrupt officials and their polluting cronies, rather than that of the public.

Either way, though, the kind of security sought by the cowardly and corrupt is impossibly expensive; no amount of sacrifice or violence can ensure it, just as no amount of money can buy you a throne at God’s right hand. The bucket has a hole in it.

In its hostility to anything that threatens its own security, the Bush administration is like Shakespeare’s universal wolf, whose universal prey inevitably includes itself. In its attacks on the law, it attacks what little remains of what little legitimacy it had. The closer it comes to absolute power, the more it’s threatened by the specter of absolute resistance.

In other words, it’s frightened of its own shadow, which it can only destroy by destroying itself. This is a traditional apotheosis for those who, to quote Ernst Bloch, “sooner desire death than insight into their own contradictions.”

1 comment:

Coeruleus said...

There's still whistleblowers out there? I thought BushCo sent them all off to Gitmo already.