By MARC McDONALD
Of all the disappointments that progressives have endured in recent years, one of the biggest is the Democrats' failure to pursue any charges of wrongdoing by George W. Bush or Dick Cheney.
And now, with the mid-term elections only five months away, it's clear that the window of opportunity is closing, perhaps forever.
There is a reasonably good chance the GOP will retake the House in November. And if that happens, the Dems can kiss goodbye any opportunities to investigate any wrongdoing by the Bush White House.
Not that the GOP will not show any such restraint if it retakes the House. Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California is already chomping at the bit to go after President Obama.
If the GOP captures the House, Issa will become chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He'll have power to subpoena White House officials to appear before the committee under oath.
Issa has made it clear that he plans to vigorously pursue investigations against the White House. And no doubt, other Republicans will do the same. In fact, it's likely the GOP will appoint a special prosecutor with an unlimited budget and subpoena power to go after President Obama as vigorously as Ken Starr pursued Bill Clinton.
It doesn't really matter if such a partisan witch hunt actually uncovers any real wrongdoing by Obama. That's not the point, anyway. The point is to harass the White House and bury it under an avalanche of subpoenas, creating distractions, and making it difficult for Obama to govern.
And while the Republicans have no qualms about pursuing a witch hunt against Democrats on purely cynical political grounds, the Dems lack the backbone to investigate a president who did untold damage to America and its standing in the world.
It's incredible that the Dems have yet to seriously investigate anything that Bush did from 2000 to 2008. The Iraq War fiasco alone deserves a special, major investigation. We already know that Bush lied the nation into a pointless, immoral, $3 trillion war that killed 1.2 million Iraqi civilians.
And that's just for starters when one examines the record of Bush/Cheney.
The list goes on and on. PlameGate. Halliburton. Abu Ghraib. NSA warrantless wiretaps. Failure to comply with Congressional subpoenas. 2000 and 2004 election irregularities. Obstruction of 9/11 investigations.
The American people deserve justice. They deserve to know exactly what happened in the White House during the Bush/Cheney years. They deserve to see the veil of secrecy lifted and the lies exposed.
But thanks to the timid, cowardly Democrats, the window of opportunity for justice is slowly closing shut, perhaps to never re-open again. Bush and Cheney will ride off happily into the sunset, with smirks on their faces, and will likely never face any charges.