The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Republicans suffer under scandals

Five years ago, President Bush promised America that he would bring honor back into the White House.

Many agreed that since President Clinton was charged with perjury, it would be refreshing for a new president to restore nobility into the position. Since election night 2000, President Bush has made efforts to do the exact opposite of what he promised. It is only now that many are able to witness his lying, scheming, and deceitfulness.

With the recent tragedies from Hurricane Katrina, the investigations into Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, and presidential advisor Karl Rove outing the name of a CIA official, it would be very easy to pin blame on the president. However, he cannot be the only one to blame. It is far too easy to let people off the hook because they were not in charge of the entire regime.

Since the failures of Sept. 11, 2001, the administration has not fired or even reprimanded anyone in the FBI or CIA for the incompetence that ran rampant throughout these (and other) governmental agencies. Before ex-CIA director George J. Tenet resigned from his post, Bush gave him the Medal of Freedom award which, according to www.medaloffreedom.com, “is awarded by the President of the United States to persons who has made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Tenet was in charge of the agency that was malfunctioning so poorly that it could not even communicate to the Immigration and Naturalization Service which illegal aliens were staying longer than their visas allowed. This lapse enabled terrorists to plan for the Sept. 11 attacks. Moreover, the new director of CIA, Porter J. Goss, has stated that he will not investigate or hold any officials at the CIA responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

More recently, the Hurricane Katrina gaffs have illustrated that the government is still making mistakes.

Michael Brown, the former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was disgraced when his poor credentials were made public. He remained on the FEMA payroll two full months after his resignation. Brown was kept on to assist FEMA in the Hurricane Katrina recovery; although the thought of him actually helping is baffling.

The indictment of I. Lewis Libby is similar to Brown because both men’s actions displayed the government’s lack of responsibility to govern itself. However, Libby sat in on many of the President’s security meetings. It is uncertain if the American people will ever know if Bush knew the extent of the corruption under him. Nonetheless, these scandals hurt the President and the Republican Party.

Furthermore, the Nov. 8 elections exposed that the Republican Party should be worried, as Democrats dominated state elections. Since this was an off-year election, since the presidential elections are not for another three years, many can take these elections as unimportant.

Republican Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee admitted that these losses would help the party come together and try to campaign harder next year. “I don’t think anybody will be complacent now,” Huckabee said.

We’ll see if his party listens.

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