“Cheer up, things could be worse,” goes the old joke.  I cheered up and sure enough, things got worse.  I actually said that to my friend as he was lamenting the passing of the most horrible decade in our lives.  It was a joke last night.  This a.m. it is no longer funny.   I was even looking forward to the N Y Times and it’s rehash of the last year.  It was not to be.

Last year there were a lot of regrettable moments.  Over eight years old, the Iraqi war is certainly one of our blackest, least shining moments in our two hundred plus years history.  It ranks right up there with Wounded Knee.  Equally disgusting, I find, is the use of mercenaries in Iraq by our military and State Department.  They answer to no one.  So, you see why I was shocked, but NOT really, when I read the headline for January 1.

Judge Drops Charges From Blackwater Deaths in Iraq

Those mercenaries murdered 17 Iraqi civilians and wounded 20 others.  Afterwards they lied and tried to cover it up.  If I remember correctly, one member of Xe’s (Blackwater changed their name because of all their bad press) top level management, who had quit,  later told the press that the head of Xe had attempted to bribe the Iraqis and most likely the Justice Department with millions of dollars to make that “go away.”  It finally appears that he was successful.

There is no doubt in the fact that Xe committed these atrocious acts.  NO ONE disputes that.  The Justice Department, who should certainly know better, recklessly violated the defendant’s constitutional rights.  That is exactly what the judge said who threw out the indictment.  It appears that Blackwater’s millions were well spent.

It is bad enough that this country allowed the Bushes to steal two elections, lie to the American people in order to perpetrate an unjust war that is over eight years old and counting, have sent thousands of young Americans to their deaths and countless more to needless suffering as they forgot to plan for the casualties.  Bad enough that they stripped away ecological protections, our civil rights, and, through their rendition and torturing of innocents and enemy alike, have even stripped us of our dignity.   I won’t even go into how they have plundered the few shekels that the middle and lower classes managed to scrape together.  But, this is too much.

I cheered up last night and enjoyed my Gloria Ferrer Brut, and sure enough, things got worse.  Go ahead, drop those charges.  AND now bring charges against Xe and the Justice Department for one of the biggest conspiracies and attempted cover ups in U.S. history as the Justice Department knowingly violated the rights of those individuals in return for millions of dollars in bribes.  Someone has got to draw the line.