Accountable government

Many of the Bush administration’s decisions having deleterious results, such as promoting abstinence-only sex education, reducing taxes for the rich, and increasing the allowable amount of arsenic in drinking water, were based on ideology rather than on sound thinking, but this is hardly novel in politics. In some cases, such as the foreign policy that tarnished the reputation of a great nation, the results of the Bush decision-making process simply painted a picture of incompetence – again, nothing new.

Other decisions, such as setting up secret courts and allowing kidnapping, torture, and indefinite detention without trial, do not sit well with anyone who believes in liberty and democracy. Still other decisions, such as giving away billions of dollars to a company tied to a former vice president and the mendacious and ever-changing justification for the prolonged multi-billion dollar war in Iraq, might be considered criminal acts in any other context.

Whether any given one of these decisions was good or bad depends on one’s personal values and is a topic that merits discussion. But the right of the American people to know the cold, hard facts about the previous administration’s decisions should not be up for debate. Opposing a process by which a former administration will have to divulge the facts to the public without spin-doctoring is giving future administrations carte blanche to disregard rationality, the law, and the well-being of the American people.

Florian Lorenz

Department of Psychology