Queen Elizabeth II has given British knighthood to Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, an action that has no legal effect in America, but is a nice gesture and honor to a senator who has been a statesman in so many ways in his 46 plus years in the US Senate.
With Senator Kennedy already the third longest serving senator in history, and suffering from a malignant brain tumor, it is wonderful that honors are coming to him to let him know how much he is appreciated for his long service to the United States.
Kennedy has had many controversial aspects to his career, but his reputation and image have improved the longer he has served our nation.Â While there will always be controversy about his misbehavior, and particularly about the issue of Chappaquiddick in 1969, Kennedy is already acknowledged by Democrats, as well as by Republicans who disagree with him philosophically, as having had a positive impact on the Senate and having become a major historical figure, one of the Senate greats of all time. No one would sayÂ the same about the two senators who have served longer, the late Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, and still serving Robert Byrd of West Virginia.
We should all wish Senator Kennedy a return to good health if that is at all possible.Â If not possible, then giving him his due while alive is very appropriate.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown came to Washington and delivered an address before a joint session of Congress and met President Obama at the White House in the past two days.
His message was that,Â in the midst of what is becoming a world wide economic downturn, Great Britain and the United States must continue their long time alliance of cooperation and work together on a Global New Deal.Â This is an idea that makes total sense, as the worst thing we could do is become isolationist and cut off trade with the world, the mistake we made in the early 1930s, which only made our Great Depression and the world wide depression worse.Â
Our century long alliance with our British cousins helped them and us survive military and economic crises, and the necessity is to have both governments continue their close association.Â After all, there is no nation on earth that we are closer to and means more to us in history, beginning with the administration of Theodore Roosevelt.Â The future economic and military security of the world depends on the alliance of the two leading English speaking nations!
Senator Patrick Leahy, Vermont Democrat, and head of the Judiciary Committee, has proposed a full investigation of the Bush-Cheney Administration regarding violations of law in such areas as torture, rendition, wiretapping and eavesdropping, and the general concept which has just been revealed that the President had no limits if national security was the issue at hand.Â Top lawyers in that administration made it clear in the last days of the term that what had been asserted was legal was NOT legal and needed to be retracted.
When one realizes what little we know and how scary it is what we already are aware of, one can already come to the conclusion that Presidential authority and powers ran amuck during the past eight years, all justified by the 9/11 attacks.Â In other words, in the process of preserving the American nation, the President could go ahead and break the Constitution and claim executive privilege to do anything he chose to do.Â Imagine what would have occurred had we been attacked shortly after 9/11 again!Â The enemy would have truly won the battle if they had helped through their actions to destroy constitutional government in America.
We cannot allow this constitutional crisis we have been through in the past eight years to be pushed under the rug and hidden from investigation and full exposure.Â American democracy is at stake, and if need be, people high in that administration need to be held accountable and be brought before the bar of justice to answer for their crimes.Â Anything less than full transparency would be a disservice to the American people and the traditions of American history!