Katrina vanden Heuvel on the Bush Adminstration
Katrina vanden Heuvel has been The Nation's editor since 1995 and publisher since 2005.
She is the co-editor of Taking Back America--And Taking Down The Radical Right (NationBooks, 2004) and, most recently, editor of The Dictionary of Republicanisms, (NationBooks, 2005)
She is a frequent commentator on American and international politics on MSNBC, CNN and PBS. Her articles have appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and The Boston Globe.
She is a recipient of Planned Parenthood's Maggie Award for her article, "Right-to-Lifers Hit Russia." The special issue she conceived and edited, "Gorbachev's Soviet Union," was awarded New York University's 1988 Olive Branch Award. Vanden Heuvel was also co-editor of Vyi i Myi, a Russian-language feminist newsletter.
She has received awards for public service from numerous groups, including The Liberty Hill Foundation, The Correctional Association and The Association for American-Russian Women. In 2003, she received the New York Civil Liberties Union's Callaway Prize for the Defense of the Right of Privacy. She is also the recipient of The American-Arab Anti-discrimination Committee's 2003 "Voices of Peace" award. Vanden Heuvel is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations, and she also serves on the board of The Institute for Women's Policy Research, The Institute for Policy Studies, The World Policy Institute, The Correctional Association of New York and The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.
She is a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University, and she lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
Question: What is the legacy of the Bush administration?
vanden Heuvel: A ruined economic system, two wars, and possibly the end of the United States as an empire, which has been the constant construct of this country for certainly the 20th Century. But, national nightmare: two disastrous wars, failed economic system, and a callousness, a callousness toward human life, whether it was in New Orleans or whether in the prisons of Abu Ghraib or Bagram in Afghanistan or in Guantanamo. And, finally, a failure to bring real security to this country.
Question: Will criminal charges be brought against the administration?
vanden Heuvel: I think it is a constitutional, American, patriotic issue that there’ll be accountability for breaking the laws. We certainly treat those who break the laws on the streets with real retribution, and I think we would do well to think hard, if there are criminal prosecutions or if there aren’t investigations, what that means about our democracy, what that means about the resilience of our system and our constitution moving forward, because it gives toolbox to our next president to ignore laws and accountability. So I think it will depend. Again, some of this work is going to be from below. I think one of the hopeful elements of the Obama administration, again, is the sense that it has reached out to the grassroots during the course of the campaign. Don’t lose that touch and that reaching out, and that the work will come from movements and from citizens, as it has over the course of this country’s history. Real change has come from movements from citizens to push the idea of accountability, and the internet is playing a role. Our Net Roots Movement correspondent, Ari Melber, has been involved with the Obama website change.gov, and it’s interesting that the call for a special prosecutor is the most popular question on that website at this moment. Of course, there are other issues. Do I see it in the cards? Never say never.
Katrina vanden Heuvel positions the Bush legacy in history and speculates about legal repercussions.
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