Dec 19, 2005

Badges? We Ain't Got no Badges. We Don't Need no Stinking Badges!

Everyone is a suspect, unless proven otherwise. The destruction continues.
I thought that we were a nation of laws and not a dictatorship. Are we subjects in a state where a divine king rules in God's name? Don't we have certain rules, like the...Constitution to uphold? But then again, these are difficult times; maybe we should bend the rules a bit. Or should we? I mean I can imagine several extreme situations where it would be appropriate to sacrifice an innocent child, to rape a person or to boil a limb if this would make the suspect talk. What if [insert extreme scenario here]?

If we are the land of the free and the home of the brave we must live up to our duty to protect our rights. The super-secret spying apparatus ordered by President Bush is illegal and not fit for a society where the people's civil liberties are respected. There have to be checks and balances, and in this case judicial overview. Even in this turbulent times where too many Americans are motivated by fear and willing to sacrifice their rights under the PATRIOT Act, there are some guidelines to be observed. Under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (most commonly known as
FISA), a secret intelligence court was created to authorize government wiretaps in foreign intelligence investigations. Now, Bush did not apply to get permission from this court, nor his spying was on foreign subjects--a clear violation of US law in my opinion.

Let's see what our Constitution has to say about this:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized (
Amendment IV)

I think it's quite clear under which circumstances and conditions the government can conduct reasonable search and seizures; and, please don't miss the important point about "probable cause" and, "by oath or affirmation." Where are those arch-conservatives, the "strict constructionists," those who call our national document "the constitution in exile" to stand up and defend it? Of course, they are absent, for they're hypocrites and activists who want to use "creative law-making" to curb individual rights and civil liberties. They are the same people who don't see the sentence, "a well regulated Militia" in the Second Amendment, and, thus, they want to extend the right to bear arms to include any killing machine invented!
A Nixonian Approach

Normally, we wouldn't spend too much time on the rants and actions of an inarticulate simpleton, except that this buffoon is the CEO of the country. Last time I checked, the President was bound by the Constitution. Actually, every US president swears to "uphold and protect" it. So, what am I missing here? Bush just admitted that he authorized secret spying on US citizens outside the scope of the law. Even the conservative senator Graham (R-SC) said, "I don't know of any legal basis" for Bush's secret spying. The chairman of the Senate's judiciary committee, Arlen Specter (R-PA) promised to hold hearings early next year regarding this issue, commenting that "there is no doubt that this
is inappropriate."

This Republican-controlled Congress does not investigate. What for? It's not likely they care. Most of them are social-darwinists! Never mind that the corruption stench is now unbearable; never mind that the country has been dragged into a costly war based on a pack of lies. Corruption knows no political parties, and the Democrats had their share in the 40 or so years they controlled Congress. But the Republicans managed to surpass this not only in magnitude but in the relatively short time of 5 years. We're seeing high crimes committed by persons in the executive and legislative branches, but no action is taken. I understand, they don't want to investigate themselves, and there are no ethics in the Ethics Committee. In the perverse moral universe of the current powerlogs, theocrats, and greedy fatcats, Clinton's sexual tryst was a much greater sin; a sin worth being impeached for! Can someone give Bush the thingy that got Clinton into trouble? Please! If this won't start the impeachment process [and I'm not holding my breath waiting for this to happen], at least Bush may calm down a bit. Give him some "Jesus juice" too. He seems very frustrated these days, doesn't he? A frustrated and a mean person like him with the kind of power at his disposal, is a very dangerous man to have in the White House.


"And during these holiday seasons, we thank our blessing" G.W.Bush, Belvoir, VA, Dec. 10, 2004.

Addendum: Today I came across a great editorial by The Nation. The editors point out that Bush's arguments--regarding presidential power and national security--were the same arguments used by Nixon who employed a host of federal agencies to spy, harass, and violate the civil liberties of many Americans, like the sustained wiretapping of Martin Luther King Jr. The editorial reminds us that, "It needs to be repeated that in 1974, the articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon included abuse of presidential power based on warrantless wiretaps and illegal surveillance."
So, let's win back at least one chamber of the US Congress in the 2006 midterm elections, because that's the only way to have serious investigations. In other words, subpoena power!

28 comments:

Anderson said...

I am very sad, very sad because of what our government has done in our name! The damage, not only to our own civil liberties (this can be reversed faster) but to the image to the world....

I'm frustrated that there isn't much we can do right now to change those in government. At least next year we may have a chance to throw some of the bums out and the criminals in prison.

Leslie said...

Of course we have to bend the rules a bit... it's for our own safety! As a matter of fact, I wouldn't mind being locked up in a maximum security facility when the sh*t hits the fan. I'd be safe and the rest of you would be the victims of those bastard terroristas...

Now I have to erase my porno files I downloaded from the internet onto my computer... just in case...

Andros said...

Gee I'm codemned... if they see what books I have on my bookselves, and the ones I've checked out of libraries... I can burn the subversive books I own, but I'm definitely doomed in Big Brother's eyes...

Anonymous said...

Check out Dick Cheney's Nightline.. where he says that if we had this secret snooping before 911 we "might have stopped the terrorists"...

What a f**king miscreant

Andros said...

From Think Progress


Vice President Cheney from tonight's Nightline:



It's the kind of capability [that], if we'd had before 9/11, might have led us to be able to prevent 9/11.

We had two 9/11 terrorists in San Diego prior to the attack in contact with al Qaeda sources outside the U.S. We didn't know it. The 9/11 Commission talks about it. If we'd had this capability, then we might well have been able to stop it.



This is false and sensational. The secret surveillance program authorized by President Bush did not provide the National Security Agency any new "capability."

The NSA "already had the capacity to read your mail and your e-mail and listen to your telephone conversations. All it had to do was obtain a warrant from a special court created for this purpose. The burden of proof for obtaining a warrant was relaxed a bit after 9/11, but even before the attacks the court hardly ever rejected requests." Indeed, from 1979 to 2002, the FISA court issued 15,264 surveillance warrants. Not a single warrant application was rejected.

Nothing in the law pre-9/11 prevented the federal government from conducting surveillance operations on terrorists. Cheney simply can't resist using that tragedy to shield himself from criticism.

Anonymous said...

This is bizzaro world or something...

Bush today said that an investigation was under way by the Justice Department into who committed the "shameful act" of revealing the covert program to the press....

So, the law-breaker is pissed because someone had the guts to tell us about this supersecret and unlawful activity!

Tsk, tsk...

The Bush crime family at work...

Anne said...

Look, of course some eavesdropping on suspected persons linked to terrorists should take place, but it shouldn't be unchecked...

A court, a judge, some kind of agency outside the White House should be checking up on King George!

Rumbux said...

Here we go again. During the Vietnam war the gov. was spying on Americans who were against that war. Now it's happening again. All authoritarian regimes put it like, "you're either with us or against us"! This isn't the case. I'm against this war, but with/for America and against the terrorists. I do want to maintain my ability to protest my governmnet without fear of persecution.

And, I can't give up my civil liberties for somekind of false sense of security these incompetent people in charge have in store for me!

Using the powers of the government to spy without reasonable cause and to INTIMIDATE (like using the IRS or the FBI) any person in these United States should be a HIGH CRIME!

Let's get the bastards! They must be punished.

Andros said...

To further clarify the FISA and its implication:

The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act made it illegal to spy on U.S. citizens in the United States without getting a court order. Bush gave the National Security Agency authority to intercept communications without such approval.

Geeshus said...

So, Bush's action was illegal! What's next? How come no authority isn't investigating?

Maybe, Specter's committee will do that when the Senate comes back in 2006.

Still, I don't see this Congress under current leadership will do anything to challenge Bush. I mean they're trying to keep their own scandals down!

I wonder what Jesus would do? Probably get in them temples and smash everything in site!

Anonymous said...

After seeing all this crap going on, and those in charge, I am convinced beyond a doubt about the ..un-intelligent design!

Anonymous said...

humbug I tell you, humbug

Anonymous said...

ah, the good ol' days of Clinton... where the "scandal" was rather entertaining!

Anonymous said...

and, nobody got hurt!

Clinton lied,no one died...

Bush lied, thousands died!

Rendering Justice said...

I think Bush should be above the law! It's not like he doesn't care! But, he's learned that his bad decisions had no bad consequences (on him)....

He flunked, he smoked, he lied, he drank, he gambled, he lost, he broke, he lied, he awoled, he cheated, he took, he was given, he lied, he failed!

George W. Bush said...

Look, I have to protect the citizens, we have to fight them over there, but, um, you see it's a hard job, and sometimes it's hard to distill this into people, to understand that the terrorists won't stop bringing terror into our soil, so we wouldn't stop either....
They, the terrorists, like Saddam, Osama bin Landen, and those 3/4 we killed already showed us on 911 that our oceans won't protect us anymore... we, I, have a hard job to do, and I'm going to all expenses to protect us, it's hard, and I have instructed all those good people to do a hekuva job to protect America, to bring freedom to to Iraqi people, and democracy to all peoples...

I hope you watched my speeches to see I care, even if it's a hard job, I think we're making progress on the war on terror... I hope this holiday seasons we all count our blessing!

Andros said...

Check out this post by Washingtonrox on the feds' visiting a Dartmouth College student because he checked out a book on Mao! Incredible! Is this the America we know?

Rodney said...

THis is how the House operates.... thanks to Kos for bringing this to our attention. Click on the link to see how bills are passed.

Martial Law

Andros said...

Do you think that the PATRIOT ACT, over 1,000 pages long, was read by our representatives in Congress? No! John Conyers (D-MI) has publically said that most bills are hurriedly brought to the floor, very little if any time is alotted for debate, and basically the Republican leadership (Speaker Hastert, Whip Delay, and others)rule by "martial law" indeed.

Rothaus said...

I still don't understand how Bush can claim that he's ordered secret spying outside FISA...

I guess he either believes it's not illegal, or he's sticking to his mantra of "protecting America" and therefore he must do whatever it takes... for national security of course...

Cheney is arguing along this line too, that the president shouldn't be under ANY restrictions when in comes to national security issues...

I think this is bs... First, no president should be given absolute authority and be his own interpreter of what is "national security", and second, we know that this regime has lied, decieved, and has been incredibly incompetent!

Andros said...

well, Bush has said that "every wiretap requires a court order...nothing has change" April, 2004.

either he didn't know what he was talking about, or he was lying!

Check this for proof

Anonymous said...

like he's been lying about torture!!!

i'm very sorry to see the image of our country so low in the world!...

what have we done?...

Andros said...

These criminal banditos we have in power here have changed the definition of torture, as a treatment that results in death or a failure of a major body organ! In other words, boiling a limb, pulling out fingernails is OK...

Yet, these bastards have tortured people. In Abu Graib alone there have been 26 deaths (homocides) because of torture. Of them, 18 are being investigated.
The problem is that there hasn't been an accountability, and no serious consequences for those in charge--and I don't mean just the local commanders, but up to Sec. of Defense and higher!

Anonymous said...

Bush said:
I just want to assure the American people that...we're guarding your civil liberties. And we're guarding the civil liberties by monitoring the program on a regular basis..

what more do you want?
You liberals don't trust our king?

Kelly said...

Yep, Americans don't know their history and have a short memory. That's why we tend to repeat the mistakes of the past. Watergate was about criminal activity and the subsequent cover-up. But, it was also about unchecked presidential power!

People who all they did was to promote civil rights & liberties were spied on and harrassed by our government, state and federal. There are forces within a democracy that are not comfortable with it, or, simply they don't like dissenting voices. These people are also called conservatives!

Black Adder said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Samantha said...

Any bureaucracy, any authority will abuse its power if it's left unchecked and there are no serious consequences when crimes are committed.

I believe violating civil rights, our precious freedoms, is worse than other crimes because it affects many people and has a deleterious effect on our democracy.

papaofandros said...

Merry Christmas.