Tuesday, January 17, 2006

What's Worse, Adultry or Warrantless Searches?

Good article by Andrew Bard Schmookler at CommonDreams.org

He asks why was Monica Lewinsky more deserving of attention by the media than possible direct violation of the law by GW Bush? Bush has publically admitted to ordering warrantless searches of Americans. He claims he has the legal right to do so. Many many legal scholars disagree. It appears maybe even John Ashcroft disagreed. And, we won't know if he violated the law because if he tells us about the secret spying program, he would have to kill us.

Bush has claimed that he ordered the warrantless searches to protect Americans. The one example provided by the administration is preventing a guy from toppling the Brooklyn bridge with a blowtorch. And this, “The law enforcement and counterterrorism officials said the program had uncovered no active Qaeda networks inside the United States planning attacks. ‘There were no imminent plots - not inside the United States,’ the former F.B.I. official said.” [New York Times, 1/17/06].

I really like this though "Is the reason for the media’s casualness in treating this administration’s possible running roughshod over the Constitution that the media don’t think this story will grab an audience the way, say, stains on a blue dress did?"

There is a question that needs answering.

Remember When Serving During War Meant Something?

Remember when the right wing was all about the importance of having served in the military, 'in country' during the Vietnam War? That was when Bill Clinton was running for President. Clinton managed to avoid the draft and the right wing made sure everyone knew about it. He was a draft dodger.

Move forward a decade or so and all of a sudden service in Vietnam doesn't mean too much to the right wing anymore. This is because George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and many of their neocon friends either didn't experience service in Vietnam or didn't serve in the military at all.

Now people like Max Cleland, John Kerry and John Murtha, who actually did see combat in Vietnam, have to put up with absurd attacks on their military service. Even a Republican, John McCain had his Vietnam War record attacked by the right wing.

Please explain to me how the right wing gets away with these attacks on Vietnam War veterans when the leaders of their party either didn't serve at all or got a safe assignment in the Air National Guard.

Is anyone besides me upset about these right wing attacks on veterans? Question President Bush and you are either a traitor, a coward, anti-American or a terrorist lover. When will people wake up?

Monday, January 16, 2006

What Else Can President Bush Do?

Al Gore gave a speech today and this caught my eye:

Can it be true that any president really has such powers under our Constitution? If the answer is "yes" then under the theory by which these acts are committed, are there any acts that can on their face be prohibited? If the President has the inherent authority to eavesdrop, imprison citizens on his own declaration, kidnap and torture, then what can't he do?

Bush has outright claimed that he can listen in on American citizens without a warrant, he has already imprisoned Americans indefinitely simply on his say so, and we all know about the torturing. Bush claims we don't torture and he supports a new law that states we will not torture, but at the same time he says he doesn't need to follow that law. It really amazes me that people in this country are so afraid of 'terrorists' that they are willing to give the President such power in the name of 'protecting' them.

Bush says Al Qaeda hates our freedom and wants to take our freedom away from us. Then why is Bush taking away our freedoms? Isn't he doing exactly what he claims the terrorists want?

How long does the President claim he has these extraordinary powers? Why as long as the 'War on Terror' lasts. How long will that war last? Bush has stated 'probably for the rest of our lives'. Well what to hell do we need a congress and a judiciary for then? Maybe Bush should just be President for Life.

There really isn't a hell of lot we can do about this either. The Republican controlled congress has given up its role as an independent and co-equal branch of the government. Democrats haven't done a lot to prevent that. Also, if you disagree with the President on the Iraq War you are a traitor. If you disagree on other issues you will be smeared by the far right wing (see John Murtha).

Mr. Gore ends by saying "I mentioned that along with cause for concern, there is reason for hope. As I stand here today, I am filled with optimism that America is on the eve of a golden age in which the vitality of our democracy will be re-established and will flourish more vibrantly than ever".

I wish I could be as optimistic as he seems to be.