Chris's Rants

Sunday, December 18, 2005

He knows if you've been bad or good

Presidential Oaths of Office:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Note that the oath sworn by each president is not qualified by: "when it suits me", or "when Dick agrees with what it says", or "except in cases of emergency".

Dubya is consistent if nothing else. He routinely states within 15 seconds of opening his mouth that "9/11 changed everything". Apparently, 9/11 also changed the meaning of the presidential oath of office.

Here's Dimwit this past Saturday during his weekly radio address (emphasis mine):
BUSH: Good morning. As president, I took an oath to defend the Constitution, and I have no greater responsibility than to protect our people, our freedom, and our way of life.

On September the 11th, 2001, our freedom and way of life came under attack by brutal enemies who killed nearly 3,000 innocent Americans. We’re fighting these enemies across the world, yet in this first war of the 21st century, one of our most critical battle fronts is the home front.
What is this, the zeroth law of presidential robots? He has no greater responsibility than to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States", period. Nowhere in the oath does it state that he is charged with "protecting our people, our freedom and our way of life" whatever that means. I also missed the part where it says in the Constitution that "9/11 changes everything". Nope, nothing trumps the Constitution of the United States of America.

Except, Dimbulb seems to think that it is perfectly okay to violate our constitutional rights for "national security" reasons without bothering to consult with the legislative or judicial branches of our government. Our freedoms and our way of life were not attacked on 9/11, they were attacked on 9/12 by the merry band of war criminals in the White House.

These recent revelations place this quote in a clearer light:
"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face," Bush screamed back. "It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!"
Hmmm... that doesn't sound much like someone who has sworn "to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Newsweek's coverage of "Snoopgate" tells it like it is (emphasis mine):
No, Bush was desperate to keep the Times from running this important story—which the paper had already inexplicably held for a year—because he knew that it would reveal him as a law-breaker. He insists he had “legal authority derived from the Constitution and congressional resolution authorizing force.” But the Constitution explicitly requires the president to obey the law. And the post 9/11 congressional resolution authorizing “all necessary force” in fighting terrorism was made in clear reference to military intervention. It did not scrap the Constitution and allow the president to do whatever he pleased in any area in the name of fighting terrorism.

What is especially perplexing about this story is that the 1978 law set up a special court to approve eavesdropping in hours, even minutes, if necessary. In fact, the law allows the government to eavesdrop on its own, then retroactively justify it to the court, essentially obtaining a warrant after the fact. Since 1979, the FISA court has approved tens of thousands of eavesdropping requests and rejected only four. There was no indication the existing system was slow—as the president seemed to claim in his press conference—or in any way required extra-constitutional action.
Of course, it isn't just the NSA eavesdropping... no, there is a clear pattern developing (emphasis mine):
FBI counterterrorism investigators are monitoring domestic U.S. advocacy groups engaged in antiwar, environmental, civil rights and other causes, the American Civil Liberties Union charged yesterday as it released new FBI records that it said detail the extent of the activity.

The documents, disclosed as part of a lawsuit that challenges FBI treatment of groups that planned demonstrations at last year's political conventions, show the bureau has opened a preliminary terrorism investigation into People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the well-known animal rights group based in Norfolk.
We must also ask ourselves why, when the adminisration seems to think that it doesn't need to burden itself with minor details such as the Constitution or the 1978 FISA legislation, that it absolutely must have the 14 expiring provisions of the Patriot Act extended beyond Dec 31st 2005.

Then we have this from today's NYT:
Vice President Dick Cheney entered the debate over the legality of the program on Tuesday, casting the program as part of the administration's efforts to assert broader presidential powers.
Ah, things start to become a little clearer. Dick whispers in Dimwit's ear that he doesn't need to ask the courts because he is "commander in chief" and that means he can do whatever the f*** Dick he wants.

When the WingNut Daily turns on a Republican president, you know things are really, really bad:
That George Bush is in open and repeated violation of his oath to uphold and defend the Constitution is no longer debatable. In keeping with his many anti-constitutional actions, he has publicly declared that he has no way of knowing what is, and what is not constitutional.

This attitude, while hardly unique in Washington, should be absolutely anathema to every American of all political stripes. And it appears that Americans are increasingly turning away from the president in rightful disgust. A recent poll here on WorldNetDaily showed that 45 percent of WND readers – who tend to lean strongly Republican – believe that George Bush deserves to be impeached.

I find it interesting to note that a 2003 Elliott Wave report predicted that if George Bush was re-elected, his second term would likely follow the pattern of Richard Nixon's. Given the recent reports of George Bush's personal authorization of domestic spying and more revelations yet to come, this seems entirely possible. After all, Richard Nixon merely spied on his political opponents, while George Bush is spying on the American people.

For this and other crimes against the American people and their Constitution, George Bush must resign. Failing that, he should be impeached.

I have little doubt that this column will infuriate many Republicans and conservatives, millions of whom twice voted enthusiastically for George Bush. It is always painful to realize that one has been betrayed, and even more painful to discover that one has been made a willing accomplice in the destruction of that which one cherishes. You can continue to believe that George Bush is a patriotic American, though he is not. You can dismiss me as a liberal, a left-winger or a lunatic, though I am not.

But as you do so, try to keep in mind that railing against the messenger does not make the message any less valid.
What's that? The "I"-word? Harriet better start passing out the "Oops! I crapped my pants" to the SAO's in the west wing, 'cuz I don't think that an hour of remedial ethics training is going to fix this one.

Update: an op-ed in today's Moonie Times, no liberal rag itself and usually a staunch Bu$hCo apologist, by a former Reagan administration official no less, brings us more evidence that Dick Dubya has a major problem, even with Rethuglicans:
President Bush presents a clear and present danger to the rule of law. He cannot be trusted to conduct the war against global terrorism with a decent respect for civil liberties and checks against executive abuses. Congress should swiftly enact a code that would require Mr. Bush to obtain legislative consent for every counterterrorism measure that would materially impair individual freedoms.


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