Thursday, February 09, 2006

Bush Claims War Powers On Americans

Attorney General Aberto Gonzales claimed the warrantless domestic eavesdropping authorized by President Bush is legal according to Article II of the constitution at his recent testimony regarding the NSA spying program. Many disagree. The point is the disturbing position taken by the White House. Glenn Greenwald spelled out very clearly the Administrations claims:
(1) The President is now claiming, and is aggressively exercising, the right to use any and all war powers against American citizens even within the United States, and he insists that neither Congress nor the courts can do anything to stop him or even restrict him.

Whether this radically perverted view of presidential power is legal or not, will be decided by the courts. The point is in the claim itself, and the belief this administration has that it can listen in on private conversations, (e-mail, snail mail) gather intelligence on whoever they feel is a threat to "national security", (Quakers, student protestors) jail American citizens for years with no charges or access to lawyers or the courts (Padilla) with no oversite whatsoever.

The legal position stated by Gonzales is very disturbing and should alarm and outrage all Americans. An administration that claims the exclusive authority to spy, jail, and perhaps even torture and kill its citizens is a claim wholly foreign to all Americans. As Glenn pointed out, this is not a liberal or conservative outrage but one that subverts all Americans basic understanding of the founding priciples of our country.

Contrary to the central deceit manufactured by Bush followers over the last five years, patriotism is not defined by loyalty to a particular elected official. Indeed, excess loyalty to a single individual is the very antithesis of patriotism, as it places fealty to that individual over allegiance to the country, its interests and its values. Patriotism is measured by the extent to which one believes in, and is willing to fight for and defend, the defining values and core principles of our country.

This cannot stand. We must demand action to reign in this blatant power grab and insist the rule of law be brought to bear on this totalitarian viewpoint. Exercise your freedom of speech while you still have it.

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