Now Cough

Thursday, January 05, 2006

These Boots are Made for Goosesteppin'

Listen up

No kidding, the Bushies really don't care about the law at all.

First came the verbal attacks on the judiciary, you know, the third branch of government. To hear the president and his allies, you would think American judges were wooly-headed, dope smoking fiends who got their jollies by making up out of whole cloth LAWS! Laws, mind you, that CHANGE SOCIETY.

Uh, hello, laws DO change society. Interpreting law is what some judges get paid to do.

Like the phony arguments against evolution, these attacks on laws and the courts were part of a smokescreen to actually pack the courts to get them to CHANGE SOCIETY in ways that the fascist, theocratic right would like to see it formed.

Agreeing with Congress (mostly Senator John McCain) not to torture people in US custody, the Financial Times reports that Bush -- of course -- is weasling out of that promise already:

President George W. Bush has asserted that he retains the right to authorise abuse of detainees under extreme circumstances, despite agreeing to legislation last month that explicitly prohibited such treatment.

In a statement attached to Mr Bush’s signing of a defence spending bill last week, the White House said it would construe the bill’s ban on “cruel, inhumane and degrading” treatment of detainees “in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the president” and his powers as commander-in-chief.

A senior administration official told the Boston Globe this week that while the administration intended to abide by the law, there might be extreme circumstances under which the president would have to waive the law to protect national security.

The language attached to the bill marks the latest attempt by the White House to assert that under the US constitution, Congress has no authority to tie the president’s hands in the “war on terror”. The administration is defending on the same grounds Mr Bush’s secret decision to authorise the National Security Agency to monitor communications inside the US, ignoring the legal requirements set by Congress nearly 30 years ago.

The “signing statement” of December 30 is an even bolder claim, however, because it appears to contradict directly the agreement between the White House and Senator John McCain, Republican sponsor of the anti-torture legislation. In an Oval Office meeting with Mr McCain last month, the president stated that the agreement had achieved “a common objective, and that is to make it clear to the world that this government does not torture”.

Laws, they get in the way. Pesky.

Thanks to two reporters at the New York Times, but not their editors who held the story for a year(NYT registration required), we now know that the president himself broke the law with an executive order that gave the National Security Agency the ability to hoover up all telephone and internet communication between US citizens and suspected, alleged, maybe just possible people overseas tied to Al Qaeda.

Sure there is a pesky secret FISA court tasked with reviewing such cases, but the President knowingly went around that court and further tattered notions of privacy. Such legalties are as disposable as Dixie cups in time of undeclared wars of choice.

He lied to the public about this (it is worth pointing out even the patterns of chronic behavior) with a smirking paternalism that rivals Nixon.

So how can anyone not be cynical when Bush talks about bringing law and order to Iraqis when here at home he fails to respect the law at all.

War on terror? Almost 5 years into this so-called war, anti-terrorism funds are only now being distributed based on RISK. The Department of Homeland Security is on the verge of getting two new highly 'qualified' employees -- the wife of DHS head Michael Chertoff and the wife of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Under Nixon, the horrible Huston Plan(and you should read this for a sense of where Herr Bush is headed...) that pushed for breakins and other illegal attacks on alleged subversives was vilified once it became public. This hack of a leader and his band of robber baron anti-democratic weasles is doing more, much more, than has yet been made public. Imagine the most egregious excesses of powermad fascists and I'm certain it is being done, is ready to be done or will be done.

Unless we stop them all.