By Ralph Nader
02 October, 2006
messianic, authoritarian George W. Bush and the minds of his cohorts
have further collapsed the rule of law with his bulldozing through a
divided Congress more dictatorial powers in his increasingly self-defined,
self-serving and failing "war on terror."
The normally restrained New
York Times in an editorial titled "Rushing off a Cliff" condemned
Bush's "ghastly ideas about antiterrorism that will make American
troops less safe and do lasting damage to our 217 year-old nation of
laws-while doing nothing to protect the nation from terrorists. Democrats
betray their principles to avoid last-minute attack ads. Our democracy
is the big loser."
Bush has concentrated so
much arbitrary power in his Presidency that he can be described in the
vernacular as the torturer-in-chief, the jailer-in-chief and the arrestor-in-chief.
Who needs the courts? Who needs the constitutional rights to habeas
corpus for defendants to be able to argue that they were wrongfully
arrested or capriciously imprisoned indefinitely without being charged?
The only light at the end
of this Bush tunnel comes from many law professors and knowledgeable
members of Congress, such as Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT), who believe that
when this law reaches the Supreme Court, its offending and vague provisions
will be declared unconstitutional. But that will take two years and
in the meantime King George can continue expanding his massively losing
tally of arrests, detentions and imprisonment of innocent people who
are tortured or mistreated, isolated and defenseless.
As both military attorneys
and civilian pro bono attorneys for those imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay,
Cuba have declared-the vast majority of the nearly 700 "detainees"
were innocent from the get-go, victims of bounty hunters in Afghanistan
and neighboring countries who "sold" them for cash to intermediaries
who turned them over to the U.S. military for transfer to Cuba. All
these "catches" made George W. Bush look like he was really
rounding up all those evil terrorists like cab drivers, British
tourists of Pakistani descent and so forth.
Timed for the November elections,
Bush moves on Congress, complete with his minions there issuing McCarthyite
press releases accusing opposing Democrats, in the words of House Speaker,
Dennis Hastert (R Ill.), of voting "in favor of MORE rights
for terrorists." (His emphasis)
All this shameless, anti-American
unconstitutional bile from the Bushites comes in the midst of his own
top intelligence people reporting that their President's war in Iraq
is providing a recruitment and training ground for growing numbers of
terrorists in Iraq and from other countries. Earlier, Bush's own CIA
Director, Porter Goss, told a Senate Committee the same thing. Bush's
own generals in Iraq also agree. Critics call it pouring gasoline on
a raging fire.
Nonetheless, the closed mind
of Mr. Bush, whose foreign-military policies have upset his mother and
father deeply, according to a new book by Bob Woodward, tells Americans
that our country will be in Iraq doing what it is doing right through
his Administration's term ending in January 2009.
Never mind the mounting American
casualties, which Bush and Cheney deliberately undercount (see www.democracyrising.us);
never mind the destruction of Iraq, its enormous civilian casualties
and a growing insurgency and sectarian violence that would not be there
without the Bush occupation. Never mind Bush's sectarian preferences,
the Bush economic decrees, puppet politics and the widely reported Bush
blunders and massive corruption-waste registered by his corporate contracting
friends engaged in reconstruction-so called.
So long as the lawyers and
their bar associations in America do not challenge the advancing dictatorial
powers of George W. Bush, so long as citizen groups, labor unions and
libertarians, conservatives and liberals avoid uniting together, these
constitutional crimes against due process, probable cause, habeas corpus,
together with torture and indefinite imprisonment at the whim of the
Executive branch, will worsen and erode American jurisprudence with
serious consequences for both the nation's security and its liberties.
The White House is on a rampage.
The President is a documented lawless, reckless, arrogant politician
whose policies are fueling more terrorism in the Middle East. Nonetheless,
he then turns around and demands more flagrant over-rides on constitutional
safeguards in order to let him fight terrorism. Quite a convenient vicious
circle by him to hoist his daily politics of fear on the country.
Remember that telling thought
by the British Parliamentarian, Edmund Burke, at the time of the American
Revolution: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that
good men do nothing."
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