December 16, 2005
By Eric Mader
Is the recent news a surprise to anyone? Back in 2002 President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans without the need of a warrant. Of course any program that entails such eavesdropping on American citizens is illegal, and for good reason. This didn't stop Dubya.
"There is no doubt that this is inappropriate," declared Republican Senator Arlen Specter, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
It's good to see that Republicans are starting to realize how far beyond the American pale their leader has gone.
Unfortunately, disregard for American law is nothing new for the Bush team. Typically they've shown open contempt for the law while formulating policies, and then while implementing them they've fed sound bites to the media like the president's remarks yesterday on the NSA spying directive.
"I will make this point," Bush said, "that whatever I do to protect the American people--and I have an obligation to do so--that we will uphold the law."
It sounds good, doesn't it? Except for one thing: they won't uphold the law, not by a long shot. They'll break it and they'll break it blatantly.
It's like Condi Rice in Europe:
"The United States government does not authorize or condone torture of detainees."
Again, it sounds good. Except that everyone who studies the evidence can see that we do authorize and condone torture. Otherwise why was VP-Obersturmbannfhrer Cheney pushing to make the CIA exempt from proposed legislation against torture?
"Secretary Rice promised that international agreements are not interpreted any differently in the United States than they are in Europe. That, at least, is a good statement," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters after Rice delivered her sound bites.
The foreign minister's words are pretty clear, aren't they? "That, at least, is a good statement."
Good statements can hold the show on the road for a time, but not forever. For me and for many others, America simply cannot be a nation that condones torture, just as American agencies cannot have the right to read citizens' mail or wiretap their phones. And both of these things have been happening, and probably worse besides.
It isn't impossible that this president will face impeachment proceedings before his Reich comes to an end. The Bush team's contempt for the Constitution, for law in general, is unprecedented, whether we're talking wartime or otherwise. If there's another such revelation as that of the past week we will certainly see a serious movement to impeach. It is my own opinion that the administration's actions have already justified such a movement.
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