"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Monday, December 19, 2005
You can see why some folks might find this alarming. It also raises the question of why the president is getting so animated and outraged about the Senate filibuster of the PATRIOT Act. What does it matter if Congress fails to authorize the law enforcement provisions found in that act? The administration clearly believes that the September, 2001, use-of-force resolution gives Bush the authority to simply authorize them himself through secret executive order.
Just so. A statute explicitly forbids the NSA from conducting the kind of domestic surveillance that we now know it conducted pursuant to Bush's secret executive order. Obviously, the Boy King and his minions believe he has the power to circumvent such a statute by the force of his own will. That being the case, who needs the Patriot Act? If the President holds executive privilege to violate a statute, surely he has the power to act in the absence of a statute - right?
The thing is, it's too easy to look at this crisis in isolation, but to do so is to miss the point completely. Laura Rozen grasps the big picture:
I don't think we can understand this warrantless NSA spying on Americans story without its connection to the whole secret extra legal other decisions the Bush administration has made mostly in secret - the torture, the extraordinary renditions, Gitmo, secret prisons, declaring unilaterally US citizens like Padilla and Hamdi enemy combatants, instantly denied the rights of US citizens, because clearly, the Bush administration never meant to try any of the people picked up by this program in a court of law.
This is an extremely important point. The NSA debacle is not an isolated example of overreaching; rather, it is part of a seamless pattern of illegal, extraconstitutional actions which, taken together, constitute the highest of crimes and/or misdemeanors. If ever there was an open-and-shut case for impeachment, this is it. This government must fall.
Do you think I exaggerate? I think not. Consider, for instance, the official response to the NSA surveillance story. Anyone with an ounce of integrity, with any hint of remorse, would be trying to ask for forgiveness, or at least explain away his crimes. But Bush? Ladies and gentlemen, behold the awesome workings of an ego left completely unchecked: Bush has made clear his intention to continue his criminal activity, and he has vowed to hunt down the patriots who blew the whistle on him.
I say again: This government must fall.
Update: How you can help.