The headlines scream. America is not the land of the free or the home of the brave. Moments ago, I came online and opened my Internet connection. The New York Times banner read, Bush and Cheney Rebuff Critics of Iraq Troop Increase. The caption below stated, what the public has long known and apathetically accepted, our Commander-In-Chief does not represent the people of America. He does not care for its citizens. Mister Bush ignores the founding fathers concept of "checks and balances." George W. Bush governs as dictators do, with an iron fist.
President Bush insisted that he has the authority to send more troops to Iraq even without the approval of Congress.I read further and found greater reason for my indignation.
"I fully understand they could try to stop me from doing it,” he said in a taped interview for the CBS News program “60 Minutes” that is to be broadcast this evening. “But I’ve made my decision. And were going forward.”
Yes, we must admit, there is little difference between Bush Junior and other bullies. Iraq may have had Saddam Hussein. Osama Bin Laden may have taken many lives; however, so too has the belligerent browbeater that leads America today.
The Bush/Cheney coalition aggressively declares itself "righteous." This Administration needs no endorsement from Congress or the American citizenry. They repeatedly retort, we will "stay the course." Controversy changes nothing where this couple is concerned. They continue to "move forward" or remain behind the eight ball.
In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, six in 10 respondents said the war is not worth fighting, three-quarters disapproved of how Bush has handled the situation, and there was no consensus about how the United States should adjust its policies in Iraq. Only 17 percent called for an increase in U.S. forces, the "surge" believed to be a centerpiece of the new Bush plan.Pronouncements of peace or an official declaration stating the need for diplomacy cannot and will not deter the plans this White House promotes. This neoconservative union believes that they need not seek accord with the people of the United States of America. The infamous clan and their cronies can and will go it alone. Mister Bush does not confer with members of his own party. He tells them what to think.
Convergence is passé in this President's mind. He is not compelled to agree with citizens, Congress, or even his fellow Republicans. Sadly, as a whole, Congress is unwilling to cut the purse strings for this failed mission. They fear that would show a lack of support for the troops. George and Dick know this.
Just below this heading was one I saw earlier in the day, Military Is Expanding Its U.S. Intelligence Role. again Americans are reminded, under the auspices of Mister Bush, privacy is no longer a privilege. This article was equally jarring, though I am unsure why. One would think that I had accepted the loss of civil liberties. This policy has endured since September 11, 2001. It is not a surprise.
As I read today's headlines I can only shake my head and wonder. Why did our countrymen not throw up their arms a week ago when Bush Warned About Mail-Opening Authority. You may recall, on January 5, 2007 we learned
Military Is Expanding Its U.S. Intelligence Role
By Eric Lichtblau and Mark Mazzetti
January 14, 2007
WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 — The Pentagon has been using a little-known power to obtain banking and credit records of hundreds of Americans and others suspected of terrorism or espionage inside the United States, part of an aggressive expansion by the military into domestic intelligence gathering.
The C.I.A. has also been issuing what are known as national security letters to gain access to financial records from American companies, though it has done so only rarely, intelligence officials say.
Banks, credit card companies, and other financial institutions receiving the letters usually have turned over documents voluntarily, allowing investigators to examine the financial assets and transactions of American military personnel and civilians, officials say.
The F.B.I., the lead agency on domestic counterterrorism and espionage, has issued thousands of national security letters since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, provoking criticism and court challenges from civil liberties advocates who see them as unjustified intrusions into Americans’ private lives.
But it was not previously known, even to some senior counterterrorism officials, that the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency have been using their own “noncompulsory” versions of the letters.
President Bush signed a little-noticed statement last month asserting the authority to open U.S. mail without judicial warrants in emergencies or foreign intelligence cases, prompting warnings yesterday from Democrats and privacy advocates that the administration is attempting to circumvent legal restrictions on its powers.Do I dare bother to recount the numerous violations of the law under Bush forty-three? Can I squeal any louder?
A "signing statement" attached to a postal reform bill on Dec. 20 says the Bush administration "shall construe" a section of that law to allow the opening of sealed mail to protect life, guard against hazardous materials or conduct "physical searches specifically authorized by law for foreign intelligence collection."
White House and U.S. Postal Service officials said the statement was not intended to expand the powers of the executive branch but merely to clarify existing ones for extreme cases.
"This is not a change in law, this is not new, it is not . . . a sweeping new power by the president," spokesman Tony Snow told reporters. "It is, in fact, merely a statement of present law and present authorities granted to the president of the United States."
But some civil liberties and national-security law experts said the statement's language is unduly vague and appears to go beyond long-recognized limits on the ability of the government to open letters and other U.S. mail without approval from a judge.
Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies in Washington, said the government has long been able to legally open mail believed to contain a bomb or other imminent threat. But authorities are generally required to seek a warrant from a criminal or special intelligence court in other cases, Martin and other experts said.
"The administration is playing games about warrants," Martin said. "If they are not claiming new powers, then why did they need to issue a signing statement?"
I have shared this snippet many times in the last year. Nevertheless, I think it bears repeating.
President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.Someone, please tell me, why are we as a nation willing to impeach a President for a scandalous sexual digression and unwilling to prosecute a Commander-In-Chief for criminal offenses. Is the Constitution so weak that a government, supposedly of, by, and for the people has no power to institute law?
Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ''whistle-blower" protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.
Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush's assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government. The Constitution is clear in assigning to Congress the power to write the laws and to the president a duty ''to take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to ''execute" a law he believes is unconstitutional.
Former administration officials contend that just because Bush reserves the right to disobey a law does not mean he is not enforcing it: In many cases, he is simply asserting his belief that a certain requirement encroaches on presidential power.
But with the disclosure of Bush's domestic spying program, in which he ignored a law requiring warrants to tap the phones of Americans, many legal specialists say Bush is hardly reluctant to bypass laws he believes he has the constitutional authority to override.
Far more than any predecessor, Bush has been aggressive about declaring his right to ignore vast swaths of laws -- many of which he says infringe on power he believes the Constitution assigns to him alone as the head of the executive branch or the commander in chief of the military.
Many legal scholars say they believe that Bush's theory about his own powers goes too far and that he is seizing for himself some of the law-making role of Congress and the Constitution-interpreting role of the courts.
I do not understand. I only know, that each day, as I scan the headlines, I am reminded that Americans are not free to speak, or congregate. Religious practices are monitored, just as the mail is. The right to privacy is gone. Barnes and Noble, Borders and the local libraries are required to release personal information. I sadly accept that we the people have resigned our power. We are not strong; we are submissive.
Please, tell me; when will we be able to believe again; 'America is the land of the free and the home of the brave.'
Peruse the President's Policies and Practices . . .