Thursday, December 29, 2005


Editor's note
The following post was intended as a comment but it seemed to take on a life of its own. For that reason we are posting it as a separate article, although it was originally intended as a response to earlier comments from the right.


Brian and Kyle

"Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end....liberty is the only object which benefits all alike, and provokes no sincere opposition. "
Historian Lord Acton.

We should be so proud. We have a President who should either be impeached for an abuse of power, or who should be removed from office by reason of diminished mental capacity, (i.e. megalomania). The idea that this president wants to protect us is laughable at best and delusional at the very worst.

The fact of the matter is that Bush has already confessed to having broken a federal law, the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. True, FISA
does allow for the surveillance of American citizens --when they are communicating outside the United States to potentially dangerous groups or individuals, but before that can happen you actually have to acquire a so called FISA warrant; you actually have to prove some kind of probable cause before you can do monitor an American citizen. And (surprise, surprise) Bush did not do this. He just went ahead, acting on yet another faith-based, internal impulse, and used the situation to satisfy his insatiable craving for personal power.

Let's not forget that we really don't know who's being monitored here. For all we know, Bush and his lackeys could be listening to American citizens for domestic, political reasons which have nothing to do with national security. That seems plausible when you consider the fact criticism of any kind represents a threat to national security in the Demander and Thief's irrational thought process. We are, after all, dealing with a President who cannot and will not admit that he ever made a mistake, and who views political criticism as a form of treasonous behavior. And when you're dealing with someone whose thought process (or lack thereof) is that rigid and that paranoid, you can bet dollars to doughnuts that he's monitoring whoever he thinks may represent a
political threat, not just a security threat.

That may sound trivial to some, but we need a little perspective here. Previous wars (conventional wars), have a beginning, a middle, and an end. But according to the Demander and Thief, this war is different. This war may well go on for a century. No one seriously believed that the Civil War, the World Wars, or Korea, or Vietnam would go on for a hundred years. In the case of World War II, the end result might have been in question until Hitler's failed invasion of Russia, but there was no doubt that it would eventually end. The so called war on terror, however, could go on indefiitely, and during that time we could be raising generation after generation, after generation of children who will be raised to believe that the government has a right to invade our privacy, that the Constitution is a meaningless piece of paper. That's an awfully big risk to take with our civil liberties. The conservatives will probably raise the frightening possibility of another terrorist attack, but there is another way to look at that. Terrorists, by the very nature of their violent acts, seek to change the behavior of the nation they are terrorizing. Well, friends and neighbors, if we act out of fear (or a craving for personal power), if we trample personal liberties and reconfigure our Constitutional rights then we have played right into the terrorists' hands--we have changed our behavior and given them a psychological victory; and yet the Bush Administration claims that it both, wants to protect us and protect our civil liberties, when it has little interest in doing either.

If Bush had been serious about protecting us, he would have gone to the Congress and asked for an extension of the FISA provisions. In the days following 911--before we learned that our dysfunctional mediocrity was a congenital liar-- he had the sympathy and the adoration of just about everyone on the face of the planet. At that point in time, Bush could have easily easily asked for an amendment of the FISA provisions. But yet again, Bush didn't bother to play by the rules. Instead of following clear and legal guidelines which would have given him most of what he sought, he again acted as if her were an American dictator. We're sure that some right wingers will claim that a public debate with the Legislative branch would have tipped off potential terrorists, but let's get real. The terrorists aren't as stupid as some people on the right think they are. One of the most interesting characteristics about this administration is that key members don't know how to keep their mouths shut. They're so interested in protecting the president's political popularity that they won't do anything (at least in public) that would threaten his reputation. To that end we saw a number of trial balloons after 911 which were designed to test and poll the attitudes of the American people.* We heard outlandish ideas about collecting files of information on every single Americans (a project that would have been headed by convicted liar, John Poindexter); planting phony news articles in American and foreign papers; the United States Senate passed the Patriot Act by a margine if 99 to 1 without bothering to read what it actually said. If anyone thinks that a potential terrorist wasn't taking steps to cover his or her deeds in the light of all that, then we really have to question the intelligence of the right wingers who were doubting the intelligence of the terrorists.

In other words, it wouldn't have mattered one way or the other if the American people had been informed through a public debate or not, simply because the terrorists would have automatically assumed that they were being monitored in the first place.

So, why didn't Bush bother to get a FISA warrant?

The answer is obvious.

A so-called FISA warrant requires that the person seeking the warrant actually show some kind of probable cause. There actually has to be a good reason to suspect that the person you want to monitor poses a serious a threat. For the past week we've been hearing the conservative mantra about how the President has more information at his disposal than the Legislative body. Well, if he had that much information at his disposal, then why didn't he take it to the FISA court, show probable cause, and get warrants for wire taps?

The fact that failed to do so only shows that he didn't have enough information to prove probable cause. Once again, the Demander and Thief acted on impulse with little to no concern about what may be going on in the real world.

You just have to wonder: What kind of a nightmare world does Bush envision? We've already talked about how surveillance like this, how a repression of privacy rights and other civil liberties causes a self censorship on the part of the American people. Do we really want to find ourselves in a position where we watch what we say with friends and relatives? Do we really want to create a climate of fear and distrust in the name of security which will only stifle political debate and leave the American people frightened to oppose governmental policy? That's what happened in the Soviet Union, where the Soviet people, terrified by the idea of secret surveillance and governmental retaliation, essentially censored their behavior in both the private and public arenas. Why, if you didn't know better, you'd think that Bush and his Neocon advisers had been fighting the Cold War for so long, that they have become the enemy that they once hated the most.)

Sadly, we have a president who doesn't care about anyone nor anything except himself. He hasn't grown nor matured a bit since he was 30 years old and he took his little Brother Marvin on a drunken joy ride, cruising around the neighborhood knocking down mailboxes with baseball bats. Only now the Demander and Thief isn't knocking down mailboxes. Now he's knocking down Constitutional provisions which have kept us safe and secure for more than 200 years. Violations by past presidents were bad enough, but this president craves power in the same way that a heroin addict craves a regular fix; and he he needs more and more of his drug of choice just to achieve the same repressive effect.)

Considering his inability to learn from mistakes; his aversion to playing by the rules; his proclivity for violating laws and constitutional provisions as he sees fit, all coupled with his increasingly erratic behavior, it might just be time to initate those impeachment procedings that the far right had been clamoring for in the late 90s. Failing that, we might ask that he submit himself to a rigorous psychiatric exam to determine whether or not he is a full blown megalomaniac.

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Lord Acton.

1 comment:

Rhino-itall said...

guys i can't even read these posts anymore, they're so silly. it starts out with you saying the president has admitted to breaking a law, and then i stop reading. if you can't be honest, it's not worth my time. have a happy and safe new year. i'll check you guys out on the flip side.