"The Democratic majority in Congress has a moral responsibility to address all these issues: fixing the profound flaws in the military tribunals act, restoring the rule of law over Mr. Bush’s rogue intelligence operations and restoring the balance of powers between Congress and the executive branch. So far, key Democrats, including Mr. Leahy and Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, chairman of a new subcommittee on human rights, have said these issues are high priorities for them.
"We would lend such efforts our enthusiastic backing and hope Mr. Leahy, Mr. Durbin and other Democratic leaders are not swayed by the absurd notion circulating in Washington that the Democrats should now 'look ahead' rather than use their new majority to right the dangerous wrongs of the last six years of Mr. Bush’s one-party rule.
"This is a false choice. Dealing with these issues is not about the past. The administration’s assault on some of the nation’s founding principles continues unabated. If the Democrats were to shirk their responsibility to stop it, that would make them no better than the Republicans who formed and enabled these policies in the first place."
From an editorial in today's New York Times. It also mentions Bush's newly asserted power to open our mail without a warrant. What next? They're already tapping our phones and monitoring our online activities. Why do Bush and Cheney continuously flout the U.S. Constitution, with its unambiguous checks on executive power? Because they can get away with it?
We have a government of laws, not of men. That's pretty much what the U.S. is all about. Nixon said that "when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."* Bush and Cheney have reasserted it. Yet it's not what the Constitution says or implies. People with dictatorial tendencies ought not be occupying the U.S. presidency.
From BuzzFlash.com (October 29, 2002):
By the way, here's the text of the Fourth Amendment:
If Only I Were A Dictator, by George W. Bush
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
Yes, George W. Bush has stated he'd prefer to be a dictator at least three times, according to BuzzFlash.com:
* * *
"You don't get everything you want. A dictatorship would be a lot easier." Describing what it's like to be governor of Texas. (Governing Magazine 7/98)
-- From Paul Begala's "Is Our Children Learning?"
"I told all four that there are going to be some times where we don't agree with each other, but that's OK. If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator," Bush joked.
"A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it, " [Bush] said.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Here's a definition of "unreasonable search and seizure" from The Free Dictionary by Farlex:
unreasonable search and seizure n. search of an individual or his/her premises (including an automobile) and/or seizure of evidence found in such a search by a law enforcement officer without a search warrant and without "probable cause" to believe evidence of a crime is present. Such a search and/or seizure is unconstitutional under the 4th Amendment (applied to the states by the 14th Amendment), and evidence obtained thereby may not be introduced in court.
Furthermore, "the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 prescribes procedures for requesting judicial authorization for electronic surveillance and physical search of persons engaged in espionage or international terrorism against the United States on behalf of a foreign power." (from the Federation of American Scientists website)
*I can understand this desperate argument considering the situation in which Nixon found himself, but Bush and Cheney seem to be doing it out of sheer defiance and in contempt of our society's constitutionally-ensured freedoms.
* * *
Now THIS should be interesting.