I found this extraordinary piece on The Napa Valley Register tonight. It pretty much sums up how I feel about the Bush Administration. LS
THE NAPA VALLEY REGISTER PIECE HERE OR READ BELOW
The president is a national security threat
By SUMMER MONDEAU
Friday, March 3, 2006 1:12 AM PST
"...To protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic." Since I was lucky enough to be born here, I've never taken that vow, but I feel the same duty to the Constitution as any member of the military or naturalized citizen. Right now, George W. Bush poses a threat to national security, and I hope you'll help me stop it. Here's some of what I know:
Richard Nixon spied on Americans, lied about it and tried to cover it up in the name of "national security." In response, Congress passed FISA to authorize court-supervised surveillance in extreme circumstances, especially war.
George W. Bush spied on Americans, lied about it and tried to cover it up for "national security." At his request, the New York Times kept the story secret because of "national security" until well after the 2004 election.
Bush says that what he did is not illegal. "Did I have the legal authority to do this? Absolutely." (Dec. 2005). That sounds like Nixon, "When the President does it, that means it is not illegal."
In his State of the Union speech, President Bush looked us in the eye and said only people with ties to al-Qaida or terrorism were targeted, but he didn't have to go around FISA to do that. Besides, I saw Richard Hersh testify that the FBI sent undercover officers to his meetings with Quakers. They haven't the remotest connection to al-Qaida or terrorism (www.C-Span.org, "Democratic Hearing on Domestic Surveillance").
For National Journal, Shane Harris now confirms the National Security Agency is, in fact, data mining. Although the Total Information Awareness (TIA) program was ordered stopped by Congress in 2003, it was actually renamed "Basketball" and passed from DARPA in the Defense Department to NSA under Homeland Security. The agency is capable of collecting virtually every piece of data about you that is recorded electronically. Conservative William Safire warned Total Information Awareness is not some far-out Orwellian scenario. It's what will happen to our personal freedoms if (program head) John Poindexter gets the unprecedented power he seeks.
Attorney General Gonzales is America's lawyer, but used to be the president's. He's defending this abuse of power and investigating the whistleblower(s) instead. He says the president has inherent authority, but that's not what the Constitution says. You'd think the president has inherent credibility, but that's wrong, too. The president is not above the law. FISA is the law. Congress investigates, then asks the president what they should do about it. They will punish his law-breaking by changing the law (Feb. 19 Los Angeles Times). Ouch!
John W. Dean, who was Nixon's lawyer, said, "In acting here without congressional approval, Bush has underlined that his presidency is unchecked, utterly beyond the law. What asserted powers will Bush use next?"
When Bob Schieffer asked Bush if there was anything he could not do under this unitary executive theory, he could only think of two things, including ordering torture or assassinating a leader of a country we're not at war with. The signing statement he famously attached to the McCain torture amendment negates number one, so that leaves only assassination. This may not be true, either according to economic hit man John Perkins (www.DemocracyNow.org). This president believes he has absolute power. If that were true, he wouldn't be the president; he'd be a dictator. We know what absolute power leads to.
We've become numb to corruption and incompetence. From forged yellowcake documents that left "no doubt" about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, then discrediting the whistleblower by outing a CIA agent (national security be damned). In Los Angeles, whistleblower Stephen Heller has been charged with three felonies for exposing Diebold's defects. Millions of dollars have disappeared in Iraq, but the contractors who can't account for the money get awarded more. After Bush boldly defended the Dubai ports deal -- because it's good for business -- he admitted he didn't know about it. Then he said he did.
Congress clearly won't act and the jury's out on the courts. Sandra Day O'Connor, who advised that "war is not a blank check," has been replaced by unitary executive proponent Samuel Alito. That leaves you and me (maybe just me) to defend the Constitution. I want to unite with conservatives, liberals and everyone else. This is too important to be left to corrupt or cowering politicians. If we believe the lessons we teach our children about democracy and our Constitution, it's time to stand up and be counted. We'll be meeting in Napa. Phone 252-8242 for the agenda or e-mail GoMommyGo@yahoo.com.
Finally, from Octavia Butler's "Parable of the Talents," "To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery."
Let me know you're out there. United, we'll stand.
(Mondeau lives in Napa.)