What indeed are our elected “representatives” doing about W.’s obvious abuse of power? Earlier this week I faxed off letters to my fearless Republican leaders, Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison, John Cornyn and U.S. Representative (Houston) John Culberson. I am not holding my breath that my very long letter (that merely scratches the surface of W.’s systematic abuse of power) will end up anywhere except in the official shredders.
Whether it goes to the shredder or not, if our so-called “representatives” don’t get a reality check, i.e. that somewhere in Texas, there are some very outraged voters who demand accountability, good the hell luck next election cycle. Burn babies, burn.
They aren’t going to be able to distract us with “family values” “gay marriage, “abortion,” “terrorists are lurking under every rock,” “a strong economy” when there isn’t one, and other BS this time around.
Nope, especially after Gonzo Gate blew wide open yesterday.
On to my letter of letter of July 23:
I am writing to you about the recent highly disturbing and somewhat appalling behavior on the part of President Bush for what is becoming increasingly clear as his willful and blatant abuse of power. The President has overstepped the bounds of his office and is behaving as if he is above the law, accountable to no one.
I am no lawyer but I do know when something is terribly wrong in our government.
There are a number of recent developments that support my claim of Presidential abuse of power. Within the last two weeks, the President has ordered former members of the White House staff, Ms. Sarah Taylor and Ms. Harriet Miers, to refuse to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Although Ms. Taylor presented herself at the hearing and answered very few questions, she did make it quite clear that her loyalty belonged to the President and not to the United States. Such a belief on the part of a staff member is both shocking and frightening. It is unheard of in the history of the United States. Indeed, even President Richard Nixon did not possess the authoritarian arrogance to prevent White House staff from speaking the truth to the Congress (i.e. we the people) during his term as President. And surely no staff member in our nation’s history has ever taken an oath to a person, even a President during wartime! I do not know where Ms. Taylor went to school, but she surely should have known better. If she does not, Ms. Taylor had no business serving in the White House in the first place.
President Bush has very recently pardoned a White House Chief of Staff, Scooter Libby, for perjury and the obstruction of justice. Mr. Libby lied under oath and obstructed justice to protect Vice President Cheney in the unconscionable outing of an undercover CIA agent, Ms. Valerie Plame Wilson. Americans can now assume the President is definitely covering up criminal acts that were committed in the White House, likely in his very office and that of the Vice President. President Bush’s pardon of Mr. Libby also tells we the people that there is two sets of rules at play in America: one for the President’s people and one for the rest of Americans.
I also find it shocking and frightening how the Bush Administration has deliberately attempted to politicize federal agencies (The Justice Department, the Interior Department, to name just two) in order to turn them into operational arms for the Republican National Party.
The recent firings of the 8 U.S. attorneys for purely political purposes are further evidence of the Administration’s calculated goal to ensure a permanent Republican majority for decades to come. The political imperatives of rule under this “permanent Republican majority” seems to have little in common with the democratic principles that have guided this great nation for well over 200 years. In fact, one party rule has proven to be detrimental and destructive to the very foundations of a democratic society. And for this very reason, the people spoke in November 2006.
It is crystal clear that the Department of Justice, at the urging of the White House, had every intention to replace all U.S. attorneys who did not aggressively pursue voter fraud cases where only Democrats were concerned.
Apparently the DOJ forgot that it is supposed to serve the people and not a President or an Administration. I find it inexcusable and unpatriotic for people in our government who serve, such as Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Ms. Sarah Taylor, to demonstrate such distain and contempt for the Constitution, the people, and the democratic principles that are supposed to guide our Republic. It seems that many Bush appointees seem to believe they are working within the framework of a monarchy in which they are servants for a king.
Concerning the firings of the U.S. attorneys, I find it very interesting indeed that Mr. Tim Griffin, who replaced Mr. Bud Cummings in Arkansas, is a former protégé of Karl Rove. Mr. Griffin is known to have produced illegal voter caging lists in Florida during the 2000 election. Evidence of such has been produced by Mr. Greg Palast, an investigative journalist who has obtained Mr. Griffin’s 2000 caging lists. I understand that the caging lists have been turned over to the House Judiciary Committee.
It seems that the same in the Department of Defense and the Pentagon had preceded the politicization of the Justice Department since 2001. It is now common knowledge that the Bush Administration did not tell the American people the truth when making the case to go to war with Iraq. We all know there were never any ties between Iraq and Al-Qaeda under Saddam Hussein and neither were there WMD. We also know that many members of Congress who supported President Bush in his trumped up case for war did not even bother to read the NIE Intelligence Report that could have changed a few minds and perhaps a deadly, costly and catastrophic failure may have been avoided.
President Bush and Vice President Cheney have routinely used the notion of terrorism and the fear it engenders as an excuse to run roughshod over the laws that bind this nation together as a democratic republic.
Since President Bush’s tenure as President, the heretofore unthinkable has happened, such as warrantless wiretaps and spying on American citizens. President Bush publicly admitted he knew about the domestic spying program. A federal court has ruled that such spying is a felony. And yet the Congress has failed to hold the President accountable for his actions. Is the President above the law? It certainly seems to be the case nowadays.
Our country now embraces torture and has willingly abandoned not only the principles of the Geneva Convention but the very moral and legal underpinnings that have governed our democratic republic and our stature in the world. The Supreme Court has ruled the President and Vice President’s system of detention is unconstitutional. Has the detention system changed yet? Not to my knowledge. Why?
As if the evidence mentioned above on the President’s abuse of power isn’t enough, it is both distressing and tragic to write there is yet more.
President Bush has reversed laws with signing statements. He has deliberately undermined the Congress by making whatever changes he deems fit to laws already passed by the representatives of the people! The President’s statements are posted on the White House website. A recent GAO report found that with 30 percent of Bush's signing statements, in which President Bush announces his right to overrule laws, he has in fact proceeded to overrule those laws.
Yes, it is now obvious. President Bush believes that he is well above the law. Some of our lawmakers in our nation’s Capitol obviously hold the same belief.
What else is a citizen to conclude when the sound of silence coming from our Congress on this issue is simply deafening?
When is enough enough? When are our members of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate going to hold this President accountable for his blatant disregard and obvious calloused and cynical contempt for the rule of law that has governed this land for well over 200 years? President Bush and Vice President Cheney’s equal scorn for the people has not been lost on the vast majority of Americans, either.
Should you think that I am some left wing liberal who is exaggerating the President’s evident abuse of power, several former officials who served under President Reagan believe President Bush has assumed powers well beyond the legal jurisdiction of a President. Two of them call for the immediate impeachment of Vice President Cheney. Mr. Ron Paul, A U.S. Texas Representative and candidate for President in 2008, shares similar views with his colleagues in the former Reagan Administration. (Two of the three Republicans have also predicted that war with Iran is imminent and Congress will not be consulted about it.)
In a recent online newspaper (July 19, Raw Story.com) a former appointee of Ronald Reagan, Mr. Paul Craig Roberts, commented on the new Executive Order that allows the government to seize the assets of anyone who interferes with its Iraq policies. According to Mr. Roberts, "Unless Congress immediately impeaches Bush and Cheney, a year from now the US could be a dictatorial police state at war with Iran.”
He goes on to argue, “When Bush exercises this authority [under the new Executive Order] ... there's no check to it. It doesn't have to be ratified by Congress. The people who bear the brunt of these dictatorial police state actions have no recourse to the judiciary. So it really is a form of total, absolute, one-man rule. ... The American people don't really understand the danger that they face."
The article about Mr. Roberts’s views on President Bush can be found here
Mr. Bruce Fein, who served as Deputy Assistant Attorney under former President Reagan and wrote the first article of impeachment against former President Clinton, also calls for the impeachment of Vice President Cheney.
Mr. Fein recently was featured on the PBS Bill Moyers’ Journal on July 13, 2007. The journal can be viewed: Bill Moyers Journal
Following are excerpts from Mr. Fein’s interview.
Recently, Fein has been in the national spotlight after his editorial in the online newsmagazine SLATE called for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney, in which he outlines the various cases against the Vice President. Fein also testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee on June 27, 2007 about President Bush's use of "signing statement."
According to Fein, Cheney has:
• Asserted Presidential power to create military commissions, which combine the functions of judge, jury, and prosecutor in the trial of war crimes.
• Claimed authority to detain American citizens as enemy combatants indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay on the President's say-so alone.
• Initiated kidnappings, secret detentions, and torture in Eastern European prisons of suspected international terrorists.
• Championed a Presidential power to torture in contravention of federal statutes and treaties.
• Engineered the National Security Agency's warrantless domestic surveillance program targeting American citizens on American soil in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.
• Orchestrated the invocation of executive privilege to conceal from Congress secret spying programs to gather foreign intelligence, and their legal justifications.
• Summoned the privilege to refuse to disclose his consulting of business executives in conjunction with his Energy Task Force.
• Retaliated against Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame, through chief of staff Scooter Libby, for questioning the administration's evidence of weapons of mass destruction as justification for invading Iraq. (Read Fein's SLATE article)
End of excerpt.
Representative Ron Paul (Texas) has stated, “All evidence suggests that the NeoCon war on Iran is about to be sprung.”
According to him: “we're sending the oldest aircraft carrier into the Persian Gulf to replace a newer one --- making another trumped up 'Gulf of Tonkin incident' less costly. That is, stage an attack on the Nimitz, and say it was caused by Iran. This would happen in August, with congress on break.”
The bare suggestion that we would go to war with a nation without Congressional oversight tells me that we are no longer living in a democracy.
The silence from our Congress tells me that our elected officials embrace the Bush monarchy.
Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: The Great Leap Backwards
50 minutes ago