Sunday, January 22, 2006

Power corrupts , the end of the Republican Regime.

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. The Republican party is imploding before our eyes because of pure , raw power. For the last 5 years particulary in the 4 years following 9-11 the Republicans have operated with essentially unlimited power. By virture of their control of the Presidency they drive the agenda and set the tone for the world's lone superpower. By virture of their hold on the House and Senate they control the legislative agenda and perhaps more importantly they have the power to start investigations and hearings that serve to keep the executive branch in check . As a result large scale failures such as 9-11 and the war in Iraq happen with no one held to account do to investigations that are white washed or not even started. More than that , people start believing that they can do anything without fear of punishment. Its that type of thinking that leads to brazen criminality witnessed in the sordid accounts of Duke Cunningham and Jake Abramoff. That type of thinking that led to Scooter Libby, Karl Rove and possibly others outing a career CIA officer and destroying her career. That mentality led the Bush team to give Dick Cheney's former company billions of dollars in a no bid contract in Iraq. Lack of oversight and fear of punishment led Bush to stay on vacation for 2 days while New Orleans drowned. Despite this the Republicans want even MORE power. They threaten to eliminate the filibuster rather than accept defeat in their quest to dominate the only branch of government they currently do not control, the courts. Bush goes above the law and totally disregards the F.I.S.A statute because his adminstration believes in the unitary executive theory which holds that in a time of war the President is essentially beyond the law. Their success depends on their power. Their ultimate failure will be as a result of that same unchecked power.
Mark it down. Democrats will retain control of at least one house of congress this year. Once that happens they will start the long overdue process of giving a close examination to questions that for two long have been ignored. For example, what exactly was Dick Cheney's role in the outing of the agent Valerie Plame? How is it that the United States got it so wrong with regards to not only weapons of mass destruction but also the total lack of anticipation of the insurgency. How is it that the world's greatest military cannot locate one man Osama Bin Laden. Finally what did the President know and when did he know about Jack Abramoff. Fair questions that will never be asked in todays political climate. Sooner or later that will change

Tuesday, January 17, 2006
I don't think most people Democrat or Republican appreciate the depth of trouble Bush has placed himself in by admiting his DIRECT involvement in the NSA spying program. Bush has essentially admitted to committing a crime that can and will very soon be proven to have effected ordinary citizens. Put aside a second the question of whether what Bush did is right or wrong. The fact still remains that Bush clearly violated the statutue as laid out in the F.I.S.A law. Furthermore they have commited this violation of the law for reasons that do not meshed with conventional reasoning. The Bush administration argues that they did not follow the law because of the pressing need for urgent information following the Sept 11th attacks. However the F.I.S.A statue allows for such wiretapping to be conducted WITHOUT a warrant so long as the government applies for one within 72 hours. In other words they broke the law even though according to their argument they did not need to . Which begs the question, Why did they ? What if the information the Bush administration was getting from the N.S.A. was so thin and unreliable that they knew no court would ever issue a warrant for it ? What if the N.S.A interceptors were allowed to eavesdrop on communications totally related to terrorists but totally unrelated to commiting terrorist acts. For example. A lawyer who represents a client being accused of plotting an attack in this country calls the client's mother in saudi arabia to discuss his client's case. Under the executive order that Bush signed the N.S.A could intercept his communications even though neither the lawyer or the mother was involved in planning attacks. Sound familar? Thats exactly what the Times reported.
Furthermore there's the matter of using this information in a legal court. How can information that was obtained illegally be used in a lawful proceding? By obtaining the information illegally Bush has effectively prevented that information from being used against an enemy of this country. In other words someone who wants to attack the United States could walk free because the information used to investigate them was obtained in a illegal way. In other words the program itself is a danger to national security because it could make it more difficult to put REAL terrorist in prison.