Saturday, July 26, 2008

Child's Play

I doubt Congress will impeach Bush or Cheney. Nor do I think anyone in the administration will ever be held responsible or accountable for the decisions and actions with respect to torture, extraordinary rendition, going to war or anything else influenced by the encroachment of a unitary executive theory on our governmental system. Bush and Cheney have used the unitary executive argument to stonewall Congress, keep information secret, and violate laws; taking Nixon's, "Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal," to the extreme. Bush penned hundreds of signing statements stating his ability to determine the authority, constitutionality, and enforcement over all or parts of the law he was signing into effect. He willfully violated FISA by having telecom companies cooperate with the NSA and intercept innumerable electronic communications without a search warrant. He authorized high level discussions about torture.

Just how bad do things have to get before our lawmakers do something about it? Well, since they directly contribute to the problem--after all, they remember who gets them elected--they won't do anything until it's too late. And when it's too late, they won't be able to. They pass laws that erode our civil liberties and create a unequal justice system. The Supreme Court denies and grants the president the powers he claims. When he wins he chips away a little more at our Constitution. Terrorism Liaison Officers are hired and trained to spy on us. Our freedom of speech is gradually restricted.

Take notice that these infringements take place just a little step at a time. We are distracted by fear at what could happen in front of us. We yell, "Green light!" in response to an exaggerated threat we're told will attack us if we take our eyes off it. We're not crying "Red light!" and spinning around to catch the real threat that's been approaching from behind all along.

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