November 22, 2006
Defeating the Bill of Rights
Bush’s Lone Victory
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
George Orwell warned us, but what American would have expected that in the
opening years of the 21st century the United States would become a country in
which lies and deception by the President and Vice President were the basis
for a foreign policy of war and aggression, and in which indefinite detention
without charges, torture, and spying on citizens without warrants have displaced
the Bill of Rights and the US Constitution?
If anyone had predicted that the election of George W. Bush to the presidency
would result in an American police state and illegal wars of aggression, he
would have been dismissed as a lunatic.
What American ever would have thought that any US president and attorney general
would defend torture or that a Republican Congress would pass a bill legalizing
torture by the executive branch and exempting the executive branch from the
What American ever would have expected the US Congress to accept the president’s
claim that he is above the law?
What American could have imagined that if such crimes and travesties occurred,
nothing would be done about them and that the media and opposition party would
be largely silent?
Except for a few columnists, who are denounced by “conservatives”
as traitors for defending the Bill of Rights, the defense of US civil liberty
has been limited to the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International,
and Human Rights Watch. The few federal judges who have refused to genuflect
before the Bush police state are denounced by attorney general Alberto Gonzales
as a “grave threat” to US security.…
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
November 9, 2006
It only took six years for Americans to comprehend George Bush and the Republican Party and to realize that the Republicans were not leading America in any promising directions.
Exit polls and interviews with voters across the country by CNN political analyst Bill Schneider show that the November 2006 election was a vote against both Bush and the war in Iraq. Schneider reports that voters did not even know the name of the Democrats for whom they voted. Voters said: “I am going to vote Democrat, because I don’t like Bush, I don’t like the war. I want to make a statement.”
I believe that voters recognized that the peril of one-party rule is that political accountability exists no where except at the ballot box. With the Republican built and programmed electronic voting machines, even accountability at the ballot box was disappearing.
Americans realized that they had made a serious mistake giving power to one party, and they rectified it.
With Republican control of the legislative branch ended, Pentagon Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was immediately swept from power. With the troops, generals, and the service newspapers calling for Rumsfeld’s head, only the delusional warmonger, Vice President Richard Cheney, wanted to keep Rumsfeld in power.
It was a battle that Cheney lost. Cheney’s defeat is an indication that reality has elbowed its way back into Republican consciousness, pushing hubris and delusion away from the control they have exercised over political power.
The lust for unbridled power proved to be too strong a temptation for normally cautious Republicans.…Continue reading
By Carla Binion
October 21, 2006
Consortiumnews Editor’s Note: Many Americans are in denial about what
is happening to the United States. They don’t want to believe that a totalitarian
structure could be put in place in their own country. They don’t want to view
the various pieces of George W. Bush’s “anti-terror” system in that
broad a context. They hope that someone or something — the Supreme Court
maybe — will strike down the excesses of the Republican-controlled Congress
and the Executive Branch.
Though there are still obstacles that stand in Bush’s way — the Nov.
7 elections, for instance — America’s march down a road to a new-age totalitarianism
has advanced farther than many understand, as freelance reporter Carla Binion
argues in this disturbing guest essay:
On October 17, George W. Bush signed into law the Military Commissions Act
of 2006. This new law gives Bush power similar to that possessed by Stalin or
Hitler, and grants agencies within the Executive Branch powers similar to those
of the KGB or Gestapo.
Bush justifies this act by claiming he needs it to fight the “war on terror,”
but a number of critics, including former counterterrorism officials, have said
the administration has greatly exaggerated the threat and used illogical methods
to combat terrorism. (Examples are listed below.)
Except for MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, few television news reporters have bothered
to mention that the Military Commissions Act has changed the U.S. justice system
and our approach to human rights. As Olbermann said of the new law on his October
17 Countdown program, the new act “does away with habeas corpus, the right
of suspected terrorists or anybody else to know why they have been imprisoned.”
Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Constitutional Law Professor,
was Olbermann’s guest.…
by Matthew Rothschild
July 2005 issue
When Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee last year, he was asked whether he “ordered or approved the use of sleep deprivation, intimidation by guard dogs, excessive noise, and inducing fear as an interrogation method for a prisoner in Abu Ghraib prison.” Sanchez, who was head of the Pentagon’s Combined Joint Task Force-7 in Iraq, swore the answer was no. Under oath, he told the Senators he “never approved any of those measures to be used.”
But a document the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) obtained from the Pentagon flat out contradicts Sanchez’s testimony. It’s a memorandum entitled “CJTF-7 Interrogation and Counter-Resistance Policy,” dated September 14, 2003. In it, Sanchez approved several methods designed for “significantly increasing the fear level in a detainee.” These included “sleep management”; “yelling, loud music, and light control: used to create fear, disorient detainee, and prolong capture shock”; and “presence of military working dogs: exploits Arab fear of dogs.”
On March 30, the ACLU wrote a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, urging him “to open an investigation into whether General Ricardo A. Sanchez committed perjury in his sworn testimony.”
The problem is, Gonzales may himself have committed perjury in his Congressional testimony this January. According to a March 6 article in The New York Times, Gonzales submitted written testimony that said: “The policy of the United States is not to transfer individuals to countries where we believe they likely will be tortured, whether those individuals are being transferred from inside or outside the United States.” He added that he was “not aware of anyone in the executive branch authorizing any transfer of a detainee in violation of that policy.”
“That’s a clear, absolute lie,” says Michael Ratner, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who is suing Administration officials for their involvement in the torture scandal.…Continue reading
— Say hello to Taliban America and goodbye to godless judges, courts and law.
by W. David Kubiak
March 24, 2005
Tired of waiting for the Second Coming to enforce Christ’s rule on Earth? Fortunately, so is your Congress and they know how to “bring it on.”
Just when you thought the corporatist/Christian Coalition had milked the 9/11 “surprise” for all it was worth in powers, profits and votes, we regret to report that you may have to think again. Just in case you’ve briefly fallen behind on your rightwing mailing lists, you might have missed the March 3rd filing of Senate bill S. 520 and House version is H.R. 1070, AKA the “Constitution Restoration Act” (CRA).
In the worshipful words of the Conservative Caucus, this historic legislation will “RESTORE OUR CONSTITUTION!”, mainly by barring ANY federal court or judge from ever again reviewing “any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer or agent of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), concerning that entity’s, officer’s, or agent’s acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.” [Emphasis demanded – see full text here.]
In other words, the bill ensures that God’s divine word (and our infallible leaders’ interpretation thereof) will hereafter trump all our pathetic democratic notions about freedom, law and rights — and our courts can’t say a thing. This, of… Continue reading