Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Putting the Constitution on Ignore

A memo from the so-called Justice Department has become public. The existence and intent of the memo has been known since it was written by John Yoo in 2003, under then Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Now we can read the actual text, the words which, in brief, make the claim that the president, as Commander-In-Chief, is bound by neither the Fifth Amendment, nor the Eight Amendment to the Constitution.

The Fifth Amendment guarantees what is called due process for an individual whom the government wants to deprive of life and liberty. Basically it requires said government to honor all rights of the individual, not just some of them.

The Eighth Amendment prohibits the imposition of excessive bail requirements, fines and the use of Cruel and Unusual Punishment.

I've read that this memo has since been withdrawn.

The justification to suspend the Constitution of the United States of America, according to this document, was based on the power granted to the Commander-In-Chief, embodied and assigned under the Constitution to the Executive Branch, the President, to do whatever he needs to do to protect the nation in a time of war.

That authority was provided because the framers had given Congress the power to declare war,
Congress being closer and more accountable more frequently to the people than the president. The idea was that if Congress declared war it was in the interest of the people that the president be Commander-in-Chief, one who had the nation's security at heart, and who would prosecute the war, making decisions based on the advice from the professionals in his military, the role of Advice and Consent embodied in the Congress, and his own sense of justice and values.

The grand idea was that if there were built in checks and balances the extreme swings of the pendulum between power and the people could be ameliorated, or at least dampened.

It is still a grand idea. But it's still true that there will always be individuals who will use that grand idea for their selfish and personal advantage.

The Rovian Cheney/Bush White House brow beat members of Congress. Under threat of being exposed as unpatriotic and soft on homeland security and thus frightening them into espousing militarist views to their constituents, they knuckled under and gave Bush authority to prosecute a war on terrorism, knowing full well that the authorization would be used to invade Iraq under what we now know were false pretenses.

Because there will always be those who terrorize others, from the individual level, through the tribal level, to the national level, and beyond if we actually come across others beyond earth, by definition a war on terrorism has no end. And so the president, as commander-in-chief under the Constitution, can claim that he is operating within the powers granted him by the Constitution, and can suspend parts of it as he chooses as long as he is president. It's surely clear that Bush has relished the commander-in-chief power of the presidency more than any other. It's surely clear that Cheney has been the Machiavellian advisor to this "small, dim man" as Garrison Keillor calls Bush.

The sick joke is that Cheney's brilliance is best understood by the fact that George W. Bush wakes up every morning believing he is the president of the United States.

Psychologists and anthropologists often cite statistics that the IQ level of inmates in our prison system are higher than what would be expected by chance in the general population.
A simplified and over-generalized conclusion has it that many very smart people use their smarts unlawfully.

Herein lies the criminal genius of this administration. George W. Bush and cronies are more interested in war than peace because they can grow their fortunes more quickly in war. Rather than having to justify to the people the need to spend billions on defense during peace time, if they can get the people to accept a war time view of reality they understand that they can activate the flight or fight instinct in most all species.

I've tried to make a case that the Cheney/Bush "team" is not only devious, to say the least, but very intelligent.

So far the Democrats in both houses of Congress have abdicated their responsibilities in a time of war; in other words they are AWOL, deserters, if it were up to the voters to bring charges.

I keep hearing that they were blocked at every attempt to end the war which the voters in 2006 sent them to Washington to do because they did not have veto proof numbers in their ranks. I understand that to be a logical and realistic truth. What they don't understand is that they are dealing with an adversary who uses all the pyschologically and emotionally charged tricks they know they can play, while pretending that they are still working within a Constitutionally sanctioned, and thus legal, system.

In short they were threatened with their jobs. Job security they believed was found in appearing to be patriotic, while at the same time being AWOL from their jobs. How's that for irony?

But then perhaps they really don't want to end the war either.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper n

In other words, if the president can get Congress to relinquish it's right to declare war, by authorizing him to do what he deems necessaary to protect the nation,

Cheney, Rove, Wolfowitz and their neo-con cabal, to the delight of their puppet George W. Bush, that small, dim man as Garrison Keilor labled him, jumped all over the opportunity laid in their lap by OBL and the horror of 9/11.

They hyped the same kind of panic that resulted in the round up and incarceration of Janese Americans following the horrors of Pearl Harbor.

These are the people who should be brought to justice as traitors,

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