Hypocrite of The Decade
Our hypocrite of the decade award goes to none other than George W. Bush.
Mr. Bush, the world’s premier champion of the democratic form of government, has made spreading democracy Job Number One for the good ol’ US of A.
This mantle of good-natured philanthropy surfaced, as you’ll no doubt recall, after it finally became apparent that there were no actual Weapons of mass Destruction in Iraq, and further, that Iraq and Saddam Hussein posed no threat to anyone at all beyond Iraq’s borders.
Without the threat of WMD’s as a justification for the invasion, Mr. Bush obviously needed something else to use for the rationale.
Mr. Bush was observed to state, “Well heck, even if there weren’t any WMD’s, we still need to let these godless heathen, goat-lovers choose their own form of government, so the invasion was still necessary – I promise you that. We did it to protect them, so they can have a government of the people, by the people and for the people, just like us. So as soon as they elect a democratic government and are able to govern themselves, we’ll pick up our guns and leave.”
So now the Spread Of Democracy – what a grand, noble cause – is job one!
And according to GW, if they don’t like it, we’ll bomb the sand-grubbing, camel jockeys into the Stone Age, and kill all of their first-born males – until they do like it, by gosh!
That’s right: Democracy is Job One!
Okay. Now with that said, the Palestinians this week, in a democratic election, elected a Hamas faction slate to office, throwing out the government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement. The feeling was the old guard, Fatah party had not well served the interests of the people. And so the election of the radical Islamic Hamas slate was a stunning change of course for the Palestinians.
“There’s something healthy about a system that does that,” observed Mr. Bush at a news conference.” The Hamas victory “reminds me about the power of democracy,” he said. “You see, when you give people the vote, give them the chance to express themselves at the polls and they’re unhappy with the status quo, they’ll let you know.”
But then he went on to say, “I have made it very clear however that a political party that articulates the destruction of Israel as part of a platform is a party with which we will not deal.”
So according to Mr. Bush, it’s great that they’ve elected a representative, democratic government – a government of the people, for the people, and by the people – but Bush doesn’t like the people they elected, so he won’t deal with them.
The obvious message here, is you must have a democratic government – but only one that Bush likes.
Good going George!
Now of course this hasn’t played out fully in Iraq yet, but I have confidence it will – if Bush can’t get along with the Hamas government, I’m sure the Shi’a of Iraq will fare no better.
So what do we have? The Palestinians have democratically elected a government that we refuse to deal with because we don’t like their politics.
And in Iraq, where we invaded a foreign country under false pretenses, we are in the process of ramming a democratic form of government down the people’s throats, and when that’s finally done, then we’ll likely refuse to deal with their freely elected representatives (assuming the Shi’a prevail).
Bravo, Mr. Bush! You’ve surpassed yourself.
In defense of his domestic spying program, George Bush said today, “When terrorist operatives are here in America communicating with someone overseas, we must understand what’s going on if we’re going to do our job to protect the people. The safety and security of the American people depend on our ability to find out who the terrorists are talking to, and what they’re planning.”
He went on, “Federal courts have consistently ruled that a president has authority under the Constitution to conduct foreign intelligence surveillance against our enemies. My predecessors have used the same constitutional authority on numerous occasions. And the Supreme Court has ruled that Congress gave the president additional authority to use the traditional tools — or ‘fundamental incidents’ — of war in the fight against terror when Congress passed the authorization for the use of military force in 2001.”
To examine the validity of the President’s statements, you have to look at the resolution he referenced.
In the War Powers Resolution of 2001, it stated that the President “…has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States…” and that “… the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.” Emphasis added.
This clearly delineates the President’s authority as that which is specifically granted under the Constitution.
In the constitution, the Fourth Amendment guarantees Americans “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” This right includes protections against warrantless wiretaps.
There you are, you’re George W. Bush, you’re trailing badly in the polls, you’ve got this nasty little problem with domestic spying making headline news all over the place, your war in Iraq is continuing to go sour, and all your best buddies are getting indicted for corruption and bribery. So what do you do?
You call out the heavy artillery, that’s what!
Last week, after a year’s absence, George W. Bush’s biggest supporter, Osama bin Laden made a rare appearance, via an audiotape mailed to Aljazeera TV.
In the tape, bin Laden alternately threatened to bring the war back home to America, and then offered a truce.
The Bush administration continues in its downward spiral, its ultimate, grisly end now hastened by the charges of domestic spying by the National Security Agency.
According to news reports, the Bush administration authorized the NSA to conduct wiretaps of hundreds if not thousands of American citizen’s phone and email conversations within the United States – all without warrants.
Such warrantless wiretaps are prohibited under the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution, where it provides that:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
The courts have held that “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects…” includes the right to have their communications protected from eavesdropping, except where the state, upon providing a showing of probable cause, has secured a warrant from a court.
Acting on the excesses of the Nixon years and the Watergate era, congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1978 to further regulate domestic spying.
Under that Act, the FBI and NSA may conduct warrantless domestic wiretaps of foreign nationals only. Wiretaps and searches of US citizen’s person and property may be conducted only after securing a warrant from a secret FISA court.
The Bush administration has defended the warrantless wiretaps, asserting that such extraordinary measures are necessary because of the war on terrorism, and further, that such broad authority was granted by congress when it authorized the war in Iraq.