It's been a long time since I have written much of anything political. But after watching this country totally disintegrate all I can do is shake my head and ask how this happened. It was not so very long ago that we were a proud nation with the respect and admiration of most of the world. Then we had principles, principles handed down from Jefferson, Washington, Madison, Mason, Paine, Franklin, Hamilton and others. These men were students of the philosophy of such men as John Locke who wrote:
"Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence."
"Reading furnishes the mind only with materials for knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours."
"The people cannot delegate to government the power to do anything which would be unlawful for them to do themselves."
Ideas such as these contributed to the writing and signing of the great Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and of course the most important document of all, The Bill of Rights.
I have watched in horror as inferior men have been nominated and confirmed for seats on our Supreme Court. I have watched as our Congress obediently passes whatever measures our President wants with the acquiescence of the so-called opposition party. I have watched as the checks and balances, separation of powers and separation of church and state written into our Constitution so deliberately by the founding fathers are blurred or erased. So why have I waited so long to write this article? After writing many articles in opposition to this President beginning in 2001 and into 2004 I found that others were now taking up the cause and I was no longer adding much that was new. I have been using my website http://www.libertyworld.org to amplify the words of others. So why have I waited until now to begin writing again? The answer in my mind is clear. On Tuesday, October 17, 2006 everything changed when the President signed into law the Military-Tribunals bill. That was the day that the "great writ" or the writ of habeas corpus ended here in the United States.
Before Tuesday, the principle of habeas corpus guaranteed that anyone remanded to jail had a right to stand before a judge to hear his case and had the right to be released from custody if the government failed to convince a judge that there was a legal basis for continuing his imprisonment. As we keep hearing the President say that since 9/11 everything has changed, rather since 10/17 everything has changed. It is the day that the Bill of Rights was removed from our Constitution.
Maybe you think that I have gone too far with that statement. After all it's just the writ of habeas corpus that has been abolished and then only for non-citizens. If anyone is arrested and put into jail for committing an act which is clearly allowed under the Bill of Rights how does this person plead his case. How does anyone under these circumstances make it known that he is being illegally held? If he is an American citizen who is held, how does he prove that he is an American citizen. Who does he tell? His captors? We have made one branch of government the prosecutor, the judge and the jury. We have in effect made the President a king in all respects that I can think of.
The President could not have done this alone. He had help. He had the help of most of the Republicans in Congress and more than a few Democrats as well. He also had the help from most Americans by their silence. Some are now saying that it isn't all that important. After all this will eventually get to the Supreme Court and will be ruled unconstitutional. But will it? We have been allowing some really radical right thinkers to be placed on the Supreme Court in the last twenty-five years. Men who believe for example in the Unitary Executive. Under this theory the executive branch of government has the supreme power and can only be subdued by impeachment. Under this theory the executive branch is beyond all laws including international law. It is the use of this theory that we now have wire tapping without a court order and have allowed torture.
One of the most outspoken proponents of the Unitary Executive theory, the darling of the right wing and author of much of the PATRIOT Act, is John Yoo. John is an example of a highly educated lawyer going haywire for what ends I have no idea. Let me quote here from John Yoo taken from Wikipedia. In explaining the Yoo Doctrine, Yoo made the following statements during a December 1, 2005 debate in Chicago, Illinois with Notre Dame Law School Professor Doug Cassel.
Cassel: "If the President deems that heís got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the personís child, there is no law that can stop him?
Yoo: "No treaty."
Cassel: "Also no law by Congress. That is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo."
Yoo: "I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that."
Pretty chilling isn't it? Now remember also that this Unitary Executive theory is held by the misnamed Federalist Society. Why is that important? Because a majority of the Supreme Court judges are members of the Federalist Society and believe in its principles. Principles that are probably abhorrent to most Americans. I have strong doubts whether the Supreme Court can or will roll back the abuses to our Constitution perpetrated by this President aided and abetted by a Republican Congress. What ever happened to the Republican slogan of standing for "less government."
In all of the discussions both here and elsewhere we keep hearing about the "right" and the "left" of politics. When I hear the man in the street talk about left and right I am led to wonder if the average person actually knows what these two terms mean. It comes from the fact that the French Parliament was divided between those who supported the king and those who supported democracy or in other words authoritarianism vs. democracy. Those supporting authoritarianism sat on the right and those supporting democracy sat on the left. So it should not be very suprising that when we speak of the right wing we are talking about people who actively oppose democracy. Now why would anyone in their right mind vote for any of these people? And why would anyone be surprised when they pass such undemocratic and literally torturous legislation as the PATRIOT Act or the Military-Tribunals bill?
The question is why do the Republicans hate America?
I'll leave that question open for another time.
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