Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Declassified Documents Confirm Bush Administration Run by Radical Usurpers of the Constitution

Send them all to jail. Among their numerous crimes they violated their oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Scott Horton reads through Bush's secret legal memos suspending the First and Fourth Amendments, justifying torture, and claiming power to detain American citizens in America indefinitely without a court order, and writes:
"We may not have realized it at the time, but in the period from late 2001-January 19, 2009, this country was a dictatorship. The constitutional rights we learned about in high school civics were suspended. That was thanks to secret memos crafted deep inside the Justice Department that effectively trashed the Constitution. What we know now is likely the least of it"
All of this, of course, confirms what many of us suspected: Bush and Cheney and their co-conspirators like John Yoo have spent the past eight years systematically and secretly destroying the American system of government. I'm certainly willing to hear the "conservative" case for letting the President unilaterally ignore all of the parts of the Constitution that restrain his or her power (i.e. the Bill of Rights), but something tells me its not a very conservative case. It should be obvious, but ex-President Bush and the current Republican Party are radicals, not conservatives. (And now we have to listen to braying from these same no-nothings about that damned socialist Obama!)

I hear a lot of talk about how investigations (and prosecutions) would be too distracting to the current government, and I sympathize. No one wants to be painted as a partisan looking to settle political grudges when there is important work to do like healthcare, ending two wars, and reviving the dying economy. However, somebody needs to conserve the constitutional structure and that is simply not going to happen unless there are clear consequences for egregiously violating it. If we just leave all of these crimes "in the past"--as was done with Nixon's crimes and Iran-Contra--they will only be repeated again. We cannot leave Bush's actions as a precedent for any of his successors, and it is time to permanently discredit the "conservative" argument against the Constitution.

Threats to the "homeland" are not new at all, and certainly no justification for finding new emergency powers. 9/11 was hardly the country's darkest day. The Constitution was born following a war with the world's greatest superpower, yet it purposely handicapped the very person that it gave the power to fight off such an adversary: the president. The constitutional limits on the presidency then endured yet another invasion and the burning of Washington, D.C., all during the lifetimes of the men who wrote the document.

Expedience cannot justify what Bush and his co-conspirators have done, and it should not justify allowing their example to stand.