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Sunday, December 18, 2005

"The Constitution In Tatters"

Good piece by Dick Bell at DCP. He goes a bit further than I would in suggesting that the immediate release of the "NSA spying on US citizens" bombshell would have changed the election, but it's a rant worth a thoughtful read.

The last flimsy fig leaf of respect for the Constitution was ripped away with today's reports that President Bush authorized the National Security Agency in 2002 to eavesdrop on US citizens and foreign nationals in the US.

The story ABOUT this story is equally horrifying. The New York Times knew about this NSA program and at the request of the government sat on the story for more than a year.
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Could you have imagined, ten years ago, that our country was:

*operating an international network of secret prisons.

*running a Justice Dept. headed by an Attorney General whose craven memos purported to allow US Government officials to engage in torture, and who was confirmed by the Senate even though the Senators knew about the torture memos.

*allowing the President on his own whim to arrest and imprison people for the rest of their natural lives without access to an attorney or even a court.

I could go on, but the point is clear. We are now living under the gravest threat that our country has ever faced. The men and women who are running the executive branch are sytematically destroying the constitutional foundations of our country. And the men and women in the Congress who are empowered by the Constitution to provide a check on the executive branch have utterly failed to carry out their own constitutional duties.

Every day that passes under the leadership of these people is another knife blow to the ribs of liberty.
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Updated to add: Why don't I think the release of this information before the 2004 election would've changed the outcome? Because there was PLENTY of information already there for those who bothered to open their eyes to see it. With all respect to Dick for his opinion, I personally think that for a person to say, "gee if I had only known about THIS, I would've changed my vote", is a total, lame, irresponsible cop-out. There was PLENTY of factual information out there, Mr. and Mrs. American Voter, about the characters and records of the two men you had to choose between - if you bothered to turn off American Idol and look past the campaigns' own marketing and the manipulations of the very-interested-in-the-outcome corporate media. If you're feeling hoodwinked now, maybe it's time to take a good look inside yourself at how you choose who you vote for.

(See, I can rant, too. :-) )

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