Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Be afraid...

Be very afraid...

In Alberto Gonzales' speech, at Georgetown University Tuesday morning, our beloved P-DiC (Presidential Defender in Chief) claimed the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act, which bars wiretaps on Americans at home without a court warrant, did not prevent the NSA wiretapping program. While this opinion is nothing new, the actual words of Attorney General Gonzales, and his reasoning, are new - and frightening.

His statement:
It is simply not the case that Congress in 1978 anticipated all the ways that the president might need to act in times of armed conflict to protect the United States,
I'm sorry... did I read that right?

Did our Attorney General just say:
No prior ruling or law enacted at a date prior to the present is truly valid because the founders of those laws could in no way anticipate, nor comprehend, the complexities of the times we live in. And, the Congress of the United States, at an ancient time (almost 28 years ago), did not understand, nor have the experience of the rigors of being a nation at war, nor did it have the foresight nor intelligence to understand the unique details of telecommunications wiretapping that a president of the future may so desperately need to protect us from our enemies.
Okay, that's my paraphrase, but... tell me where I'm wrong, please.

Alberto Gonzales has just put a stake in the ground and told us all, in effect, that prior law is meaningless because it was not made within the context of today's events. This statement is in complete disagreement with the entire fiber of our legal community and the concept of legal precedent.

This has to be one of the most frightening statements I have ever heard from a member of this Administration.

No... this *IS* the most frightening because it is the public admission that in no uncertain terms directly states: "We truly believe we can do whatever we want - period." This is not a statement like all previous defenses that have said, "we believe our actions are legal because..." No, this one states very clearly: "we don't care because we think the laws are invalid, and therefore we are not bound to follow them."

And this is coming not from some non-authoritative lacky. This is the Attorney General of the United States - our top Law Enforcement officer.

So, straight from the voice of the Administration, who also told us that articles of the Geneva Convention were "quaint," we have now been told that prior law and precedent are relatively meaningless - and can be interpreted at-will by the sitting administration. Where does this end? Is it only laws enacted by Congress? Does it extend to all prior rulings of the Supreme Court? All international law? Treaties? Science and environmental findings?

How about the Constitution and The Bill of Rights? Are those quaint conventions that are meaningless because their philosophy was espoused at a time that this administration believes was ignorant of "times of armed conflict to protect the United States" simply because it was in the past?

So... does this declaration of uselessness of prior law extend to individual citizens of the United States as well. Can we now use this defense in a Court of Law? "I'm sorry Your Honor, but the founders of the 16th Amendment simply could not anticipate all the ways that tax appropriation could be misused and therefore refusal to pay into this corrupt system is well within a citizen's rights, based on this interpretation."

Do we need an Executive Branch for Dummies book to be delivered to Pennsylvania Avenue?

Apparently Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Bush have forgotten their place in the trifecta of American Government. They've also seemingly forgotten about a few historical events that were fresh in the minds and hearts of all these previous governments when they enacted these laws with no apparent foresight - most notably: the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam.

No, I think the founders of our laws, from 1776 to 1978 and beyond, all understood perfectly well the ways that a President should act in times of armed conflict. They understood perfectly well.

In fact, I'll bet that's exactly why the laws are written as they are today...



Post a Comment

<< Home