c) Capital punishment in the absence of Congressional oversight, even if only for non-citizens, is none-the-less as unconstitutional as it comes. The 4th amendment states that the right of "The People" to be secure in their houses, persons, papers and effects "shall" not be violated. It does not say that the right of "all citizens" is protected. Repeat: It says "The People". Elsewhere in the Constitution the words "All persons" appear. Thus, the outreach is to protect all people from government abuse, not merely American citizens.
d) FBI is granted unilateral "Terrorist" investigation powers based an "an authorized investigation". That sounds reasonable at first glance, until one realizes that there is no judge "authorizing" this investigation with a warrant based on probable cause. Thus, the FBI are self-certifying their investigations of "Terrorists" based on nothing more than their own unilateral whims. If they don 't like YOU, all they have to do is SAY that YOU are a terrorist and go after you, based on their own self-certified "authorized investigation".
Alas, the ACLU's statistics bear out the reality of the abuses in spades. Nearly one million people now appear on the no-fly list, among whom are babies (because their names match someone else's on the "terrorist" database), Democrats in public office (no Republicans, and no partisan statement intended here. Just plain old fact). Activists commonly appear on the no-fly list. Even bird watchers have been targeted by the agenda-crazed FBI: http://www.rightsmatter.org/multimedia/
You get the picture.
Between the "terrorist" definition which includes activists, warrantless wiretapping, and FBI investigative powers, the "War on terror" is really a witchhunt for vocal Americans. The Patriot Act and other post-911 legislation is "sold" to the public in the guise of hunting down terrorists, but in actual fact it goes after vocal people with one very pointed reason: To cover up the crimes of the Bush administration and its accomplices in public office. Keeping people quiet is a keystone to that cover-up.
e) The gag orders in the Patriot Act are the best instrument for covering up such crimes and abuses on the part of the FBI, and the Government at large. Under the Patriot Act, if a doctor is ordered to fork YOUR records over to the Feds, s/he would go to jail for six years if s/he told you, his/her partner, a staff member, or for that matter Any Person. Period. That six year sentence was reduced to five years in the second version of the Patriot Act. Even lawyers are gagged. With secrecy thus virtually guaranteed, no wonder Americans still have the illusion of free speech and that all is fair and square!
Not so! See this actual account of someone who chose to break the gag order: www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/22/AR2007032201882_pf.html
f) Under the Patriot Act, 183,000 FBI-issued National Security Letters (which contain the gag orders) were issued between the years 2003-2005 alone. Of these, 53% were for Americans, born and naturalized alike, according to Mike German, former FBI agent and now counsel to the ACLU. The ACLU also reports that only ONE terrorist was caught during that same period.
Wowee. Impressive, eh? Does everybody feel really safe now? Actually, we all should be quaking in our boots at the implications of the term "terrorist" as applied to peaceful activists.
Back to the main point.....Since Congress voted for the Patriot ACt by almost solid majority (only two lone Senators said "NO" the first time around, with only 1/3 the House opposing it, and very little improvement on the second round)....
Wouldn't it seem clear that if Bush was investigated for warrantless wiretapping and breaking the 4th amendment, for torture, and for any other numerous crimes....that Congress would be implicated too?
Hey, please tell me: Even if an investigation of Bush did come up for torture, how would he be impeached under current US "Law", given the immunity from war crimes prosecution granted by the Military Commissions Act?
I bookend this presentation with a public request:
We need to brainstorm about how to get impeachment back on the table. Too much is at stake for Congress, who would be sticking their necks out so far as not only to lose their seat in office, but to earn a seat in jail while they are at it. Clearly, they are not going to do that. (Even if it also would be the best thing that could ever happen. If we want OUR Constitution back, then we need to replace about 85% of Congress. How about YOU for public office?)
What do YOU think the impeachment solution is?
Folks, may I urge you with utmost importance: DEPRESSION GOVERNS OUR MASSES. PLEASE POST INSIGHTS AND HOPE, NOT RANTS AND RAVES. Because the only thing those will get accomplished is to disable the readers with more depression than is already the case. Our nation is already "lying down" enough. We need ENcouragement, not DIScouragement.