Recently, I was challenged by a reader to “Do My Research” on Barack Obama before I said that he doesn’t stand for anything that I really care about. I’m an obliging type of guy, and I realized that I didn’t really check out his “official” platform, that I had just gone on the speeches and the debates that I had seen. Well, to my surprise, I no longer feel that Obama doesn’t have a clue to how I feel about the government usurping our Constitutional rights, now, after reading his platform on his website, I know he doesn’t.
There are very important issues that are on the line in this election. We are a nation that is truly on the verge of important changes. What these changes will entail are totally up to the American people. We can blithely follow the campaigns of the Democrats and Republicans and vote for the one that most closely follows our own principles and ideas for the kind of nation that we want in the future. This is what is expected of us. We can all feel good when we go to the polls in November and vote, feeling that we have done our duty as citizens. It is important to understand however, that there is a catch to all of this civic responsibility. The catch is that we must think for ourselves and then, after we have thought it through, if any of the candidates are addressing the real issues that will affect us.
One example of the change this nation has gone through since this current administration has come to into office is the way the executive branch of our government has consolidated power. This is just not a strong President; this is a man that has basically changed our constitution to give the Federal Government, along with the executive branch, unprecedented power to do what it wishes, against most of the precepts that were written into the Constitution. The basic tool that he used to gain this power was the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Against this background of a threat to the United States and its people, the President has used extraordinary powers, supposedly to protect and defend the people of the United States.
The main problem with these powers that the President has garnered through the use of fear and the threats of another attack is that the measures he has taken basically weaken our constitutional rights to the point where most Americans have no real protection from the power of the executive branch. If you are arrested, you have no constitutional right to a lawyer, can be tried in front of a military tribune, you can be held for an indeterminate length of time with no access to the outside world, waterboarded, subjected to extreme temperatures, deprived of sleep and subjected to extreme noise: all you have to is to be declared a terrorist or a terrorist sympathizer. You may say that this scenario is ridiculous, and that your lawyer would sue the government over this, but remember, you will not have a lawyer or access to a telephone to tell anyone what has happened to you. Yet, this is completely legal and there would be no recourse available to you.
Has the government done this to anyone? Who can say? I know that I read in the AP today that the Attorney General said that the Justice Department could not investigate the charges of “Waterboarding” because it’s not against the law. This is the same Attorney General that wouldn’t comment on the practice because he claimed that he didn’t know what the term meant. Meanwhile, Congress accepted that statement and here we are today, with an Attorney General again defending the executive branch from prosecution because our new laws give him the right to practice torture that is patently against the UN Charter and the Geneva Conventions. This US Attorney General Michael Mukasey has turned out to be no better than Gonzales in defending the Constitution or our obligation to follow International Treaties that we were signatories of. Is this the kind of power that you want the next President to have? Don’t you believe that the government, especially the executive branch, with consent of Congress, has gone too far? Let me tell you again, if you are not familiar with my writings, of the other laws that have been passed to “protect” you.
- The Military Commissions Act of 2006; http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/10/20061017.html This is the law that gives the government the right to detain you, and not provide you a lawyer and to basically torture you for an indefinite length of time and try you in front of a military tribunal without a jury of your peers if you were deemed to be a terrorist or a terrorist supporter or sympathizer.
- The Warner Defense Bill; http://www.towardfreedom.com/home/content/view/911/ (The revamped “Insurrection Act”); This bill gives the President the right to call up the National Guards of the individual States without the permission or consent of the Governor of that State, to be Federalized and used as law enforcement in the event of a “National Emergency” that is deemed necessary by the President. This is in direct violation of Posse Comitatus that was implemented to insure that the Federal Government could not use the military to enforce his will on the population of the States. In other words, this was implemented to stop a President from imposing a military dictatorship.
- The Patriot Act: http://epic.org/privacy/terrorism/hr3162.html This bill has stripped away so many of our Constitutional rights from the people that I don’t know where to start. This bill was drafted before the attacks of 9/11. It is a thousand page document that just about controls every aspect of a citizens life. If you are suspected of being a terrorist or a terrorist supporter or sympathizer, the government can search your home without a warrant without you present, or even knowing about it.
- Presidential Directive 51: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/05/20070509-12.html. This directive gives the President control of all three branches of government in the event of a “National Emergency” or a disaster.
- Presidential Signing Statements: http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/04/30/bush_challenges_hundreds_of_laws/ These are statements attached to a law signed by the President that gives him the right to ignore portions of a bill that he does not particularly agree with.
- Rex 84; The Blueprint for Martial Law. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=3010
- Garden Plot: Another Plan for Martial Law: http://www.uhuh.com/control/garden.htm
So you maybe now you can see why I question the integrity of the two leading Democratic nominees? Is it any wonder why I question why they don’t speak out against these abuses of power? The only ones that have spoken out about these issues are no longer in the race save Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich. The Democrats are actively trying to replace Dennis Kucinich in his own district.
Where is this loyalty to the Democrats getting us? Half of them vote in lockstep with this present administration that has given our nation nothing but war and economic failure. If you want an Afro-American or woman President, you can vote for Cynthia McKinney. At least she speaks out on real issues and has plans that will help them to succeed. Obama talks of things that are at best, only ideas. He states no real solutions to anything. Hillary Clinton who claims to have 35 years experience voted for the Resolution to Use Force in Iraq. If she was so experienced in her husband’s administration, didn’t she remember when PNAC came to her husband with the same plan to invade Iraq and he refused? Was this a temporary case of amnesia?
I have nothing against a woman being president, just not this woman. I have nothing against an African-American becoming president, just not this man. Yes, I desire change, but I desire real change, not just someone that mouths the words. We are just about out of time to change this nation of ours. Unless the people of this country realize that the stakes are high and that these people are playing with a stacked deck, we are going to lose what is left of this republic. I spent so many years in the service of my country, only to see it turn into a place that I no longer recognize. I see the media control the political process and Americans watching gleefully as if this was some kind of episode of “Survivor”. This is the future of this republic folks, if you can’t understand what the stakes are, you shouldn’t be playing.
The time to get serious is now. If you care about what kind of country we are going to have then you must delve deeper into what the issues are all about. We can sell this nation off to the person that has the highest corporate backing (Obama and Clinton) or give it to the people that dream of empire (McCain). That is unless you want to truly understand what it is we are voting for. If you want to vote for Senator Obama, ask him if he will rescind the laws and directives I mentioned above. If he says no, then don’t give him your vote. The same goes for Clinton. The same goes for McCain. Find a candidate that will give us back our civil liberties and get us out of never-ending wars. It’s all up to you, do it while you still have the power to do so.
That’s the way I see it.