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A constitutional crisis in the making

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What Bush told us was a program of very limited surveillance is now revealed to have been the warrantless surveillance of tens of millions of Americans. That's bad enough, but it's made worse by the numerous lies Bush has already told about it. That the surveillance was limited is the most egregious lie "”and quite possibly criminal.

In what sounds like a chapter out of George Orwell's 1984, every call is now chronicled in what has been called the world's largest database. Even Republican Sen. Arlen Spector has used the term "big brother" to describe the breathtaking extent of Bush's prying into the affairs of innocent American citizens. Contrary to what Bush has said repeatedly, the NSA "”under the control and direction of Gen. Michael Hayden "”created what has been called "[T]he largest database ever assembled in the world." The goal, according to USA Today, was " create a database of every call ever made" inside the United States.Sen. Patrick Leahy, meanwhile, bristles at suggestions that only Al Qaeda suspects were surveilled. Are we expected to believe, Leahy asks, that tens of millions of Americans were suspected of plotting with Al Qaeda? If that is so, says Leahy, the war on terrorism has failed "”as miserably as has the occupant of the Oval Office. The simpler explanation: Bush lied to the Congress and to the American people. It was on January 2, 2006, that Bush lied "”statling flatly that the NSA program did not result " widespread domestic eavesdropping."

The extent of the spying is almost incomprehensible. Tens of millions of American citizens have been denied due process of law, protections guaranteed them in the U.S. Constitution. It is significant and consistent that Bush is credibly quoted as having said "The Constitution is just a goddamned piece of paper". If it were not, then Bush will certainly make it so with arrogant, criminal duplicity.

If Gen. Michael Hayden "”Bush's choice to replace Porter Goss "”is confirmed, Bush and Cheney will have all but consolidated dictatorial powers. All U.S. Intelligence gathering, analysis, and compilation will fall under the control of the Bush junta. Many would call that dictatorship. It is that and tyranny as well.

Bush had co-conspirators "”huge American corporations which are now complicit in Bush's deliberate subversions of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Two dramatic events now point to a Constitutional crisis in the making.

  • The Bush administration has abruptly ended the investigation into widespread warrantless eavesdropping program. The reason given is that the National Security Agency "”under the direction of Gen. Michael Heyden "”refused to grant Justice Department lawyers security clearances. How bloody convenient!
  • USA Today also reveals that three huge American communications companies "”AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth "”may very well be complicit with Bush in crimes against the people and the Constitution. If Bush's program is found to be illegal, then it follows that corporations enabling his crime are complicit in Bush's crimes against the constitution and the people.

  • Meanwhile, Democratic U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews joined Sen. Diane Feinstein with warnings of a constitutional crisis "”the worst constitutional crisis in the last 30 years. During a two-hour forum at Rutgers University, Andrews urged a "... congressional review of President Bush's approval of warrantless eavesdropping on Americans."

    Meanwhile, too much is made of a red herring "”the Rumsfeld/Hayden riff over Pentagon vs CIA intelligence. If Bush really wanted to "rein in" Rumsfeld in, he would simply fire him. On the contrary "”Rumsfeld is but one piece of the Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld triumvirate. Bush doesn't want or need to "rein in" Rumsfeld. It's hard not to conclude that when Hayden takes over the CIA, the triumvirate" will have consolidated its power. If there is any reining in to be done, it'll be Hayden reining in career professionals at the CIA. That was apparently Goss' job and that Goss is gone would tend to indicate a job left undone. Enter Hayden!

    There is a word for the actions and policies of George W. Bush. That word is tyranny. Congress has but one duty now. It must end Bush's incompetent tyranny! The alternative "”an end to the rule of law "”is too terrible to contemplate.

    A nation's character is revealed in times of crisis. We will soon learn what Americans are made of. Will America demand of its elected officials that they stand for the rule of law? If they will not, it is time to leave the country. Life is too short and precious to waste it living under the iron boot of a tin horn, crass dictator of limited intelligence and no honor.
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    Len Hart is a Houston based film/video producer specializing in shorts and full-length documentaries. He is a former major market and network correspondent; credits include CBS, ABC-TV and UPI. He maintains the progressive blog: The (more...)

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