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AmBushing the Citizenry

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Message Missy Beattie
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On Saturday, George W. Bush said with presidential certitude:

The American people expect me to do everything in my power under our laws and Constitution to protect them and their civil liberties and that is exactly what I will continue to do so long as I am President of the United States.

Forget his rationales. This is just another example that Bush believes he's above the law. Here is a man who admits no mistakes. Not for the colossal failure in Iraq nor for treating the Constitution like a spitball.

"This is a highly classified program that is crucial to our national security," the president stated.

Bush is high on the authority of his office, but his words ring hollow. And this is why:

The latest report of the 9/11 Commission speaks volumes about vulnerabilities in our infrastructure, airline passenger pre-screening, explosive and cargo screening, borders and document security, private sector preparedness, and transportation security. In other words, we are exposed and vulnerable to another attack.

If Bush is telling us that he knows we expect him to protect us, why hasn't he? Why is he using tax dollars to listen to our telephone calls and read our e-mails instead of enacting the recommendations of a bipartisan commission that has so painstakingly evaluated our weaknesses and revealed the ineptitude of our elected officials? It's been more than four years since that day in September yet little has been done to prevent the same kind of disaster.

The Commission gave the Federal Government and Congress failing safety grades in five areas and mediocre grades in so many others.

And what is Bush ordering? Wiretaps. He says the National Security Agency is listening to Americans with possible terrorist ties. But others on the list include people like Cindy Sheehan and many who simply want a peaceful world. Are those of us who organize and march in peace parades under scrutiny--Grannies against the War, Vietnam Vets Against the War, Republicans Against the war, and Iraq War Vets Against the War? Are we being spied on by government employees who get paid to listen to us talk with our friends and families and bid on Ebay?

That we are under this illegal surveillance is beyond unbelievable. That Bush refuses to stop his intrusive program is outrageous.

As commander in chief, George W. Bush makes Richard Nixon look benign. What other secrets lurk within his heart? Only his 'Shadows' (Cheney and Rove) know.

I spoke about it with my mother last night. She is 80 years old and on a rant against the lies of this president, his vice, Rumsfeld, Rove, Rice and all the other co-conspirators who killed her grandson in a senseless war in Iraq. She said, "I hope they're listening to me right now. Let them take me to jail."

I suggested we just start talking dirty since these uptight 'suits' that Bush has ordered to listen to our antiwar talk are probably breathing heavily as they get an earful.

I'm wondering what they wrote about me when I placed my order for Bush toilet tissue--each sheet has a Bushism. I bet they even created something sinister out of the Hobo International Bag I ordered on the Internet for my sister-in-law.

Meanwhile, my fellow Americans, our ports are at risk and so are our airlines, subways, buses, trains, our soft targets and our hard ones.

With this government's eavesdropping, I think the hard targets may just be below the belts of all those in this administration who are getting off on the power they've assigned themselves.
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Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a (more...)
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