Bush? Value that (insert Lord's name in vain) piece of worthless paper? I think not. From his actions and manner of speech, it is doubtful that Bush has read either the US Constitution or the holy book upon which he placed his hand twice and swore to preserve, protect and defend it.
That apparently includes the FISA court, which has the audacity to require "probable cause" before approving wiretaps on American citizens. In Bush's defense, when you're huntin' and chasin' and smokin' out evil lurkers and plotters and planners, you don't have time to stop and fill out two or three million pieces of paper. Like Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says, the (insert Lord's name in vain) Constitution is a quaint little thing, but we live in a new world order now, and any constraints on "this president" are just too cumbersome.
In an October speech, Bush said, "Our country is at war, and the executive branch has an obligation to protect the 'Merican people. We are aggressively doing that. We are finding the terrorists and bringing them to justice," he said, pausing for effect, then added, "and anything we do is within the law..."
Vice President Dick Cheney agrees. He says they must have complete control and flexibility and unlimited power, even if this means they have to make up the law as they go along. While speeding home from the Middle East in time to break a Senate tie on a bill that raises Medicaid payments for the poor and elderly while, at the same time, allowing states to cut their Medicaid services, and cuts child-care payments for social bottom-feeders, Cheney snarled that there "is a hell of a threat" out there, and the president's authority under the (insert Lord's name in vain) Constitution must be "unimpaired."
Besides, Cheney might have added, they've been doing it for four years -- collecting information on American citizens by tapping directly into the US telecommunication system's main arteries without first getting warrants -- and nobody seemed to care. According to the Times, these corporate behemoths supported and assisted the spying operation -- storing information on citizens' calling patterns and giving it to Bush since 9-11.
Got that, sports fans? Since 9-11. And the NSA is not the only one. According to Capital Hill Blue's Doug Thompson, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and "dozens of private contractors are spying on millions of Americans 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year."
It got so blatant that a former NSA agent who quit in disgust over use of the agency to spy on Americans, told Thompson, "We're no longer in the business of tracking our enemies. We're spying on everyday Americans."
And, when there's treason afoot, one can hardly leave out the vicious and wacky Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. A couple of years ago, Rumsfeld had this great idea for not only spying on Americans, but building a profile on every citizen who travels, uses credit cards, talks on the telephone or works or plays on a computer.
He called his new toy the "Total Information Awareness" (TIA) Program, and put the disgraced Iran-Contra felon John Poindexter in charge of it. When a furious Congress killed the program, Rumsfeld said, "Fine. They can have the name." He then moved it to the Pentagon's covert "black bag" program, out of Congressional sight or oversight, and renamed it the "Terrorist Information Awareness" (TIA) system. Thompson says the program is "alive and well and collecting data in real time on Americans at a computer center located at 3801 Fairfax Drive in Arlington, Virginia."
It's difficult to gauge either the height of awareness or the depth of outrage of the American public because the corporate media steadfastly refuses to shed even a glimmer of light on the myriad of scandals this administration is hiding out there in plain sight.
The irony of Bush, the NSA and Gonzales whipping up a criminal investigation into who dared tell the public that they were breaking the law will be lost on far too many Americans. Those who do understand, yet choose to stand mute and hope for the best should weigh the loss of their civil liberties against the violence, murder, vicious lies, and especially the sheer animosity Bush feels toward all but the wealthiest Americans.
They should take a look at the backgrounds and goals of the beady-eyed war vultures who control Bush; who are urging him to destroy everything in his path -- not the least of which is the (insert Lord's name in vain) US Constitution. They should ask themselves what they would do if they woke up in the middle of the night to find an invader in their bedrooms, pawing through their personal belongings. Would they silently bow their heads, or would they turn on the light and scream bloody murder at the top of their lungs?