Of all the things that Congress’ approval of George Bush’s ongoing crimes could be called, the last one would be “Victory.” A victory is a success over an enemy. Calling Bush’s success in getting approval to continue to spy on the people of the United States a victory places us in opposition to Bush and Congress as their enemy. We’ve known for a long time that they see us that way, and now it’s official.
The Christian Science Monitor and the Washington Post have articles about Congress’ vote to approve Bush’s ongoing criminal spy program on us and to grant retroactive immunity to the crimes of the telecom companies who illegally did the spying for Bush. They both, incomprehensibly, refer to Congress’ approval as a victory.
The problem with this is that the newspapers, apparently without thought or consideration, called this a victory, when all the evidence is to the contrary. Congress’ approval of Bush’s crimes does not prevent them from being crimes. The danger is that people who read these papers will think that when crimes are presented as victory, they are not crimes.
By approving of Bush’s crimes, Congress, at least the ones who voted for approval, is complicit in his crimes, and is, along with Bush, as guilty as he is for his crimes. The thing to remember is that the laws that Congress passes are law only so long as they conform to the law of the land, the Constitution. When they don’t, as in this instance, they are not the law. Congress has not kept in mind that there is a law that controls what they can and can’t do, that is superior to anything they might do, and must be adhered to in order to make what they do legal.
Given that, the suits against the telecom companies for illegal spying that are now before federal courts can still go forth. All that a federal judge has to do is go to the Fourth Amendment to see that what Congress has done in granting immunity to the companies for illegal spying is in fact not legal. Even Congress does not have the power, the right, the authority to grant any immunity to the law.
While it’s true that a judge must follow the law and that Congress makes the law, the judge is not bound to follow Congress’ laws that do not conform to the Constitution. The judge is first bound to follow the Constitution.
Federal judges are not immune to influence from what they read in the papers, and it is quite likely that a judge reading the articles in the Christian Science Monitor and the Washington Post that so falsely and erroneously report a crime as a victory will take it as that and not see that Congress is now in violation of the Constitution.
One of the principles of law established and used to prosecute the war criminals at the Nuremberg Trials is set forth in Section 8 of the Nuremberg Conventions: “The fact that the defendant acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior shall not free him from responsibility.”
What this means is that no matter what your government, your president, your Congress or your boss or anyone tells you to do, it must be within the law, and if it isn’t and you do it, such as the president telling his military to illegally attack and invade a foreign country, or a president telling telecom companies to illegally spy on people, or a Congress telling a president that it’s alright to do so, the people committing those illegal acts are personally responsible for those illegal acts.
That applies to members of the military who followed George Bush’s illegal orders, it applies to the telecom companies who followed George Bush’s illegal orders, and it applies to George Bush if he continues to illegally spy by following the illegal law that Congress passed saying he can order the companies to do so.
George Bush thinks that he has spread around his guilt for his illegal acts to include the Congress. That doesn’t do away with his guilt or dilute it, all it has done is include Congress collectively and the Congress members who voted for Bush individually in his guilt.
George Bush did it and he is guilty of it, and the people in Congress who approved of his “Victory” are as guilty as he is.