Congress also authorized President Bush to "use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001." That seemed reasonable at the time, but it wasn't long before President Bush had expanded his "war on terror" into an excuse to launch the war he had always wanted""against Iraq. So far, in this ill-advised foreign adventure, Bush has sacrificed more 2,200 American lives and is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. No one knows how many people he has had imprisoned, tortured and killed in his secret prisons around the world. He has alienated our friends, strengthened our enemies, and made Americans less safe.
At the time Congress was making these important decisions, it had no way of knowing the Bush Administration could not be trusted with any kind of power or authority. Now, it is obvious""No matter how much power and authority Congress cedes to the White House, the Bush Administration will exceed it and demand more. We recently learned that President Bush has repeatedly authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct warrantless spying on American citizens. The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Security Act describes that as a felony.
President Bush claims that Congress' authorization and his role as Commander in Chief put him above the law and the Constitution. Bush's attitude is reminiscent of another delusional President:
"or another George in American history:
"I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." --King George III of England
This is the attitude that caused our forefathers to rebel against English rule and establish a nation based on the rule of law, with a Constitution to constrain the likes of George W. Bush & Company.
"If it be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws." -- Alexander Hamilton, Essay in the American Daily Advertiser, Aug 28, 1794
"Our Bill of Rights curbs all three branches of government. It subjects all departments of government to a rule of law and sets boundaries beyond which no official may go." --Justice William O. Douglas (1898-1980)
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster (1782-1852), American politician, US representative, senator
"Liberty and order will never be completely safe until a trespass on the Constitutional provisions for either, shall be felt with the same keenness that resents and invasion of the dearest rights." -- James Madison, 4th U.S. President, known as "Father of the Constitution",1792
"Disobedience or evasion of a constitutional mandate may not be tolerated, even though such disobedience may, at least temporarily, promote in some respects the best interests of the public." --Slote vs. Board of Examiners, 274 N.Y. 367; 9 NE 2d 12; 112 ALR 660
I realize that the Republicans in the House of Representatives are busy reforming themselves right now, but it would be nice if they could find the time to represent the citizens of the United States long enough to exercise some of those Constitutional checks and balances that we're always hearing about.
It is encouraging that Republican Senator Arlen Specter (PA) intends to hold Judicial Committee hearings on the illegal spying authorized by Bush; but that does not relieve members of the House of Representatives from their Constitutional duty to impeach the President, when necessary. A recent Zogby poll found a majority of Americans want Congress to consider impeachment if "President Bush wiretapped American citizens without the approval of a judge". Bush has already admitted to this, so why haven't impeachment hearings started?
Where are those self-righteous Republican members of the House of Representatives that impeached President Clinton for lying about a personal affair? Where are they now that the President has lied about breaking the law until he was caught, and now claims to be above the law and the Constitution?
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