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Thomas Paine the Impeacher

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Fox News recently refused to air an ad that criticizes the Bush administration for "destroying the Constitution" by the use of torture and other tactics. The ad, "Rescue the Constitution," is narrated by actor Danny Glover.

In its response to the Center for Constitutional Rights, which produced the ad, Fox News account executive Erin Kelly told Owen Henkel, the Center's e-communications manager: "We cannot approve the spot with it being Danny Glover's opinion that the Bush Administration is destroying the Constitution. If you have documentation that it is indeed being destroyed, we can look at that."

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If the most glaring Constitutional documentation, against "cruel and unusual punishment" doesn't float Fox's boat, how about more "documentation"?

The Sixth of the Amendment of the US Constitution, the "Bill of Rights" states:

"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused, shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State...to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense."

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution states:

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"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

On May 8th, 2002, the government arrested American citizen Jose Padilla on American soil on allegations, but not formal charges, of terrorism. George W. Bush ordered the military to take custody of Padilla as an "enemy combatant," in the June 9, 2002 Presidential Order to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld:

"I, GEORGE W. BUSH, as President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the U.S. armed forces, hereby DETERMINE for the United States of America that...Jose Padilla, who is under the control of the Department of Justice and who is a U.S. citizen, is, and at the time he entered the United States in May 2002 was, an enemy combatant...Accordingly, you are directed to receive Mr. Padilla from the Department of Justice and to detain him as an enemy combatant. "

They made Padilla sleep on a metal cot, sleep-deprived him,and gave him LSD, so he was useless in his own defense when he was released to the civilian courts. They didn't charge him with a crime until 3 and a half years later.

In his Dec. 17, 2005, President's radio address George Bush admitted to reauthorizing illegal NSA warrantless surveillance over both American citizens and foreign nationals more than 30 times:

"I have reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the September the 11th attacks, and I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al Qaeda and related groups."

The NSA was already empowered listen to anyone, anywhere, for a full 48 hours before getting a warrant. What Bush wants is not relaxed oversight. He wants no oversight whatsoever.

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Bush's elevation of the radical, never-before-seen doctrine of "wartime powers" in a war that lasts forever, and placing this doctrine on a mantle alongside the Constitution, is like putting lipstick on a pig.

In both cases, the Fourth and the Sixth Amendments, Bush cites being "in a state of war" as his basis for ignoring the Constitution. But if the war lasts indefinitely, doesn't that mean the Constitution has been overthrown? And is this not a violation of the presidential oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States?"

There is not one single, solitary word in the oath of office about pertekin' the American people, which Bush has falsely labeled his "most solemn duty." Those are the words of a demagogue whose role in precipitating 9/11 is anything but clear, according to a newly formed group of hundreds of military officers, pilots, engineers, and CIA veterans calling themselves Patriotsquestion911.com.

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Ralph Lopez majored in Economics and Political Science at Yale University. He writes for Truth Out, Alternet, Consortium News, Op-Ed News, and other Internet media. He reported from Afghanistan in 2009 and produced a short documentary film on the (more...)
 

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