The Bush administration continues in its downward spiral, its ultimate, grisly end now hastened by the charges of domestic spying by the National Security Agency.
According to news reports, the Bush administration authorized the NSA to conduct wiretaps of hundreds if not thousands of American citizen’s phone and email conversations within the United States – all without warrants.
Such warrantless wiretaps are prohibited under the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution, where it provides that:
“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.”
The courts have held that “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects…” includes the right to have their communications protected from eavesdropping, except where the state, upon providing a showing of probable cause, has secured a warrant from a court.
Acting on the excesses of the Nixon years and the Watergate era, congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1978 to further regulate domestic spying.
Under that Act, the FBI and NSA may conduct warrantless domestic wiretaps of foreign nationals only. Wiretaps and searches of US citizen’s person and property may be conducted only after securing a warrant from a secret FISA court.
The Bush administration has defended the warrantless wiretaps, asserting that such extraordinary measures are necessary because of the war on terrorism, and further, that such broad authority was granted by congress when it authorized the war in Iraq.
The Bush administration has also attacked its critics, suggesting that the people who disclosed the wiretapping have aided the terrorists.
The only conclusion I can draw is that apparently George Bush has set himself up above and beyond the law. The imperial presidency of Richard Nixon pales in comparison to what Bush is doing.
No person, including George Bush, is above the Constitution. The Bush administration’s excuse of exigent situations – the “war on terrorism” – is bunk, pure and simple.
There is no provision in the Consititution which allows it to be suspended during an emergency.
It’s clear that what Bush has done is directly comparable to President Nixon authorizing the Watergate break-in and subsequent wiretaps: Bush authorized US intellegence agencies to repeatedly break the law – over and over, in defiance of the FISA and the US Constitution.
Combine that with all the other problems and it paints quite a grand picture of the Bush presidency. To recap, we have:
· President Bush deliberately held back and distorted intelligence prior to the start of the Iraq war, making it appear the Iraqis had Weapons of Mass Destruction – those weapons being the sole justification for the invasion.
· As such, Bush manuvered the US into a pre-emptive war under totally false pretenses.
· And while the Bush administration has repeatedly tried to tie the “war on terrorism” to the Iraq invasion, they have not proved even one single link. The simple fact of the matter is that Saddam Hussein is a secular Sunni Muslim who had no ties whatsoever to bin Laden or the al Qaeda. On the contrary, the American presence in Iraq does more to promote the cause of terrorism than any other single factor; it serves as a rallying point for radical Muslims, drawing them together with a common goal: to throw the conquering Christian “Crusaders” out of Iraq.
Every day we stay in Iraq creates just that many more new terrorists and serves no other purpose.
· Bush is directly resposnsible for the deaths of over 2,000 American soldiers in Iraq, along with as many as 31,000 civilian deaths; more than 16,000 American soldiers have been wounded.
· Bush lied about his service in the Texas National Guard, and used political connections of his father to escape duty in Vietnam.
· The Bush administration broke the law and endangered national security when it tried to silence and discredit Iraq war critic, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, by disclosing that his wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA agent.
· Many of the top Republican’s in both the House and Senate have been indicted or are under investigation for ethics and corruption charges: included among them, Rep. Tom Delay, R-Tx, former House Majority Leader, indicted on charges of money laundering; and Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, head of the House Administration Committee – the body charged with investigate ethics violations – who stepped down amid charges he accepted bribes from disgraced Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
· The Abramoff scandal itself paints a sad picture of the Bush administration showing that the top Republican officials in the administration and in congress are basically “for hire” to the highest bidder. New allegations just disclosed are that Abramoff may have charged two clients as much as $25,000 each for “face time” with the president.
· Where the country had a budget surplus when President Clinton left office, Bush seems intent on bankrupting the country. While at the onset of the Iraq war, the Bush administration predicted a cost of between $100 and $200 billion, the projected costs now range as high as $2 trillion.
George Bush’s house of cards has started to tumble down. He is leading the country into economic ruin; he’s killing our sons and daughters in his unjust war; he’s breaking our laws with impunity. He’s trying to set himself above our Constitution.
America doesn’t need another “imperial president.”
Based on all the evidence of corrption, lying, falsification of evidence, bribery and other criminal acts, I can only conclude that President Bush should be impeached. Let’s cut our losses and get it done with now.
Bring our soldeirs home from Iraq Now!
Impeach George Bush!