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A Faerie's Farthing

Flitting through the internets looking for sparkly bits. All content mine and not to be reproduced without permission.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

"Watergate Was a Kindergarten Picnic"

"Watergate Was a Kindergarten Picnic"

Maybe my inner schadenfreude has voyeuristic tendencies; I just find it immensely gratifying to see conservatives levying serious criticisms against shrubya. It's a fine day indeed when even (R) Senators call for investigations and the rug is otherwise pulled out from under this maladministration. And nobody pulls the rug, rolls it up and proceeds to thwap shrubya upside the head with it better than Paul Craig Roberts, who has been positively excoriating the preznit at just about every turn. He's been screaming for impeachment longer than most, including many on the left.

As you might imagine, his commentary on shrubya's extralegal domestic spying, titled "A Criminal Administration," is exceptional. He blasts the obsequiousness of our Potemkin Press and lays out precisely why the spying is illegal (and unecessary) under FISA. Oh, and Hitler references are now "fair game," to quote a...ummmm...noted personality.

Caught in gratuitous and illegal spying on American citizens, the Bush administration has defended its illegal activity and set the Justice (sic) Department on the trail of the person or persons who informed the New York Times of Bush’s violation of law. Note the astounding paradox: The Bush administration is caught red-handed in blatant illegality and responds by trying to arrest the patriot who exposed the administration’s illegal behavior.

Bush has actually declared it treasonous to reveal his illegal behavior!

Get this man a bully pulpit! Or maybe a seat in Congress. MSM, take note: the leaker is a patriot, whereas shrubya is breaking the law. Learn it, love it, live it. Repeat it ad nauseum like we all know you can! For bonus points, spend the five minutes that might allow you to weave this narrative in amidst the corrupt and naked imperialism the administration wears like a badge of honor.

Compared to Spygate, Watergate was a kindergarden picnic. The Bush administration’s lies, felonies, and illegalities have revealed it to be a criminal administration with a police state mentality and police state methods. Now Bush and his attorney general have gone the final step and declared Bush to be above the law. Bush aggressively mimics Hitler’s claim that defense of the realm entitles him to ignore the rule of law.

Does this mean the 'f' word is no longer off-limits as well? All shrubya's missing is a little hair grease and that goofy mustache. If the jackboot fits...

What will the federal courts do? When Hitler challenged the German judicial system, it collapsed and accepted that Hitler was the law. Hitler’s claims were based on nothing but his claims, just as the claim for extra-legal power for Bush is based on nothing but memos written by his political appointees.

...Bush has upheld neither the Constitution nor the law of the land.

...The Bush administration, backed by the neoconservative Federalist Society, has brought the separation of powers, the foundation of our political system, to crisis.

I do believe this is the first condemnation from conservative quarters that puts such a fine point on the magnitude of this issue. Too many of them are still more than happy to shred the Constitution in the name of dear leader's lip service. "Sure he can ignore laws - we're at war, donchyaknow!?" Well, excuse me, but I didn't realize we were electing a monarch capable of ignoring any law which doesn't suit his nefarious purposes. I'm no Rhodes scholar, but I'm pretty sure we fought for independence precisely so we would be free of the capricious, self-serving edicts of a megalomaniacal aristocracy. Doesn't being the Good Guys™ mean we fight against tyranny?

We used to; I'm pretty sure that was in my history class as well. It is sickeningly ironic that our government is becoming the very thing we committed a generation's worth of resources and citizens to defeat. And this analogy isn't just coming from the American left; the idea that America is taking a turn towards totalitarianism has been widely expressed by people who really should know it when they see it. Desmund Tutu has said that America's current political climate reminds him of Apartheid South Africa.

"It's unbelievable that a country that many of us have looked to as the bastion of true freedom could now have eroded so many of the liberties we believed were upheld almost religiously."

..."I had naively believed all these many years that Americans genuinely believed in freedom of speech. [But I] discovered there that when you made an utterance that was remotely contrary to what the White House was saying, then they attacked you. For a South African the déjà vu was frightening. They behaved exactly the same way that used to happen here—vilifying those who are putting forward a slightly different view."

Holocaust survivors and others with vivid recollections of Nazi Germany are also worried about the current state of affairs. I'd think they'd know fascism when it rears its ugly head.

"My father was a Nazi soldier and he realized during the war what he and most of his generation was led into. I have learned from him that a nation can be guilty and that we must stop the arrogance of the powers at the very beginning. To me, America is becoming truly scary and the parallels to the development in Germany of the thirties (although the reason behind it are totally different) are sickening."

..."With Adolf Hitler's ascendancy to the chancellorship, the Nazi Party quickly consolidated its power. Hitler managed to maintain a posture of legality throughout the Nazification process."

Whether by chance or design, George W. Bush is the most powerful American president in modern history. Not only does he have both houses of Congress beholden to him, but the majority of the Supreme Court is acting like a quintet of Bush lapdogs. And it all appears legal.

...Soon after Hitler took power...Parliamentary democracy ended with the Reichstag passage of the Enabling Act, which allowed the government to issue laws without the Reichstag."

Which is precisely what shrubya would claim for himself - l'etat c'est moi, as it were. In his mind, he should be the sole arbiter of what is right and wrong and if what he feels is right is against the law, well, that's a mere technicality. If you ask me, anybody who isn't positively horrified by such a development is every bit as delusional and dangerous as shrubya himself. "Only people with something to hide need worry" is just shorter Martin Niemöller in English.

Besides, we already know that such a claim is patently false, given what we do know about the targets of the domestic surveillance. Peta, though annoying, is hardly a threat to western civilization. And I wonder just what they imagine the Quakers - a sect dedicated to non-violence - might do by the way of insurrection. Paranoia will destroy ya, georgie. It got Nixon in the end and it will bring you down too, especially when we find out the full list of U.S. citizens on whom you spied illegally.

Nor do I think stonewalling will be effective here - all that does is leave filling in the details up to the imaginations of millions of outraged citizens. Just earlier today, there was a diary on the recommended list wondering if shrubya might have had the NSA listen in on Kerry's campaign or other communications of his. Some kossacks lamented and derided the diary as "irresponsible speculation," but really; is it so much of a stretch to think that a group as underhanded, dirty and conniving as this lot would use a tremendously powerful data-mining operation for their own political purposes? No. It most certainly is not. So take heart, davej - Mr. Roberts agrees with you.

Why, then, has the administration created another scandal for itself on top of the WMD, torture, hurricane, and illegal detention scandals?

There are two possible reasons.

One reason is that the Bush administration is being used to concentrate power in the executive. The old conservative movement, which honors the separation of powers, has been swept away. Its place has been taken by a neoconservative movement that worships executive power.

The other reason is that the Bush administration could not go to the FISA secret court for warrants because it was not spying for legitimate reasons and, therefore, had to keep the court in the dark about its activities.

What might these illegitimate reasons be? Could it be that the Bush administration used the spy apparatus of the US government in order to influence the outcome of the presidential election?

Unless he decides to be finally be honest with American citizens about the full extent of this spying, I'm afraid the only healthy option is to assume the worst, given shrubCo's track record. Not considering the appalling prospect that he would spy on his political opponents is the irresponsible action in this scenario. We cannot afford to pretend that shrubya is doing a heckuva job and that we are not, in fact, on the verge of a constitutional crisis.

No administration in my lifetime has given so many strong reasons to oppose and condemn it as has the Bush administration. Nixon was driven from office because of a minor burglary of no consequence in itself. Clinton was impeached because he did not want the embarrassment of publicly acknowledging that he engaged in adulterous sex acts in the Oval Office. In contrast, Bush has deceived the public and Congress in order to invade Iraq, illegally detained Americans, illegally tortured detainees, and illegally spied on Americans.

...September 11, 2001, played into neoconservative hands exactly as the 1933 Reichstag fire played into Hitler’s hands. Fear, hysteria, and national emergency are proven tools of political power grabs. Now that the federal courts are beginning to show some resistance to Bush’s claims of power, will another terrorist attack allow the Bush administration to complete its coup?

But you see, shrubya won't need another Reichstag fire if he manages to get executive enabler Alito on the Supreme Court. Let's hope Specter was serious about investigating spygate in early January; with any luck, it will postpone or completely derail the Alito hearings. And may I just say that "filibuster" has never been a lovelier word.

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Blogger Just another blogger said...

George Bush insists that Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. So why, six years ago, did the CIA give the Iranians blueprints to build a bomb?

12:01 AM  

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