How Can We Justify This?
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|Feb. 23/02 TODAY'S COMMENT http://www.bushwatch.net/bush.htm#feature |
How Can We Justify This?
Let us pray that our nation will remember that the unfolding of the promise of democracy in our nation paralleled the striving for civil rights. That is why we must challenge the rationale of the Patriot Act. We must ask why should America put aside guarantees of constitutional justice?
How can we justify in effect canceling the First Amendment and the right of free speech, the right to peaceably assemble?How can we justify in effect canceling the Fourth Amendment, probable cause, the prohibitions against unreasonable search and seizure?
How can we justify in effect canceling the Fifth Amendment, nullifying due process, and allowing for indefinite incarceration without a trial?
How can we justify in effect canceling the Sixth Amendment, the right to prompt and public trial?
How can we justify in effect canceling the Eighth Amendment which protects against cruel and unusual punishment?
We cannot justify widespread wiretaps and internet surveillance without judicial supervision, let alone with it. We cannot justify secret searches without a warrant. We cannot justify giving the Attorney General the ability to designate domestic terror groups. We cannot justify giving the FBI total access to any type of data which may exist in any system anywhere such as medical records and financial records.
We cannot justify giving the CIA the ability to target people in this country for intelligence surveillance. We cannot justify a government which takes from the people our right to privacy and then assumes for its own operations a right to total secrecy. The Attorney General recently covered up a statue of Lady Justice showing her bosom as if to underscore there is no danger of justice exposing herself at this time, before this administration.
Let us pray that our nation's leaders will not be overcome with fear. Because today there is great fear in our great Capitol. And this must be understood before we can ask about the shortcomings of Congress in the current environment. The great fear began when we had to evacuate the Capitol on September 11. It continued when we had to leave the Capitol again when a bomb scare occurred as members were pressing the CIA during a secret briefing. It continued when we abandoned Washington when anthrax, possibly from a government lab, arrived in the mail. It continued when the Attorney General declared a nationwide terror alert and then the Administration brought the destructive Patriot Bill to the floor of the House. It continued in the release of the Bin Laden tapes at the same time the President was announcing the withdrawal from the ABM treaty. It remains present in the cordoning off of the Capitol. It is present in the camouflaged armed national guardsmen who greet members of Congress each day we enter the Capitol campus. It is present in the labyrinth of concrete barriers through which we must pass each time we go to vote. The trappings of a state of siege trap us in a state of fear, ill equipped to deal with the Patriot Games, the Mind Games, the War Games of an unelected President and his unelected Vice President.
Let us pray that our country will stop this war. "To promote the common defense" is one of the formational principles of America. Our Congress gave the President the ability to respond to the tragedy of September the Eleventh. We licensed a response to those who helped bring the terror of September the Eleventh. But we the people and our elected representatives must reserve the right to measure the response, to proportion the response, to challenge the response, and to correct the response.
Because we did not authorize the invasion of Iraq.
We did not authorize the invasion of Iran.
We did not authorize the invasion of North Korea.
We did not authorize the bombing of civilians in Afghanistan.
We did not authorize permanent detainees in Guantanamo Bay.
We did not authorize the withdrawal from the Geneva Convention.
We did not authorize military tribunals suspending due process and habeas corpus.
We did not authorize assassination squads.
We did not authorize the resurrection of COINTELPRO.
We did not authorize the repeal of the Bill of Rights.
We did not authorize the revocation of the Constitution.
We did not authorize national identity cards.
We did not authorize the eye of Big Brother to peer from cameras throughout our cities.
We did not authorize an eye for an eye.
Nor did we ask that the blood of innocent people, who perished on September 11, be avenged with the blood of innocent villagers in Afghanistan.
We did not authorize the administration to wage war anytime, anywhere, anyhow it pleases.
We did not authorize war without end.
We did not authorize a permanent war economy.
Yet we are upon the threshold of a permanent war economy. The President has requested a $45.6 billion increase in military spending. All defense-related programs will cost close to $400 billion. Consider that the Department of Defense has never passed an independent audit. Consider that the Inspector General has notified Congress that the Pentagon cannot properly account for $1.2 trillion in transactions. Consider that in recent years the Dept. of Defense could not match $22 billion worth of expenditures to the items it purchased, wrote off, as lost, billions of dollars worth of in-transit inventory and stored nearly $30 billion worth of spare parts it did not need.
Yet the defense budget grows with more money for weapons systems to fight a cold war which ended, weapon systems in search of new enemies to create new wars. This has nothing to do with fighting terror. This has everything to do with fueling a military industrial machine with the treasure of our nation, risking the future of our nation, risking democracy itself with the militarization of thought which follows the militarization of the budget.
United States Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio)
The 342 page "Patriot Act" was passed by a Congress under duress, so quickly that most members of Congress did not even read it, and with so little debate that even now the average American has no idea what has happened. Read reviews of the so-called "Patriot Act":
American Civil Liberties Union -
Center for Constitutional Rights -
Do a search of the Internet for "Patriot Act" for more information.
"They that can give up essential liberty to attain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety, and ultimately will have neither." - Benjamin Franklin.
A Recent Letter To The New York Times...
Reprinted from http://www.bushwatch.net/bush.htm#feature March 17, 2002.
So stunned was I by today's editorial--"The Stolen Election in Zimbabwe"--that I assumed I had clicked onto either "The Onion" or "Satire Wire"--and not "The New York Times," the icon of journalistic integrity, the source of "All the News That's Fit to Print"! After confirming that I had indeed just read a NYT editorial, I honestly did not know how to react: laughter, tears, apoplexy? Considering the fact that your publication did not see 'fit to print' an editorial condemning the stolen election in the United States of America in December 2000, my reaction consisted of an admixture of shock, insult, and bewilderment that you were compelled to print one about the recent 'election' in Zimbabwe. And I wondered why you declined to point out that Mr. Mugabe employed many of the same tactics used by the state officials of Florida--and to the same effect. Of course, your newspaper also failed to report the gross violations of voting rights and election laws--both state and federal--that transpired in Florida in November 2000, but I'm certain we shall hear all about the violations of election laws in Zimbabwe.
And your paper also did not call for Justices Scalia and Thomas to recuse themselves in adjudicating the decision in the case of Bush v. Gore because both had members of their immediate families working for the Bush campaign--a son and a wife, respectively. But I'm sure you will let us know at length the details of political favoritism and nepotism in the election in Zimbabwe. Nor did you print editorials revealing the outright fraud committed by the state of Florida in eliminating qualified voters from voter registration rolls--a total of approximately 173,000. However, I await your precise accounting of the disenfranchised in Zimbabwe. Nor did you expose the collusion between the states of Texas and Florida, governed at the time by a pair of brothers surnamed 'Bush,' in exchanging lists of convicted felons who 'might have' moved from Texas to Florida in order to prevent said felons from voting. Yet, I am comforted to know you will investigate all hints of familial collusion in the polling practices of Zimbabwe. Nor did you editorialize about the fact that the person who oversaw both the purging of the voter registration rolls and effectively stopped the precinct-by-precinct recounts was Katherine Harris, simultaneously Secretary of State for Florida and co-chair of the Bush presidential campaign. But knowing your dedication to truth, I am comforted in the knowledge that you will surely publish the lurid details of the gross collusion involved in the elections in Zimbabwe.
In closing, I would like to commend you for your commitment to the truth surrounding the election in Zimbabwe; were I a citizen of that nation, I would sleep soundly at night knowing that a free press watches over my hard-won rights. But I was born, raised, and remain a proud citizen of the United States of America; thus I shall not rest until the foremost voice of freedom and democracy in my land devotes its considerable resources to upholding the laws of my country as it does to those of Zimbabwe.
Sincerely, Kathleen Trevena
Over the weekend it was revealed that the Bush administration has been preparing in secret a bold, expansive sequel to the USA Patriot Act. The new proposal, entitled the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003," gives the US government new, sweeping powers to increase domestic spying, surveillance and police activities. It simultaneously decreases judicial review of, and public access to, information about such actions. *** ============================================================== *** ============================================================== COMMENT: Patriot Targets Rich & Poor A few days ago US federal agents raided 17 money transmitting businesses in the Washington, DC area that allegedly sent millions of dollars abroad without obtaining state money transmitting licenses. Government agents defended the raids as aimed at curbing terrorists moving cash offshore. But none of the businesses raided were charged with any terrorist activity, and no one was arrested. But $3.6 million in accounts were confiscated and the owners will have to go to court to get it back.
Over the weekend it was revealed that the Bush administration has been preparing in secret a bold, expansive sequel to the USA Patriot Act. The new proposal, entitled the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003," gives the US government new, sweeping powers to increase domestic spying, surveillance and police activities. It simultaneously decreases judicial review of, and public access to, information about such actions.
COMMENT: Patriot Targets Rich & Poor
A few days ago US federal agents raided 17 money transmitting businesses in the Washington, DC area that allegedly sent millions of dollars abroad without obtaining state money transmitting licenses. Government agents defended the raids as aimed at curbing terrorists moving cash offshore. But none of the businesses raided were charged with any terrorist activity, and no one was arrested. But $3.6 million in accounts were confiscated and the owners will have to go to court to get it back.
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