By Rowan Wolf
What do you do with an administration that refuses to follow the law? Apparently not a damn thing. We have a situation where the Constitutional balance of powers have been disrupted, and where the opposition party cannot even rally all of its own members – much less a majority – to institute its responsibility of checks and balances. Instead, we have an administration which has challenged constraints since its first day in office, which now blatantly states that it will not recognize any constraints on its actions. What country is this?
Like me, you are probably outraged that the Dems let the Protect America Act of 2007 (PAA) pass. While one could argue that it is only a 180 day authorization (6 months friends), it has already been argued by numerous pundits that it not only legalizes the illegal surveillance already being done, but radically expands it to include physical searches.
To add insult to injury, aside from telling his top aides that they don’t need to even show up if they are subpoenaed by Congress, he uses his refusal to respond to subpoenas if Congress further expands The PAA, essentially giving hem a blank check for any kind of warrantless surveillance, search, and seizure he sees fit (Ward, Wa. Times).
Bush is also arguing that the White House Office of Administration is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. This is in spite of the fact that the White House web site says that they are (Eggen).
Want to see who was at a meeting? Screw you.
Want to have someone testify on a possible criminal act? Screw you.
Want to see documents? Screw you.
Want to change direction in Iraq? Screw you.
Want us to stop illegal surveillance? Screw you.
What does Congress do? They threaten to charge the White House with contempt. Oh DUH! Do ya think?
Should they be starting impeachment hearings? You better believe it. However, it does not look like they will, and there is every signal that the Administration is attempting to build a case for attacking Iran. They’ve been drooling for almost three years to do exactly that, and I have a feeling that if they can finagle it before Bush is out of office, they will.
Will the Dems act? Will Republicans look beyond party to country? Maybe or maybe not.
So what does that leave us? Well, there are various versions of a push for direct democracy. One is the Friends of the Article V Convention. Another is being pushed by presidential candidate Mike Gravel which is the The National Initiative for Democracy. Certainly, we should be pushing ALL representatives and candidates to step up to the plate and stop a rogue presidency.
8/05/07 White House press release. President Bush Commends Congress on Passage of Intelligence Legislation
8/07/07 Dan Froomkin, Wa. Post. Who’s Afraid of George W. Bush?
8/08/07 Dan Froomkin, Wa. Post. Chief Spy or Chief Enforcer?
8/09/07 Paul Elias, AP. Eavesdropping Law Illegal, Lawyers Say
8/10/07 John Dean, FindLaw. The So-Called Protect America Act: Why Its Sweeping Amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Pose Not Only a Civil Liberties Threat, But a Greater Danger As Well
8/16/07 David Kravets, Wired. Is Bush Administration Redefining New Spy Law?