What Bill of Rights?

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Bush Administration, Civil Rights, The Constitution

Be sure to read “Extraordinary Measures: A new memo shows just how far the Bush administration considered going in fighting the war on terror” by Michael Isikoff. See also “George W. Bush’s Disposable Constitution” by Scott Horton and “The newly released secret laws of the Bush administration” by Glenn Greenwald.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Bruce Campbell  •  Mar 3, 2009 @6:32 pm

    Bush would be an easy act to follow if he hadn’t burnt down the theater

  2. joanr16  •  Mar 3, 2009 @7:00 pm

    OK, I’m not reading those links until I can get to the store for some hair color. I refuse to get up and go to work with overnight-white streaks at my temples, like some poor victim of the unholy in a Stephen King novel.

    Bruce Campbell? Dude, you were awesome in Army of Darkness.

  3. c u n d gulag  •  Mar 3, 2009 @7:39 pm

    Where did the US Government find Yoo? He’s like some Soviet aparatchik who wormed his way into the highest levels of government.
    The Bushies knew what they had in him. They didn’t have to go far and wide to search for an attorney who would approve any un-American method. He was right there at their fingertip’s.
    What is wrong with this picture? The highest levels of the US Government seek approval to do whatever they deem necessary. They seek legal approval – not from some Constitutional panel of experts, but from some rogue lawer in DOJ, who would, apparently, have approved of anything his superiors requested. How was this possible?
    Was only the patina of a law degree necessary? Would Moe, Curly, Larry, or Shemp have sufficed just as easily? Groucho wouldn’t have done it!
    We need to make sure that nothing even close to this ever even comes close to close to happening ever again (redundency intended).
    It’s truly frightening how close to a totalitarian regime we came (I had some clues about what was happening, hence my name – c u n d gulag).

    PS: As far as I know, Yoo is still teaching law(? HA!) at U.C. Berkley.
    Uhm, exactly why, may I ask? My 14 year-old nephew apparently knows more about the Constitutional and law than Dr. Yoo.

  4. Swami  •  Mar 3, 2009 @9:51 pm

    It’s truly frightening how close to a totalitarian regime we came

    gulag… we didn’t come close. we were in it. But just didn’t know the extent of our loss of liberties.

    I had come to the realization years ago that my freedoms as an American were no longer a matter of rights secured by the Constitution as I was raised to believe, but were a matter of grace given by George W. Bush from his usurpation of the Bill of Rights. Jose Padilla showed me my rights under the Bush administration in a way that I can’t properly articulate .. the best I can do is cite a concept attributed to the words of Jesus spoken in a similar vein, and hope that listeners can grasp what I’m trying to say..Those words are: “If you’ve unto the least of mine, you’ve done it unto me”

    Or maybe… As Padilla goes, so goes your freedoms. :)

  5. c u n d gulag  •  Mar 3, 2009 @10:10 pm

    Swami,
    You’re right. I was truly frightened for myself and the country for many of the last 8 years.
    As KBR built detention center’s, I feared I may end up in one of them. As the Administration selectively gave, or took away, rights, I cringed, waiting for the next shoe to drop, and the foot to step on my/our throat(s).
    Unfortunately, the words of Jesus mean nothing to those who are power mad. How can the words of a gentle prophet, who fought for the poor and disenfranchised, ring true to those who care only for themselves and those of their class. GWB would have a better chance of understanding Aramaic before he understood the words you quoted.
    We have a long and epic battle ahead of us, trying to undo the last 8 years. And then, an even longer battle to make this country what we think it should be – a battle that I will not live to see to its conclusion. But, I have faith we will reach the promised land.

  6. Swami  •  Mar 3, 2009 @10:12 pm

    Wow.. I keep leaving out words… boy, that’s embarrassing..maybe I should see a neurologist, or maybe cut down on my marijuana usage? I know Internet Explorer has a spell checker and dictionary plug-in, but is there a browser that has a proof reading plug-in?

  7. moonbat  •  Mar 3, 2009 @10:33 pm

    cu – Brad DeLong, who teaches economics at UC Berkeley, wrote a letter to the chancellor to get his colleague, Yoo, fired. I can’t imagine this kind of thing happening at a big name US university.

  8. c u n d gulag  •  Mar 3, 2009 @11:37 pm

    moonbat,
    I’d heard that, too. And more power to him. I like reading him a lot.
    But how can Yoo not be fired? How can you have a teacher of Law, who doesn’t believe in our Constitution? Where, after all, other than the Constitution, do we get our law’s? That would be like me, being a math teacher, saying I don’t believe that Euclid was correct. That axioms and theorems are so much dross and flim-flam. How long would I get to keep my job? (OK, I mean outside of Kansas!).
    I’m sure that he has tenure. And tenure IS important (I’ve been an Adjunct Professor). But tenure should only cover so much.

    Actually, I’ve just talked myself out of the argument I was about to make…
    Let him keep his job. He’ll be subject to the ridicule of his student’s. Let the “Free-market” decide.
    When student’s ask him about the past, and deride or laugh at his decisions (hopefully), he may quit on his own.

  9. expat  •  Mar 4, 2009 @7:05 am

    c u n d gulag
    “We have a long and epic battle ahead of us, trying to undo the last 8 years. And then, an even longer battle to make this country what we think it should be – a battle that I will not live to see to its conclusion. But, I have faith we will reach the promised land.”

    Methinks one needs go back much further than that to undo the damages done. A good starting point would be the elimination of Leo Strauss School of Political Eugenics and its parallel Chicago School of Economic Phrenology from any mainline political influence, much the same method as the Nazi ideology was crushed from dominant political considerations.

    Then, starting with the Nixon “Law and Order” attack upon the independent judiciary and the subsequent subversion of judicial integrity including the DOJ, must become high in the priorities to undo as well as the economic subversion begun in that regime – the breakup and desecration of the FDR New Deal, the establishment of the imperial presidency.

    Follow that with undoing Reagan/Bush triple attack upon labour, governmental regulation and governmental revenue, the later substituting regressive taxes for fair taxes, the former marking the decline of labour’s share of the economic pie in favour of the corporation, the consequences of the failure to regulate are now being experienced. The prime consequence has been the evisceration of the educational system from which the ability to counter the hidden agenda would have arisen and the republic had a chance to defend itself with knowledge.

    That the Republic as it was can be restored, I haven’t much faith. I also seriously doubt that a workable ersatz democratic state can be substituted given the conditions. Once the bulwarks of security are breached, the security they provided cannot be restored. A vibrant mythology will survive and give camouflage to some authoritarian regime that will replace it.

    Democracy committed suicide when it chose belief and myth over substance and fact. The only path a democracy can use to succeed is to become educated and trained the same as a monarchial sovereign. That did not happen, that will not happen. We are witnessing the process evolve as we watch, what its final form will be is being revealed, it will not be something out of our historical experience.

  10. c u n d gulag  •  Mar 4, 2009 @8:58 am

    expat,
    Sad, but true.
    Any expat job’s near you?

  11. biggerbox  •  Mar 4, 2009 @10:59 am

    Finally, so much of the confusion of the Bush years is clarified – they DID think he was a King, not a President.

    Given the sorts of things these memos said was legal, I suppose we should be thankful Bush was a relatively benevolent dictator. I guess he was too busy sending troops to Iraq to have gotten to quartering them in the homes of the populace.

    And he did, after all, step down and let Obama take over. It was a half-joking fear among some of us on the left that he’d stay, but now these memos make clear that it could have been a possibility. John Yoo pretty much decided that anything was legal in the “defense” of the national security.

    I’m really glad Shrub grew bored with his toy once he had broken it, and went off, so that the rest of the world could get to work picking up the pieces.

  12. fred  •  Mar 4, 2009 @11:10 am

    Ron Paul was the last best hope for the republicrats…but now he has joined the Limbaugh admiration club and refuses to say if Limbaugh is the leader of the GOP…He could not name a leader! His actions certainly shows the demise of the evangelicrats/republicrats (now the party of the “south) as a viable politial party…and that is a shame for America.

  13. felicity  •  Mar 4, 2009 @12:55 pm

    I’ve been yelling for years that it’s past time to write a new Constitution and this latest Bush flapdoodle supports my rant. Mr. Yoo drew directly on Alexander Hamilton’s statement that the President can do anything the Constitution does not expressly forbid. I mean Hamilton WAS one of our revered Founders, wasn’t he?

  14. joanr16  •  Mar 4, 2009 @1:07 pm

    OK, that was a pretty awful read. And I only got through the Isikoff column.

    I don’t know what to say. We all knew that 9/11 was terrible, but how much worse was it to use 9/11 as cover for things Bush was drooling over from Day 1? Will anyone from his administration ever have to answer for their violations of the Constitution and federal law? I’m not holding my breath.

  15. Jennifer  •  Mar 4, 2009 @1:21 pm

    I was pretty sure, before the election, that Bush was going to invent something and declare himself dictator for life. To put down the rebellion, he would take control of all the electricity, gas and communications, ask us to give up our guns (ha!) and I don’t know what else. But what would he have then that he doesn’t have now? It was probably in his mind but a superfluous step. Even he is not that power hungry and he has enough money forever.

    Think about Jeb becoming prez. If these memos stay secret, they can simply be resurrected at that time.

    What I want to know is, were the media worried that they would be taken into custody if they talked about what was really happening? What incriminating stuff do they have on the Democrats to keep them from investigating? Or does Obama really think that an investigation would bog his presidency down and doom him to failure?

  16. MNPundit  •  Mar 4, 2009 @7:43 pm

    Look, if there are actually terrorist armies running around the streets unchecked, no one is going to care if you send in uniformed military after them. There was zero need for these things.



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