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Thomas Jefferson is Rolling Over in His Grave
Bush might as well walk into the National Archives, break the glass case where the original Constitution is preserved, and take a Bic lighter to it. Bush should invite virtually the whole of Congress, so they can whoop and cheer at the physical destruction of our founding document. I realize this is a disgusting image but it is appropriate, considering what Bush and Congress are doing.
Evidence Bush and his Straussian neocons, consulting their ghoulish legal buddies over at the Federalist Society, are dismantling the Constitution is stacking up like cordwood outside a Maine cabin in November. Parallels to Hitler and his Enabling Act are chilling.
Bush, or rather his handlers—Bush is unable to do anything except take his prescribed medication and mangle prepared speeches (in the oratory department, Hitler had it over on Bush)—are now consulting the 1917 Espionage Act, attempting to use it to “to shut off leaks that have been severely embarrassing to the White House,” according to the Financial Times. “In particular, the Justice Department is aggressively trying to identify the sources for two explosive news stories: the existence of secret Central Intelligence Agency prisons in eastern Europe, and the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance programme.”
Of course, these are simply high profile pretexts, as the Straussian neocons fully intend to go after all enemies, that is to say anybody who criticizes their draconian and fascistic policies.
Since the neocon éminence grise is the ghost of Leo Strauss, who was influenced and mentored by the Nazi jurist and theoretician of dictatorship, Carl Schmitt, none of this should be particularly surprising. For Schmitt, and thus Strauss and eventually the Straussians, “the key to successful prosecution of warfare against such a foe is demonization. The enemy must be seen as absolute. He must be stripped of all legal rights of whatever nature. The Executive must be free to use whatever tools he can find to fight and vanquish this foe,” as Barbara Boyd notes. For Schmitt, the ruler, “not the Constitution, is the sovereign. The most guidance a Constitution can provide is the stipulation of who can act in such a situation.”
As the Muslims shall be demonized, so shall domestic critics, who are “fifth columnist” and, as the neocon apologist and closet drug addict Rush Limbaugh recently characterized Jay Bennish, “long-haired, maggot-infested” traitors to the empire.
As Capitol Hill Blue editor and publisher Doug Thompson notes today, “Bush has launched a war against reporters who write stories unfavorable to his actions and is planning to prosecute journalists to make examples of them in his ‘war on terrorism,’” obviously a war on the Constitution and assorted “fifth columnists,” or critics exercising First Amendment rights, as well. “Reporters for The New York Times, which along with Capitol Hill Blue revealed use of the National Security Agency to monitor phone calls and emails of Americans, say FBI agents have interviewed them and criminal prosecutors at the Justice Department admit they are laying ‘the groundwork for a grand jury that could lead to criminal charges’…. As part of the investigation, the Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency are wiretapping reporters’ phones, following journalists on a daily basis, searching their homes and offices under a USA Patriot Act provision that allows “secret and undisclosed searches” and pouring over financial and travel records of hundreds of Washington-based reporters.”
Thompson quotes David Gergen, who served as President Regan’s director of communication and also worked in the Nixon and Ford White Houses. “This is the first administration that I can remember, including Nixon’s, that said we need to think about a law that would put journalists who print national security things up in front of grand juries and put them in jail if they don’t reveal their sources,” nothing short of an amazing statement coming from a global elitist.
Political scientist George Harleigh, who also worked in the Nixon administration, adds: “We’re talking about a basic violation of the Constitutional guarantee of a free press as well as a violation of the rights of privacy of American citizens. I had hoped we would have learned our lessons from the Nixon era. Sadly, it appears we have not.”
In fact, Bush and his cabal of Machiavellian malefactors are ten or even twenty time worse than Richard Nixon, since Watergate did not result in the invasion to two countries and the premeditated murder of more than 250,000 Iraqis.
“There are many things worse than Watergate,” John Dean, Nixon’s White House counsel, told Bill Moyers. “Taking the nation to war in a time when they might not have had to gone to war…. these are probably the most serious offenses that you can make—when you take a country to war, blood and treasure, no higher decision can a President of the United States make as the Commander-in-Chief. To do it on bogus information, to use this kind of secrecy to do it is intolerable.”
In Nixon’s day, at least, Congress had more than Jell-O for spine.
Now Democrats are onboard with the Straussian plot to dismantle the Constitution and dust off a 90 year old espionage law. It should be noted that Congress followed the Espionage Act by one year with the Sedition Act of 1918. Section 3 of the act reads: whoever “shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the Constitution of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States …or shall willfully …advocate, teach, defend, or suggest the doing of any of the acts or things in this section enumerated and whoever shall by word or act support or favor the cause of any country with which the United States is at war or by word or act oppose the cause of the United States therein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or both.” More than 2,000 people were prosecuted under the Espionage and Seditions acts. As the Sedition Act was a flagrant violation of the First Amendment, it was repealed in 1921.
I don’t think we will be so lucky this time around, considering how Bush is packing the courts with Federalist Society reactionaries.
If you think all of this is paranoid, consider what Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told an audience at John Carroll University in Cleveland in 2003: “the Constitution just sets minimums…. Most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond what the Constitution requires…. [During wartime one could expect] “the protections will be ratcheted right down to the constitutional minimum.”
Of course, Scalia did not define the “minimum,” but considering how the First Amendment is now considered an excuse abused by “fifth columnists,” as Senator Lindsey Graham declared a few weeks ago, and AG Alberto Gonzales agreed, and also considering the members of our grand corporate whorehouse, otherwise known as Congress, believe no court-approved warrant is required to snoop American citizens, and in fact they do not believe this is a violation of the Fourth Amendment but rather a procedural issue, we can expect that “minimum” to be hardly enough to ensure the government does not run roughshod over the people, as Thomas Jefferson knew it would if left unchecked and unchallenged.
If you listen, you can hear Jefferson spinning
in his grave.
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