Thursday, March 05, 2009

Reichstag Burning

I was always wary of Bush. After September 11, 2001 when Bush finally surfaced and gave his first speech I told Grinnygranny he'd use this as an excuse to grab power the same way Hitler used the burning of the Reichstag to become dictator of Germany. 
Every subsequent power grab Bush did supported my conclusion. I've already listed the illegal acts of Bushco and so have many others. His pet poodles in the Justice Department always claimed what they were doing was legal, but their answers were pure gibberish when pressed to explain under what laws they could do these things.
Now it's coming to light. The secret memos have been released. White House legal experts John Yoo and others declared that in time of war the President had absolute power and was not bound by the Constitution.
I remember seeing a bumper sticker in 2004 that read: Vote for Bush, you'll never have to vote again. Guess what? Under these memos, if Bush had wanted to, he could have declared a national emergency, placed the country under martial law, suspended the election and taken over the government just like Hitler did in 1933.

This is what Scott Horton says about these memos:

We may not have realized it at the time, but in the period from late 2001-January 19, 2009, this country was a dictatorship. The constitutional rights we learned about in high school civics were suspended. That was thanks to secret memos crafted deep inside the Justice Department that effectively trashed the Constitution. What we know now is likely the least of it.
Which begs the question. Why didn't W (and by implication the neocons who were the puppet masters) follow through and grab total power?
Do you remember how Bush acted the last six months in office? He was singing, dancing, smiling, while the country was going through an economic meltdown, servicemen were still coming back in body bags, McCain snubbed him at the national convention. He couldn't wait to leave office. He knew he'd made such a mess of things and someone else was going to clean it up. McCain and Palin were just sacrificial lambs, the puppet masters only have to wait until the mess is cleaned up and then when they've found a gullible enough electorate or can somehow steal another election the mechanism will be in place to put a match to the Constitution and create a police state.

This is why it is so important to bring those who wrote the memos, ordered the illegal wire taps, torture of prisoners, incarcerated citizens for years without due process, etc be brought to justice.

It's not enough that some of those in Congress that aided and abetted these crimes were voted out of office. It's not enough that many of the Bush lackeys are out of power and have to make do on the lecture circuit. And why on Earth would any Law School want to hire these "I'm just giving the legal opinion I was ordered to write" shysters.

It is Congress that must do this, not Obama, though Obama would be wise to not stand in their way. The Legislative branch has been nearly severed from our tree of government. Under Bush it acted more as a Politburo that a Congress. It must retake what these memos have stripped from it. If these memos are not repudiated and those who wrote them and acted on them are not punished then Obama or the next president that comes along may shut down Congress.
As much as I admire President Obama and wish him well in cleaning up this mess. These memos are too dangerous to be left in his or anyone else's hands. It is too hard to refuse or decline to use the power they've been given. 
The whole purpose of checks and balances that were written into the Constitution was based on the belief that no one person should have absolute power. That one person, no matter how good, honest, or virtuous should be tempted with that much power. The founding fathers really did believe that absolute power corrupts absolutely and that only by a separation of powers could this be avoided.

One last thought:
Hypothetical here. How easy would it be under these memos for Obama (we're still fighting two wars) to get frustrated with Congress as they fight him on health care, stimulus packages, raising taxes on the wealthy, and many of the other initiatives he feels are needed. To say the hell with it. Close them down and start writing his own legislation, raising his own taxes, creating a universal health care system. And he would be praised from the mountain tops. Those put back to work would walk on glass for him. Those who could finally afford to see their doctors and get treatment denied by lack of insurance or by their HMO's would think he did the right thing. 
See how tempting this would be for anyone, and just as the people bought Bush's lies when he couldn't give a speech that was anywhere near coherent, and bought the ticking timebomb bullshit about needing these illegal measures to protect us from terrorists. They would buy whatever Obama says so eloquently in his complete sentences and reasonable prose?
I disagree with Scott Horton on one thing. He put an end date on us living under a dictatorship. As long as these secret memos and those who violated our Constitutional rights are not brought to justice, we still are.


One Fly said...

Your best ever PM!!

I do not want to see any part of a truth commission as that will grant immunity to people who need to swing.

P M Prescott said...

Agreed. This needs to be the caliber of the Nuremberg Trials