Published on Saturday, April 8, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
by Ralph Nader
In the name of fighting stateless terrorism, George W. Bush is looming as the American Caesar running roughshod over the civil liberties of the American people who have turned against him in ever larger majorities.
In the name of fighting terrorism, George W. Bush fabricated numerous excuses for illegally invading Iraq and occupying it for now over three costly years in ways that are magnets for the recruitment and training of ever more stateless terrorists. His own CIA Director, Porter Goss, made exactly this point in testimony before the U.S. Senate in February 2005. So too have many retired intelligence and military specialists including those who recently worked for George W. Bush.
More and more evidence of the workings of Caesar Bush are coming to public light. Just this week, in court filings by the prosecutor against the indicted I. Lewis Libby Jr., Dick Cheney's right hand man, another thunderbolt came forth. Mr. Libby testified that, in the words of The New York Times, "Mr. Bush, who has long criticized leaks of secret information as a threat to national security" himself approved Libby leaking just such information to the press in order to rebut a critic.
Democratic Senate Leader, Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) said that "in light of today's shocking revelation, President Bush must fully disclose his participation in the selective leaking of classified information," calling the President "the leaker in chief."
Not that the Democrats will do anything about this latest outrage, but the Republicans in the Congress are reaching certain limits to their self-censored sycophancy toward Caesar Bush. Also this week, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales told a House Committee that the President may have the legal authority even to wiretap communications between Americans inside the United States without a court order. When pressured for his authority behind such breathtaking outlawry, he fell back on his usual Caesarean mantra - "his inherent [the President's] role as commander in chief." Sounds like the modern version of the "divine right of Kings".
This was too much even for the House Judiciary Chair, Republican F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-Wisconsin), who accused the Bush administration of "stonewalling".
Unbridled Presidential authority is un-American whether in peacetime, wartime or fighting a gang whose exaggerated power has served Bush and Cheney very well politically. How better to silence the Democrats, stifle or chill public dissent, distract attention from domestic necessities, until their post-Katrina debacle, enrich their donating corporate buddies with military contracts and concentrate more lawless power in the White House at the expense of the courts and Congress than by breaking our constitutional system of separation of powers?
Mr. Bush gave the "Go" signal for the leak without going through a conventional declassification process to determine how such "information might compromise methods or sources," according to Professor Jonathan Turley of the George Washington University Law School.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) summed the leak up this way:
If the [Bush] administration believes it can tap purely domestic phone calls between Americans without court approval, there is no limit to executive power. This is contrary to settled law and the most basic constitutional principles of the separation of powers.
Still the Democrats do not have the modest fortitude to support Senator Russell Feingold's (D-Wisconsin) modest motion to censure George W. Bush. The Democrats are waiting for more incriminating material to spill out from the Executive Branch to add to the mounds of evidence already made public from U.S. and British sources.
For sure more will spill out. Whenever there are court cases like Libby's, where the defendant wants to defend only himself, there will be more damaging memos, emails, testimony and maybe confessions. When an awakened mainstream media is hungry in pursuit of such stories, you can be sure more will come out. Inside contacts and sources will increase. Retirements will increase as well to produce more whistleblowers.
If the House and Senate start exercising their constitutional rights to oversight, more power will be added to extract information from the gold mines of what Bush and Cheney did and when prior and after the invasion of Iraq.
At some point the Bush regime's luck, bred by secrecy, cover-ups and mendacity, will run out. The critical mass will be reached. And the American Caesar will fall, with or without the assistance of the pitiful Democrats.
Writing about the Democratic Primary race in Connecticut between Senator Joseph Lieberman and Ned Lamont, who calls the incumbent "Bush's favorite Democrat", Keith C. Burris of the Manchester, Connecticut Journal Inquirer declares, "Even in wartime, the power of government must be checked; even in wartime the president is not a law unto himself; even in wartime the people deserve to be informed by the free exchange of ideas. Even in wartime, the citizens may seek to change the government."
Especially during an unconstitutional, illegal war in Iraq started by George W. Bush! See http://www.DemocracyRising.US for more information.