Monday, January 23, 2006

Requiem for a FISA Dream (in the Key of C-Minus)

What laws CAN'T President Bush break in the name of national security, then? Can he ban peaceful dissent and protest in public? Invalidate Court rulings by fiat? Shut down "opposition" newspapers, in the event that a meaningful one actually existed? Can he send a hit squad to my house, or disappear me to a secret prison if he thinks I'm aiding terrorists by not agreeing with him?

By extension, does every executive-branch officer or employee then have these powers, based on his say-so?

And if I'm "with him or against him," and obviously not with him, as you my dear reader and friend can plainly see, should I be packing my toothbrush for Guantanamo, or worse?

What shall we wake to tomorrow, America? Marshall law? Mandatory shopping? Nuking Iran?

If we managed to preserve civil liberties in the face of ideological battle with the U.S.S.R. - a formidable enemy, to be sure - with the possibility of all-out nuclear war looming over our heads(remember when we had leaders who could actually correctly pronounce this word?), then why does the paranoid party think we can't do so now?

No, this isn't about national safety and security. This is sheer opportunism and a grab for power by a party historically known for such power-lust, sprinkled with salt for the wounds of Liberals by that beacon of integrity, Karl Rove.

It is small consolation that history will not look kindly on this administration.

If wartime powers include the right to supercede any and all laws, then we'd better make damn sure the person doing the superceding is of high moral character, has never been arrested, censured by the S.E.C., dumped stock based on insider information, evaded military service, relied on nepotism and insider connections to prop up a fundamentally incompetent track record in business, used his powers as governor and president to line his pockets, driven drunk, sniffed cocaine... um...

Uh oh.

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