Washington Politicians Are Gutting America Like A Fish

Published by Fred Soto• March 3rd, 2008 RSS News Feed George W. Bush has created the path for American fascism, he’s all but made the American Presidency and our Democratic system of governance a sham. He’s not alone, however. In addition to the neo-conservative movement, we’ve seen the rise of cowardice in Congress. Democrats and moderate Conservatives have failed to stand up for justice and the Constitution. In the view of Americans who actually give a damn, the two-party system has failed and Democrats and Republicans may as well be working together as they’ve allowed Bush to get away with murder, so-to-speak.
Since Bush was inaugurated, all of the problems with his administration have been under the microscope. The majority of the issues started as early as 2001 — illegal surveillance, international relations problems, above-the-law action. Other issues have arisen since then, including FEMA’s response to Katrina, politicization of the Justice Department, disenfranchising voters, and providing fat contracts to his friends in corporate America.
Despite the fact that many details of wrongdoing are coming to light, Democrats have been unable to do anything about the issues. Now it appears that they are going to cave on protecting American rights to defend themselves against invasive government and illegal corporate acts. Is there any good news to be had? Is the promise of hope and restoring faith in American government in our near future or is it all talk and no action as Hillary Clinton has said?
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
President Bush has on numerous occasions had the opportunity to explain clearly what his plan is in the middle east. He has been given ample opportunity to correct the U.S. international reputation that was damaged as a result of the Iraq invasion. The only arguments coming out of the White House and his supporters with respect to these glaring problems is “liberals have BSD” and “only liberals would care what terrorists think, they hate our country!”
Contrast the approach taken by Republicans on the issue of our declining reputation overseas. Barack Obama was recently asked what he would do if he were President and how he would handle the growing struggles and tension between Americans and Muslims throughout the world.
Barack Obama talks about U.S. relations, peace and world affairs
As president of the United States, I will directly address the people of the Muslim world to make it clear that the United States is not at war with Islam, that our enemy is al-Qaeda and its tactical and ideological affiliates, and that our struggle is shared. In this speech, I will make it clear that the United States rejects torture — without equivocation, and will close Guantanamo. I will make it clear that the United States stands ready to support those who reject violence with closer security cooperation; an agenda of hope — backed by increased foreign assistance — to support justice, development and democracy in the Muslim world; and a new program of outreach to strengthen ties between the American people and people in Muslim countries.
I will also make it clear that we will expect greater cooperation from Muslim countries; and that the United States will always stand for basic human rights — including the rights of women — and reject the scourge of anti-Semitism. Simply put, I will say that we are on the side of the aspirations of all peace-loving Muslims, and together we must build a new spirit of partnership to combat terrorists who threaten our common security.
In one breath, Barack Obama brought up the difference between Muslims and fundamentalist extremists, he rejected torture, and promised to close down Guantanamo. He also denounced violence, urged cooperation between nations of the world, promoted justice and wants to help mend the harm done to our relationship with the Muslim world under President Bush’s leadership. You can call it mere rhetoric or “all talk and no action” but it is effective in helping to quell problems that have arisen out of our poorly conceived attack on Iraq.
ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT FOR VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY
The anger over President Bush’s handling of the Iraq War has millions of Americans and people throughout the world praying for impeachment and removal of President Bush and Dick Cheney. Now, the latest news is that Dick Cheney’s articles of impeachment has more co-sponsors than Nixon’s impeachment ever did.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s resolution to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney now has more cosponsors signed onto it than any resolution to impeach President Richard Nixon ever had. But separate resolutions to impeach Nixon, some with a handful of cosponsors, many with no cosponsors at all, were filed by the dozens. Today, Kucinich’s resolution stands alone…
A group of citizen activists from around the country has been meeting with members of Congress and their staffers to argue a case for recreating what they are calling the Nixon flooding plan. If, they argue, just the 30 or 40 members who are currently pushing for Cheney’s impeachment were to file their own resolutions, the impact would be far greater than simply adding more names to Kucinich’s bill or to a Dear Colleague letter. All that is needed, in other words, to move impeachment forward in the House might be for those who already claim to support it to put their printers where their mouths are and crank out a couple of dozen new bills.
POLITICIZATION OF THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
While impeachment may have growing momentum behind it, we can’t get too excited just yet. Attorney General Mukasey’s recent shielding of the Executive against legislative accountability could be an issue, because again it appears that the Justice Department has become a political tool of the executive.
Mr. Mukasey said the chief of staff, Joshua B. Bolten, and the former counsel, Harriet E. Miers, were right in refusing to provide Congress with White House documents or to testify about the firings of federal prosecutors.
“The department will not bring the Congressional contempt citations before a grand jury or take any other action to prosecute Mr. Bolten or Ms. Miers,” Mr. Mukasey wrote to the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi.
Though, Nancy Pelosi is often under fire from Democrats over failure to impeach the President and Vice President, she is doing her part to insist that the legislature not be undermined by the Justice Department. She sent a letter to Attorney General Mukasey, in part it read as follows:
There is no authority by which persons may wholly ignore a subpoena and fail to appear as directed because a President unilaterally instructs them to do so. Even if a subpoenaed witness intends to assert a privilege in response to questions, the witness is not at liberty to disregard the subpoena and fail to appear at the required time and place. Surely, your Department would not tolerate that type of action if the witness were subpoenaed to a federal grand jury. Short of a formal assertion of executive privilege, which cannot be made in this case, there is no authority that permits a President to advise anyone to ignore a duly issued congressional subpoena for documents.
ABOVE THE LAW MENTALITY
You can read the American Constitution Society’s blog on topic: “Mukasey orders attorney to ignore contempt citation.” The initial reaction of partisans is to argue that this is a PR stunt and insist that Democrats stop playing games, but Pelosi cited the law in support of her remarks, 2 U.S.C. § 194 governs in such instances. General Mukasey continued to defy the House Speaker, as Democrats thought would happen when they resisted appointing this man to the bench last fall. Here’s what he said:
“the contempt of Congress statute was not intended to apply and could not constitutionally be applied to an Executive Branch official who asserts the President’s claim of executive privilege.” The letter also cites Harriet Miers’s “constitutional immunity from compelled congressional testimony.”
And off to court we go! It is not surprising that a legal confrontation is imminent, but it is disappointing to see the executive continue to shield its interests over those of the people. House speaker Nancy Pelosi informed Attorney General Mukasey that his response was expected and legal action would be taken. Here are her words:
“Anticipating this response from the Administration, the House has already provided authority for the Judiciary Committee to file a civil enforcement action in federal district court and the House shall do so promptly. The American people demand that we uphold the law. As public officials, we take an oath to uphold the Constitution and protect our system of checks and balances and our civil lawsuit seeks to do just that. “
In case you’re not thoroughly disappointed and depressed at this point, let me help push you to the edge!
LOSING FAITH IN GOVERNMENT AND THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM
The Diebold corporation that has been in the media often for negative reasons is the target of a possible acquisition by a Defense contractor. Among the issues that are troubling include problems with voting machine security and malfunctioning as well as a lack of a paper trail to resolve disputes of fraud. You would think that the Diebold corporation should be in the gutter of corporate acquisitions, but instead they were offered a bid of $3 billion dollars. Apparently, the U.S. Defense contractor “United Technologies” felt it was necessary to secure the young voting corp. and I couldn’t think of worst suitor to safeguard the future of our U.S. Elections and combat voter fraud.
To make matters worse, some of our tax dollars are paying for this and somehow Diebold is having “accounting issues,” not to be confused with fraud and other illegal acts. The United Technology corporation that made the unsolicited offer for Diebold’s holdings, happens to be a frequent contractor for the Department of Defense. This should send the conspiracy theorists into a frenzy over motives behind this acquisition and it’ll at least make the more skeptical among us feel a little uncomfortable as we move forward.
SPYING OF AMERICAN CITIZENS - TELECOMMUNICATIONS IMMUNITY
Finally, FISA immunity may be back with a vengeance. After I gave positive marks to the House last week for standing up for justice and accountability at the highest levels of our government, it sounds like they are going to back down. The House, like the Senate, will no longer look after the interests of American citizens because for whatever reason it has become inconvenient to them to continue this fight.
The Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), said on Sunday that a deal was in the works to pass a controversial extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, as early as this week. Speaking on CNN’s “Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer,” Reyes said that the House is moving closer to approving a bipartisan Senate passed extension of the law, which contains immunity for telecommunications companies that have previously assisted the government in listening in on potential terrorists’ communications.
And with that final bit of news, perhaps I’ll go join you on the ledge, the United States is no longer “of the people” and “for the people.” Way to sell out our country, Democrats. I’d castigate the Republicans too, but they sold out long ago.