MS Fowler - 2/12/2006 12:21 PM
One of the main issues for the midterm elections this year will be this impeachment issue. You can be sure that if the dems cain control of either the House or the Senate, they will bring the charges.
The issue, as I see it framed by the administration is not related to FISA courts. It is an Atricle 2 issue--the ongoing struugle between the legislative and the executive branches.
Does Congree have the legal ability to pass a law ( other than a Constitutional Amendment) that takes away Constitutionally-defined Powers of the President?
I really wish the dems could offer something more than " I hate Bush" and "We're not like them" I hear there is an underground revolt brewing among some of the younger dems to repudiate the current leadership of Pelossi, Kennedy, et al.. It will be interesting to watch.
I agree, even though I find the present regime in power an offense to the essence of being American, that an opposition position other than whining would offer a greater potential to uprooting the squatters in power today.
On another point, I have yet to find any Constitutional authority granted the President to defy Congress on the subject of abridging the First Ammendment's provisions by authorizing secret spying on American citizens within our borders. The concept of telephones and the internet were not envisioned at the time the Constitution was written, so Congress made provisions for obtaining court orders that maintained the desired secrecy while still ensuring judicial oversight. Why this path was abandoned should be explored.
This, afterall is an administration that claimed there were WMD in Iraq, and that Iraq was in cahoots with Al-Qaeda, and that Iraq represented the greatest, imminent peril to the United States of all axis of evil or adjacent threats on the globe, all of which has turned out to be bunk. If the reason they abandoned the legal, established path to having the wiretapping authorized by the courts was the evidence to strip American citizens of their right to expect their privacy to remain intact was a little less than convincing, leading to delays or denials, then the action is even more reprehensible. The path was chosen to specifically circumvent a check and balance inserted by Congress because they were failing to meet the standard of the court for spying on Americans.
This administration has repeatedly taken the simple, direct and often least effort path to achieve its goals. Unfortunately the lack of effort has also led to selecting the wrong path over and over. They suggested Iraq was to blame for 9-11, that they had WMD, including nukes, invade in spite of UN weapons inspectors reports there are no WMD, then, afterwards find out there were no WMD and no ties to Al-Qaeda. They then expected to be welcomed by Iraqis based on collecting information from apparently nothing more than convenient sources providing data that appealed to the administration's prejudices concerning Iraq, get surprised and dragged into a Vietnam-like quagmire due to the insurgents. We find out there are no contingency plans - it is a die or get maimed as you go event with Americans the bait for frantic nuts seeking to become martyrs. Thousands of American casualties and tens of thousands of Iraqi casualties later, not much has changed. The full description of the administration's plan is to "stay the course" which is actually no more than a slogan.
American troops get confusing instructions about what is torture and what isn't, with emphasis on goals and intentions to extract information from the prisoners. Graphic photos of prisoner abuse appear. America is likened to the sadistic sons of Sadam Hussein throughout the Middle East, Europe, South America and Asia (most of the rest of the world). We are found to be outsourcing to the "stans" various unsavory interogation techniques. America again loses stature in the international community. The list of blunders is endless. And we are supposed to just fall in line for "war on terror" which will "have no end" that requires we sacrifice our Constitution to meet the present regime's need for expediency and lack of effort. I hope not. Not this time. Jim