Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Iraq "Progress" Impeders Punished
The Republicans in the Senate had filibustered a vote; apparently, it's NOT so "outrageous" for them anymore. The all-night session there last night was called because of the filibuster, that was blocking a (formerly demanded) "simple up or down vote." the vote was for an actual plan to leave Iraq by next spring. I hope all the Senators that have been saying they are for an end but didn't vote that way last night are catching-it GOOD from their constituents today...Yesterday while the Senate was preparing for a long night, Bush was busy making a law to strip anybody of all their money and property if an attempt is made to disrupt or impede his stay-the-course mission in Iraq.
According to the Executive Order signed yesterday, anybody that is considered to be, "threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq" may have ALL their property and assets seized! Come on, by this standard Bush should have everything taken from him for undermining the Iraqi Parliament's legislation to begin removing foreign troops and another refusing to sell their oil!
If you read this order carefully, you'll notice there aren't many specific qualifying factors (numerous loop-holes to reach anybody anywhere); it's just a generalization that could easily include protesters, peace organizations, unions, and any other entity or organization that seeks to end the occupation of Iraq. It will be determined by the three the Secretaries; of State, Treasury, & Defense. Here are some of the ways a person could be implicated; "materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of,..." It barely provides for the protection of humanitarian efforts, but if they show any discord that is a considered a political view on how to maintain "peace or stability," then I suppose they may be subject to losing everything as well. I shudder to think how this will be abused abroad...
Now combine yesterday's constitutional-atrocity, with the two following things that have already been passed;
1) National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) 51 / AKA: HSPD 20 on 5/9/7.
2) The Military Commissions Act (MCA) 2006 , just before the midterm elections.
1) The NSPD 51 or HSPD 20, was passed two months ago (May 9th).
This directive basically gives Bush the responsibility to manage everything in cases of "catastrophic emergency," and to declare things as such. It claims its purpose is to make everything as efficient as possible under these circumstances, but actually puts all our response agencies (such as FEMA) ultimately under the thumb and management of the president (the new shadow-government structure!).
Here are some of the more disturbing pieces of NSPD 51:
A) Definition 2b) - "Catastrophic Emergency" means any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions;"
* It clearly says that any location qualifies, so it could be nationally, or internationally. Meaning that any of these things could be considered "effecting the US": an earthquake in the Middle East, another Katrina or other natural disaster, a stock-market crash, another metro-bombing in London, or a protest that distracted Congress or blocked traffic in a major city. Added under another definition, the following are listed as emergencies; "...including localized acts of nature, accidents, and technological or attack-related emergencies;"
B) When you circle your around to get through definitions 2c, 2d & 2h you come to understand that the president works in concert with Congress & the Judicial Branch - only as a courtesy ("comity"), because he is the ultimate Decider in all major emergencies.
* The Decider also gets to decide what is and is not, a "Catastrophic Emergency."
2) It was about eight months ago when the Military Commissions Act passed (9/27/6). Inside you find that anybody labeled an "enemy combatant" can loose their right to habeas corpus. An enemy combatant status can be given to anyone considered a threat, at the sole discretion or determination of the president (and a few other select high-ranking officials).
Some say that it's "debatable" as to whether or not the right to habeas corpus that is usually accompanied by indefinite imprisonment without a trial, can be or may not be applicable to Americans (who can, of course, be considered "enemy combatants"). I'd say this makes it completely plausible, and it hasn't been defined otherwise or more clearly since it passed. Honestly, today, I'm disgusted that I'm able to say I wouldn't be surprised if somebody told me there are Americans that have already disappeared as "enemy combatants."
As we well know by example now, Bush considers almost anybody with a differing opinion a threat. Some of the examples we have of his arrogant righteous dominance shown are; firing people (we're up to our 6th or 7th Commander on the Ground, also 9 US Attorneys removed), imprisoned dissenters (many conscientious objectors, i.e. Lieutenant Watada), put lives in danger (Plame, the CIA, Americans, & Middle Easterners), severely diminished capabilities needed for security (CIA, FBI, FEMA), disembodied or disenfranchised bodies of government (Congress and Judicial Branch), or just plain ignored them (70%+ Americans that want out of Iraq, Intelligence reports). There is no prejudice when it comes to Bush dispelling a person or entity, they only have one thing in common; dissent, a disagreement that amounts to disloyalty in Bush's mind.
Many of the people that were willing accomplices, the Yea-sayers have also been willing scapegoats, and they were sent on their way with a Medal of Freedom, freedom from prosecution, or other "rewards" for their kicked-dog loyalty. Bush is not prejudice in this regard either; even if you are a complete failure or totally destructive and disastrous you can be promoted (or further your career otherwise), financially rewarded, awarded, and sheltered beyond the reach of the law...so far anyway... Anything goes as long as you exhibit your loyalty as a consistent Yea-sayer, and an occasional scapegoat.
Libby was the last straw, because it was an act of over-riding the Judicial Branch - it was so obviously unequal, self-serving "justice." And the Republicans have the nerve to balk about "activist judges" and be mute now! That happened the same week the Executive Branch refused to recognize Congress' subpoenas.
America, WAKE UP! We have a Rogue Branch of Government on our hands!
It's not "us against them" anymore, it's "us against HIM" (or those two). I have certainly been no fan of all the ridiculous, tiring, partisan-crap but this is not even a matter of party, far from it. If we can't all come together for the sake of what is constitutionally correct, then we have nothing left to come together on. The bottom line is that I don't care exactly who it is that's violating, rewriting and dismembering our Constitution currently; I want it to stop, and I don't want anybody to do it ever again! It doesn't matter who you allow to power-grab & abuse, it would get to just about anyone and damage everyone. Imagine if your candidates' "arch enemy" got into office and had this kind of dictator-like power. If that bothers you, then you should also consider protecting your candidate from potential corruption by removing the temptation. We are all only human after all. Aside from all the other temptations (campaign funds, etc...), the only difference between our representatives and ourselves, is that they all swore an oath to protect the Constitution and we are only assumed we would do the same (even though it's technically our duty).
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