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Lets's talk about democracy
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Wednesday, 25 January 2006
Not Mr. Lincoln's war.

The bulk of my BS today is over at Non Sum Dignus, including my take on the Palestinian elections and the Bush administraton's bumbling before hurricane Katrina.

"Torture boy" on breaking the law:

The NYT reports Attorney General Alberto "Waterboard" Gonzales, in a speech at GW yesterday, cited "the long tradition of wartime enemy surveillance," without warrants by former presidents as a justification for this president's current policy of domestic spying. If you look at what he didn't say about these examples of presidential over-reach you might be a little more frightened.

He said George Washington intercepted mail between the British and Americans: but, of course, back then there was no constitution or courts to check him.

Woodrow Wilson might have spied during WWI: but his administration also rounded up hundreds of people for no reason and deported foreigners because they happened to be from countries the government identified as hotbeds of anarchism. Sound familiar?

FDR intercepted communications in and out of the U.S. during WWII, but then again, he also locked up 100,000 Japanese Americans, too; is this the sort of thing we can expect from this administration next? (FDR did it and he was a democrat, right?)

Torture boy also mentioned Abraham Lincoln intercepting telegraph lines during the Civil War, but a lot of them were in enemy territory in the south, not exactly the same thing as intercepting millions of email messages and phone numbers.

The adminstraion is always involking Lincoln's actions during the Civil War to excuse their violations of the consitution, but read what Lincoln would undoubtably say to Bush & Co. if he were here today:

"The provision of the Constitution giving the war making power to Congress was dictated, as I understand it, by the following reasons: kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object. This our convention understood to be the most oppressive of all kingly oppressions, and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us. But your view destroys the whole matter, and places our President where kings have always stood." [NSD]

And see also what he said about preemptive war:

"Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose, and you allow him to make war at pleasure. Study to see if you can fix any limit to his power in this respect, after having given him so much as you propose."

Now, we're finding out whether we can "fix any limit to his power" and it's not looking good.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 5:17 PM EST
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