Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Back to the era of cloak and dagger - Empiricum


My attorneys told me that I can do it." - George W. Bush, President of the United States, in reference to his admission that he authorized domestic spying on US citizens.

Is that claim a good legal defense in the face of a potential charge of impeachment?

Before making an examination and analysis of the applicable law and court decisions on the matter, the curiosity on the identity of the attorneys who advised Bush must first be addressed. Since Bush himself did not identify the attorneys, it can only be presumed that he was referring to then White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, now US Attorney General, and his predecessor, John Ashcroft, who are both known to be "creative" in their interpretation of the law such as those dealing with "enemy combatants," torture, and executive privilege.

The following articles provide a thorough discussion on this issue which make it abundantly clear that the President of the United States cannot lawfully do what he admittedly did, contrary to the advise of his attorneys:

FindLaw: U.S. Constitution: Fourth Amendment: Annotations pg. 5 of 6

http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/RL30465.pdf

It should be noted that the National Security Agency is not the only spy agency in our midst which makes us feel like we are living in an era of cloak and dagger reminiscent of the cold war days and McCarthyism. In addition to the FBI, CIA and state and local enforcement agencies, there are other government agencies spying on US citizens all in the name of "national security."

Pentagon's terrorism research lives on at other agencies

On top of all these comes the super spy agency headed by czar John Negroponte:

Negroponte Named National Intelligence Chief (washingtonpost.com)

Despite all these, Bin Laden and Zarqawi are still on the loose. And that's the bottom line. Meantime, the constitutional rights of US citizens continue to be violated all in the name of fighting "terrorism" and "protecting national security." And that too is the bottom line !

5 comments:

EMPIRICUM said...

There are newspaper reports, such as the LA Times, that Gonzales is, indeed, one of the attorneys who advised Bush on the issue at hand. The other remains presumably Ashcroft. Will it not be ironic and a twist of fate when Chief Justice Roberts presides in the impeachment trial of both Bush and Gonzales? Recall that Gonzales was also rumored to have been under consideration for a spot in the high court.... ahead of Roberts!

EMPIRICUM said...

Like a snake that is cornered, the Bush administration recoils and strikes back at its critics warning them of "backlash" AND advance the argument that the democratic leadership in Congress was consulted and made aware of Bush's secret domestic spying program. Such argument is totally IRRELEVANT! Firstly, consulting and informing informally with a handful members of Congress does not comply with the reporting requirements of FISA. Secondly, it is the FISA SECRET COURT that issues the required warrant, before or after the fact... not that handful members of Congress. And, thirdly, that handful members of Congress did not and CANNOT amend the FISA law by simply meeting informally with Bush or his designated representative. LAWS ARE NOT PASSED IN THAT MANNER IN THESE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! To argue otherwise is pure nonsense and does not change the nature and color of the violation of the law and the Constitution, REGARDLESS OF WHAT GONZALES, BUSH, CHENEY AND SEN. ROBERTS OF KANSAS AND THEIR MINIONS SAY !!! Their consciously adopted policy/strategy of obfuscating the issues should be stopped and dealt with, in accordance with law.

jester said...

SO GLAD TO SEE THAT YOU'RE IN GREAT FORM EMP. Have a happy...

EMPIRICUM said...

Thanks Jester. I thought I was out of shape. Did you notice my typos?

Thank you also for giving me this chance to revisit my posts in light of today's developments. Earlier today, Gonzales was quoted as saying that this coming January 1st, Americans will wake up and realize that we are not safe. (His statement is apparently in reference to the non-passage of the extension of certain provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act which sunsets on December 31st.) That statement comes from the US Attorney General who is the top law enforcement officer of the nation. Instead of instilling fear in the heart and mind of the people, Gonzales should just simply faithfully and dutifully enforce the law in accordance with law and the Constitution. For him to become a lobbyist for Bush and Cheney on a widely questioned policy is egregious! His recent behaviour and actions remind me of Colin Powell's prior to the invasion of Iraq. Powell assumed the duty of a "war salesman" instead of doing his duty as the nation's top diplomat promoting peace. Let me conclude (for now)by saying that with the resignation of Judge James Robertson of the FISA court and the reported active role of Dick Cheney in the execution of Bush's domestic spy program,in additon to Bush's own admissions, we will probably witness a political battle as heated as that during the Watergate era. We shall see.

Take care, Jester.

EMPIRICUM said...

P.S.-- Merry CHRISTMAS to one and all.

 
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