Post American
So What Else Isn’t the NY Times Telling Us?
The Times held on the domestic spying story for over a year before they decided that it was "fit to print!" So what else does the New York Times know that they are not telling us? Do they know about rigged US elections? Do they know about inside complicity into 9/11?

El Presidente
For those Americans who always dreamed of living in a banana republic, your dream is now a reality. Whether you want to call him King George or El Presidente, it's all the same anyway. Since the Bush team loves talking about the American Revolution so much, did they miss the part where America fought back against a king who wanted absolute power over them?

Finally we have a Washington scandal that goes beyond sex, corruption and political intrigue to big issues like security versus liberty and the reasonable bounds of presidential power. President Bush came out swinging on Snoopgate—he made it seem as if those who didn’t agree with him wanted to leave us vulnerable to Al Qaeda—but it will not work. We’re seeing clearly now that Bush thought 9/11 gave him license to act like a dictator, or in his own mind, no doubt, like Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.
No wonder Bush was so desperate that The New York Times not publish its story on the National Security Agency eavesdropping on American citizens without a warrant, in what lawyers outside the administration say is a clear violation of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. I learned this week that on December 6, Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story. The Times will not comment on the meeting, but one can only imagine the president’s desperation.
The problem was not that the disclosures would compromise national security, as Bush claimed at his press conference. His comparison to the damaging pre-9/11 revelation of Osama bin Laden’s use of a satellite phone, which caused bin Laden to change tactics, is fallacious; any Americans with ties to Muslim extremists—in fact, all American Muslims, period—have long since suspected that the U.S. government might be listening in to their conversations. Bush claimed that “the fact that we are discussing this program is helping the enemy.” But there is simply no evidence, or even reasonable presumption, that this is so. And rather than the leaking being a “shameful act,” it was the work of a patriot inside the government who was trying to stop a presidential power grab.
No, Bush was desperate to keep the Times from running this important story—which the paper had already inexplicably held for a year—because he knew that it would reveal him as a law-breaker. He insists he had “legal authority derived from the Constitution and congressional resolution authorizing force.” But the Constitution explicitly requires the president to obey the law. And the post 9/11 congressional resolution authorizing “all necessary force” in fighting terrorism was made in clear reference to military intervention. It did not scrap the Constitution and allow the president to do whatever he pleased in any area in the name of fighting terrorism.
Micah Walter / Reuters (left); Alex Wong / Getty Images (right)
Called to the Oval Office: Sulzberger (left) and Keller
What is especially perplexing about this story is that the 1978 law set up a special court to approve eavesdropping in hours, even minutes, if necessary. In fact, the law allows the government to eavesdrop on its own, then retroactively justify it to the court, essentially obtaining a warrant after the fact. Since 1979, the FISA court has approved tens of thousands of eavesdropping requests and rejected only four. There was no indication the existing system was slow—as the president seemed to claim in his press conference—or in any way required extra-constitutional action.
This will all play out eventually in congressional committees and in the United States Supreme Court. If the Democrats regain control of Congress, there may even be articles of impeachment introduced. Similar abuse of power was part of the impeachment charge brought against Richard Nixon in 1974.
In the meantime, it is unlikely that Bush will echo President Kennedy in 1961. After JFK managed to tone down a New York Times story by Tad Szulc on the Bay of Pigs invasion, he confided to Times editor Turner Catledge that he wished the paper had printed the whole story because it might have spared him such a stunning defeat in Cuba.
This time, the president knew publication would cause him great embarrassment and trouble for the rest of his presidency. It was for that reason—and less out of genuine concern about national security—that George W. Bush tried so hard to kill the New York Times story.

Shocking The Conscience Of America: Bush And Cheney Call For The Right To Torture And Are Decisively and Correctly Rebuffed by the House
If the events I am about to describe were taking place in a movie, or novel, I would lose my ability to suspend disbelief: Who could conceive of an American President and Vice President demanding that Congress give them authority to torture anyone, under any circumstances?
Yet that is exactly what happened. Until Congress -- finally -- showed some institutional pride and told Bush and Cheney that it would not tolerate torture.
To place this activity in context, I have been trying to think of a similar "un-American" low point in the American presidency. Possible candidates might include John Adams's approval of the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798, or Abraham Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War.
But neither of these moments strikes me as sufficiently shameful. Indeed, not even Franklin Roosevelt's horrific internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II is, in my view, as low a point as President Bush and Vice President Cheney's call for the unrestricted, unreviewable power to torture. It seems the precedent for Bush and Cheney's thinking resides in the Dark Ages, or Stalin's Russia.
The Bush/Cheney presidency has been pushing the nation toward an atrocity unmatched in the annals of American infamy and ignominy. Thankfully, a few wiser men and women in Washington have saved us from the national disgrace Bush and Cheney insisted upon imposing on the nation.

Bush shows he believes he is above the law,0,3978167.column?coll=ny-news-columnists
Congressional hearings won't be enough. The deferential inquests into Abu Ghraib barely changed detention policies. The Constitution might contemplate impeachment - I have never before uttered the word in relation to Bush - but it will not be brought about by a Republican Congress that has mostly put partisan loyalty ahead of duty. Congressional elections next year that change control of one chamber on Capitol Hill to the Democrats would at least bring stiffer oversight.For now we seem destined to live in a nation that spies on its own people, detains hundreds without charge and maintains secret prisons around the world. This is not the Soviet Union. But it is what we have allowed our union to become.

Time for W to answer for his actions
In his Sunday night speech, Bush once again ran up this tattered rhetorical banner: "I am responsible for the decision to go into Iraq." It was the exact same phrase Bush had used earlier in the week.
Had the word "responsible," in all its permutations and declensions, made an occasional appearance in the President's rhetoric, it would not be worth a comment. But it is a theme, a beat, a tick, a flatfooted verbal tautology and a way, really, of deflecting apt criticism. Listen to your President:
"I take responsibility," he said Sept. 13 about the botched Hurricane Katrina relief effort. "I take personal responsibility for everything I say, of course," he said back in 2003. "I also take responsibility for making decisions on war and peace."
"I take responsibility for putting our troops into action," he said a bit earlier in 2003. "I take responsibility for making that decision."
This recitation of the obvious is a bit of clumsy rhetorical strutting, but also a way of ducking the ultimate in responsibility: accountability. This is something Bush will not accept or countenance.

Victims of Creeping Fascism
When a sitting president declares that the constitution is just “A God damned piece of paper,” it reveals much about his inner character; or lack thereof. It reveals dangerous illusions of omnipotence, contempt for the law, and scorn for the people. It was George Bush who uttered those tortured words to Whitehouse aides last week. Easily misled by false idols intoxicated with power and driven by insatiable greed, we are witnessing nothing less astonishing than the demise of the American experiment. Dreams of democracy, justice, peace and hope are receding into the dim recesses of ever more distant memory. We see them morphing into an Orwellian nightmare of monstrous proportions that promises to pursue us to our graves. If we continue on this course of ethical decline, in another decade we will not even be able to recall the forms and texture of those dreams that once held so much promise.

AT THIS point, the policy legacy of George Bush seems pretty well defined by three disparate disasters: Iraq in foreign affairs, Katrina in social welfare, corporate influence over tax, budget and regulatory decisions. As a short-term political consequence, we may avoid another dim-witted Bush in the White House. But what the Bush dynasty has done to presidential campaign science — the protocols by which Americans elect presidents in the modern era — amounts to a political legacy that can haunt the Republic for years to come.
With the right leadership — the kind of flawed, but principled presidents sprinkled through its history — the United States can stop the blood-letting in Iraq, regain its standing in the world, avert the crises in health care and Social Security, and even bring disaster relief to the Gulf Coast.
But that's not simply a matter of keeping Bushes and Bushites, with their impaired civic consciences, out of the White House. The next presidential campaign will show us whether these miscreant patricians have poisoned the well of the presidential campaign system. If so, there's no telling what kind of president we might get.
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neither Right or Left

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Location: Albuquerque, The Homeland

So when do we get invaded to remove the rogue government that spies on its own people, gases its own people during anti War protests, stages "terrorist" attacks, holds crooked elections, attacks other nations without cause, and uses torture on innocent people looking for WMD that don't exist?

200501 / 200502 / 200503 / 200504 / 200505 / 200506 / 200507 / 200508 / 200509 / 200510 / 200511 / 200512 / 200601 / 200602 / 200603 / 200604 / 200605 / 200606 / 200607 / 200608 / 200609 / 200610 / 200702 / 200703 / 200704 / 201004 /

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