GW, The War on Terror, and the Constitution
|Oops, our bad.|
That’s what the Bush Administration said in January regarding several aspects of the “war on terror.”
In a series of recently released memos, the Bush Justice Department is now saying that the logic they relied on to prosecute their “war on terror” around the globe and on US soil was flawed.
I wonder how they came to that conclusion. Just a few days before leaving office and after forcefully defending those views for almost seven years.
It was the policy of the Bush Administration from right after the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center that the President, and he alone, with no congressional oversight, could make decisions to set aside protections and civil rights granted the people of the United States by the Constitution.
And how did President Bush arrive at this conclusion? By claiming that the “war on terror” knew no geographical boundaries and had no uniformed or regular combatants. And by using Nixonion logic that if the President orders, or does it, it is not illegal or a violation of the Constitution.
Just in case you miss the logic here, let me explain it.
If this so called “war on terror” involves no boundaries, as the Bush Administration claimed, then every spec of land on this planet is the battlefield, including your next door neighbors yard.
And if there are no regular or uniformed armies that are perpetrating this “war on terror,” everyone, including your spouse or best friend could be a suspect.
It was this legal understanding, called faulty even by conservative legal scholars, that allowed President Bush to claim he alone, again, with no input or oversight from Congress could take your right to free speech, take away the rights and independence of a free press, and deny you your rights against unreasonable search and seizure.
All of these rights are guaranteed us in the Constitution in the first and fourth amendments. Unless apparently, we are at war and George W. Bush is your president.
Lest you think I am leading you on a wild goose chase, you can read the actual memos outlining their legal strategy here.
But perhaps what is even more infuriating than a wholesale elimination of our rights under cover of a dubious claim of national security and the “war on terror,” is the administration's total lack of belief in the very principles those memos enumerated.
You see, after living with those principles through two terms, taking away the rights of US citizens, wrongfully torturing people, and then destroying the evidence of these actions, the Bush Administration issued a new set of memos.
Just days before leaving office and the inauguration of Barack Obama.
And what did these newly released memos say?
Oops! Our bad. We made a mistake. So sorry.
Posting in Agreement - James Wolfer
Posting in Opposition - Pasadena Closet Conservative