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I am a self proclaimed coffee addict and Executive Director of a non profit missions agency working primarily in the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Ensenada. I've been married for over 30 years to Chelle, and we have one grown son, Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama.

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

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

Comments on "GW, The War on Terror, and the Constitution"


Blogger TAO said ... (8:09 AM) : 

It has always fascinated me that a party so based on PRINCIPLES could be so lacking of such.

But now what I find even more absurd is the fact that no one on the right seems to notice and or seems to care. Truthfully, they seem to rejoice in it.

Where do conservatives who believe values matter go to for representation?

By the way, PCC is not a posting in opposition, she never once commented on the content of the memos but rather was agains the release of the memos as an Anti American action...forget how anti American the logic of the memos projected.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (8:43 AM) : 

But Tao, her post implied that the release of these memos included sensitive military info that would help terrorists.

That would argue for a more secretive gov't so that this type of behavior could continue.

PCC was the only GOP supporting blogger I have found who even remotely commented on these memos.

And these are the people who regularly claim Obama is out to destroy the US and the Constitution.


Blogger James Wolfer said ... (9:07 AM) : 

Thanks for the link Dave!

That post was compiled from comments I was leaving on the GOPers' blogs. And no one ever seems to have an intelligent answer to those memos from the right. I haven't seen any.

I would like to, but there just isn't any rationalization or justification, and anyone who tries is just fooling themselves.

GWB violated a lot of things, and the fact that the GOP is now made up of those who STILL try and stand by him (John Yoo Memos nonwithstanding) is one of the reasons that registered Republicans (like myself) are fleeing en masse.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (9:33 AM) : 

James, people cannot reply to the tough questions because there are no easy answers.

While the GOP was claiming that Obama was out to destroy the country, and that they alone are originists in regards to the Constitution, their leader, George W. Bush and his administration, we now know, was systematically looking for ways to get around the legal protections provided in it.

The hubris of this action is only exceeded by the fact that while they believed that the President had the authority to do what those memos articulated, they were unwilling to cede that authority to President Obama.

Apparently only President George Bush was worthy of this much power.


Blogger timmer said ... (6:32 AM) : 

What year is this again? Kinda feels like 1984.


Blogger dmarks said ... (5:45 AM) : 

"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."

I know the issue of the third one with the wiretapping and warrants, but what happened with the first two? Other than Bush signing McCain/Feingold?


Blogger James Wolfer said ... (12:59 AM) : 

Dave, here is someone sort of dealing with this. Kind of.


I haven't figured out exactly how to respond to THAT.


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