Today is Memorial Day. Today we remember countless patriots who died and fought for those freedoms our president tells us we must abandon. . . in the name of "freedom."
Specifically through the Patriot Act.
United we Stand –Divided we Fall.
A single, fiercely debated legal principle lies behind nearly every major initiative in the Bush administration's war on terror, scholars say: the sweeping assertion of the powers of the presidency.
From the government's detention of Americans as "enemy combatants" to the just-disclosed eavesdropping in the United States without court warrants, the administration has relied on an unusually expansive interpretation of the president's authority.
As the Times reports, Bush's claim to absolute executive power has its origins principally in one document:
A Sept. 25, 2001, memorandum [by the Justice Department’s John Yoo] that said no statute passed by Congress "can place any limits on the president's determinations as to any terrorist threat, the amount of military force to be used in response, or the method, timing and nature of the response."
The notion that one of the three branches of our Government can claim power unchecked by the other two branches is precisely what the Founders sought, first and foremost, to preclude. And the fear that a U.S. President would attempt to seize power unchecked by the law or by the other branches – was the driving force behind the clear and numerous constitutional limitations placed on Executive power.
So the one thing you should remember this memorial day –how many of our children died for our freedoms to be taken away?It is these very limitations which the Bush Administration is claiming that it has the power to disregard because the need for enhanced national security in time of war vests the President with unchecked power. [read more]
"But where says some is the king of America? I'll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal of Britain. Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is king. For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other. But lest any ill use should afterwards arise, let the crown at the conclusion of the ceremony be demolished, and scattered among the people whose right it is." –Thomas Paine
The criticism focused on articles in The New York Times concerning a National Security Agency surveillance program and, to a lesser extent, on disclosures in The Washington Post about secret C.I.A. prisons overseas.
Some Republicans on the committee advocated the criminal prosecution of The Times. Their comments partly echoed and partly amplified recent statements by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales that the Justice Department had the authority to prosecute reporters for publishing classified information. [read more]"I believe the attorney general and the president should use all of the power of existing law to bring criminal charges," –Rick Renzi, Republican of Arizona.
Who Are We Legally?
Enduring Myth of Leadership
Too Much Swamp to Drain