Prez powers

September 11, 2008 at 2:00 am Leave a comment

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Ranting and raving as I do about the expansion of the State and nosing into our lives, I’ve been pondering what the next Prez of the good old US of A will do with the increased powers Bush has usurped. Let me chronicle the crimes of Bush and his croneys when it comes to the grabbing of power. The list is so long, I’ve probably missed something, so feel free to leave a comment. I’ll cover the key ones.

  • extraordinary rendition: apprehension and extrajudicial transfer of a person from one state to another. Otherwise known as abducting foreign nationals and spiriting them away under cover of night to Gitmo or some other secret squirrel prison for torturing (oops..forgot, the US doesn’t torture people). I’ll rephrase –  “questioning and interrogation”.
  • warrantless surveillance: illegal snooping, prying and surveillance of US citizens. Expanding the FISA Act so that the US can now snoop beyond its borders and eavesdrop on international communications without a specific court order (and in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment concerning unreasonable search and seizure).
  • flouting international agreements that the US had previously signed: this is such a long list, you’d better go here!
  • monumental stuff up with Hurricane Katrina: ordering troops to shoot and kill looters (dude: the Wild West is over!).
  • torture: he denies it but there’s an inconvenient legal case for Bush – Ali et al v Rumsfeld – in which eight plaintiffs imprisoned in Iraq and Afghanistan allege they were subjected to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
  • usurping Legislative powers and therefore upsetting the Separation of Powers.  Congress writes the laws but Bush has ignored hundreds of Statutes and along the way seized some of the law-making role of Congress and/or the Constitution-interpreting role of the courts. Congress regulates the army, raises an army, declares War – these are powers granted to it by the US Constitution. But Bush seems to feel as Commander in Chief that he can ignore military law including a torture ban.

So much more I could mention but you get the picture. More than any other US President, Emperor Above the Law Bush has been quietly expanding Executive power and beating up the legislative and judicial branches. And now we come to the question I’ve been pondering. Should we end up with Prez Obama or Prez McCain – do you think they would willingly and gladly give up these expanded powers? Would Obama reverse the anti-terrorism laws? Would McCain shut down Gitmo?

Obama and his side-kick, Joe Biden, are busy saying they might pursue criminal charges against the Bush Administration. Hey, they might want to hotfoot it to the Massachusetts School of Law where Dean, Lawrence Velvel, is planning to hold a conference on September 13-14 that will plan strategies to nab Bush as a war criminal.

Frankly, I’m amazed the US Constitution is still standing after the battering Bush has given it. But the cynical side of me wonders: when you’ve got the powers, do you wanna give them up?

Image credit: Friends of the Earth


Entry filed under: Politics, United States.

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