A Buzzflash Editorial – 2006-10-01 07:39:18
(September 29, 2006) — Just as it is hard to fully comprehend the grief of a beloved friend or relative killed needlessly in an accident, it is excruciatingly painful to try to come to terms with the pernicious betrayal of our Constitution and liberty that occurred in the Senate on Thursday, September 28.
In the past week alone, we have seen factual evidence that belies the need for the power play/pre-election attack on our Constitution. In fact, these developments indicate that giving Bush even more unprecedented power is not only unconscionable; it puts the national security of the United States of America in peril:
Bush’s newly “revamped” top 16 intelligence agencies reached the conclusion that the Iraq War had become a primary cause in the growth of terrorists and the increased threat of terrorism to the United States. Bush called the report of his own top intelligent agencies “naïve.”
Meanwhile, a second UN report came to the same conclusion as the American spy agencies. The UN also reported that more Iraqis may now be being tortured under US occupation than were tortured under Saddam Hussein.
And there is a second National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report just on Iraq that the Bush Administration will not release until after the election. So it clearly must be even more harsh in its assessment of the Iraq War than the White House “selective conclusions” Executive Summary of the first NIE, which was revealed by the New York Times.
On September 25, retired American generals provided testimony that Donald Rumsfeld and the Bush Administration threatened to fire any member of the Pentagon brass that provided a plan for keeping the peace in Iraq after the invasion. They testified that Rumsfeld, who has no combat experienced, has made peremptory, uninformed and arrogant decisions that have resulted in the needless deaths of American Gis and Iraqis.
Bob Woodward, for many years the loyal Royal Court reporter of the Bush Administration, now has been stricken with a case of reality. In his latest book, he apparently reports, according to 60 Minutes, “that the Bush administration has not told the truth regarding the level of violence, especially against U.S. troops, in Iraq. He also reveals key intelligence that predicts the insurgency will grow worse next year.”
According to Woodward, insurgent attacks against coalition troops occur, on average, every 15 minutes, a shocking fact the administration has kept secret. “It’s getting to the point now where there are eight-, nine-hundred attacks a week. That’s more than 100 a day. That is four an hour attacking our forces,” says Woodward.
The situation is getting much worse, says Woodward, despite what the White House and the Pentagon are saying in public. “The truth is that the assessment by intelligence experts is that next year, 2007, is going to get worse and, in public, you have the president and you have the Pentagon [saying], ‘Oh, no, things are going to get better,'” he tells Wallace. “Now there’s public, and then there’s private. But what did they do with the private? They stamp it secret. No one is supposed to know,” says Woodward.
“The insurgents know what they are doing. They know the level of violence and how effective they are. Who doesn’t know? The American public,” Woodward tells Wallace.
Woodward’s view is confirmed by the National Intelligence Estimate and a report that this summer set a record for Iraqi civilian deaths in recent years.
What’s more, a poll in Iraq reported in the Washington Post indicates 60% of Iraqis support attacks on American GIs. We repeat, while Bush is saying we are fighting the terrorists in Iraq, the overwhelming majority of Iraqis believe killing American soldiers is justifiable! The population we are supposedly liberating and bestowing democracy on in Iraq supports the deadly assaults on our military.
For 59% of Americans, Iraq is already in a civil war. And the “confidence in Iraq policies” dropped to 20% in the US.
And, according to the Washington Post, “A strong majority of Iraqis want US-led military forces to immediately withdraw from the country, saying their swift departure would make Iraq more secure and decrease sectarian violence, according to new polls by the State Department and independent researchers.”
In addition, “Almost four in five Iraqis say the US military force in Iraq provokes more violence than it prevents.”
Meanwhile, the Bush vaunted efforts to train the Iraqi police and army are being proven a sham. An Iraqi police academy that was built as a war profiteering gift to some American firm is a total failure, symbolic of the Bush Administration’s fiasco in Iraq:
“A $75 million project to build the largest police academy in Iraq has been so grossly mismanaged that the campus now poses health risks to recruits and might need to be partially demolished, US investigators have found. The Baghdad Police College, hailed as crucial to US efforts to prepare Iraqis to take control of the country’s security, was so poorly constructed that feces and urine rained from the ceilings in student barracks. Floors heaved inches off the ground and cracked apart. Water dripped so profusely in one room that it was dubbed ‘the rain forest.’”
We are losing the war in Afghanistan to a resurgent Taliban, who is being given safe harbor by our “major ally,” Pakistan. And the leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan aren’t even cooperating with each other.
We could go on and on. This is just the tip of the iceberg— all from just the last week.
So how do the White House and the Congressional Republicans respond?
They give the man responsible for this tremendous loss of life, for wasted expenditures of hundreds of billions of dollars, for lies upon lies, for fighting an ineffective battle against terrorism that has resulted in an increase in terrorists and a rise in the terrorist threat to America…
They respond by giving this man the right to suspend habeas corpus, declare who is an enemy combatant, and the right to torture at will — and they absolve him of the crimes in violation of American law, the Constitution and the Geneva Convention that he has committed up to now.
The man who has endangered America, according to his own restructured intelligence agencies and the facts reported in just one week, is allowed to destroy our Constitution and decide, on his own, who will be tortured.
This isn’t just a Rubicon that has been crossed that may mean the death of the American Republic, as we know it. This isn’t just our Reichstag fire.
This is a suicidal act in terms of our national security. It is giving unConstitutional and barbaric powers to a man who has miserably and persistently failed us and lied to this nation at every turn – as born out by the facts. It is a thuggish game of forcing an alternative reality upon America, a noxious, deadly one.
Today, tears would flow down the olive robe of the Statue of Liberty if she were human.
But she is just an inanimate symbol. We are the ones who have to cope with the pain of a democracy destroyed in a political play for power and permanent one-party rule, which is not a Constitutional form of government. That is called a dictatorship.
And the one thing in common with dictators through history, whether Communist or fascist, is their state-sanctioned ability to torture people at will.
Beyond the overwhelming facts this week that Bush has endangered the national security of the United States of America with his failed and costly fanatic ignorance, we are left with this sad fact.
With the law passed on September 28th by Congress, we have become the Republic of torture. We not only have lost our claim to be a civilizing force among nations and abandoned our Constitution, we have appeased the terrorists by doing so.
Because isn’t it Bush who keeps telling us that the “terrorists hate us for our freedoms.” So, to appease those same enemies of America, the White House and the Republicans have taken freedoms away.
We are only beginning to grieve for the great beacon of democracy and justice that we lost yesterday.
Gonzales Cautions Judges on Interfering With Bush’s Anti-Terror Tactics
Citizens for Legitimate Government
(30 September 2006 ) — Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who is defending Dictator Bush’s anti[pro]-terrorism tactics in multiple court battles, said Friday that federal judges should not substitute their personal views for the president’s judgments in wartime.
US Warns Charities on any Links to Terror Groups
(29 Sep 2006) — The US Treasury Department warned charities on Friday to be sure they are not even indirectly funding activities that build support for terrorist organizations.
In an annex to the guidelines, the department for the first time cautioned that charitable activities could build public support for terrorist groups, even if they don’t channel funds to terrorist organizations. “Terrorist abuse also includes the exploitation of charitable services and activities to radicalize vulnerable populations and cultivate support for terrorist organizations and activities,” the Treasury said.
Congress Sends Bush Terror Tribunal Bill
(29 Sep 2006) — Congress sent President [sic] Bush a bill Friday that endorses his plan to interrogate and prosecute terror suspects, legislation Republicans hope will win them political points on the campaign trail. Once Bush signs it, which he was expected to do very soon, the military can begin prosecuting terror suspects.
UN Official Decries Anti-Terror Bill
(29 Sep 2006) — The top UN official on torture said Friday that a bill before the US Congress could deprive terrorism suspects of a fair trial and was especially troubling after the mistreatment of prisoners at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison.
Bush Faces Wave of Challenges to Terror Law
(30 Sep 2006) — The Bush regime yesterday faced a raft of legal challenges to a sweeping new regime for Guantánamo that would deny court oversight to detainees in the war on terror, and would bar prosecution of US personnel for war crimes.
Attorneys For Guantanamo Detainees Could Be Detained As Enemy Combatants Under New Legislation —
President Given Undue Power to Silence Critics
(26 Sep 2006) — On September 26, 2006, attorneys for the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) determined that what appears to be the final version of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 could allow the government to detain the attorneys themselves as ‘enemy combatants.’ CCR Legal Director Bill Goodman said: “This ominously broad definition of enemy combatants would mean that almost anyone who actively opposes the President or the government could be locked up indefinitely. This bill makes a mockery of the rule of law.”
Vote Summary 28 Sep 2006 On Passage of the Bill (S. 3930 As Amended)
Measure Number: S. 3930 Measure Title: A bill to authorize trial by military commission for violations of the law of war, and for other purposes.
Vote Result: Bill Passed. [Did you ever thought you’d live to see the day when Congress would vote on ‘acceptable levels’ of torture, rape and biological experiments?
Democrats who voted for torture:
• Carper (DE),
• Johnson (SD),
• Landrieu (LA),
• Lautenberg (D-NJ),
• Lieberman (CT),
• Menendez (NJ),
• Nelson (NE),
• Nelson (FL),
• Pryor (AK),
• Rockefeller (WVA),
• Salazar (CO),
• Stebenau (MI).
“This unprecedented and expansive suspension of habeas corpus is utterly unconstitutional, and we will challenge it.”
Legal Battle Over Detainee Bill Is Likely —
The Senate approves Bush’s plan for military tribunals.
Limits on terror suspects’ options for appeal could lead to a Supreme Court ruling.
(29 Sep 2006) — The Senate on Thursday approved President Bush’s plan to question and try foreign terrorism suspects before military judges — without oversight by the federal courts. Bush is expected to receive a bill he can sign into law in the next few days, but legal challenges almost assuredly will be pursued against the prosecution process, which the administration considers a key element in its war on [of] terrorism.