Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Spier: Bush and the Right Wing Attack on Constitutional Rights

The Attorney General's announcement that the Justice Department will investigate who leaked to the NYT that President Bush violated the FISA law has brought out (in defense) the ususal stupid and unbalanced Bushie cultists. It may make your skin crawl when defenders like Coulter and Michele Malkin take to the air; but they are the media part of the the assualt on constitutional rights oozing from the rightwing and the administration. If you are one of those folks who took to the barcolounger to watch some reality TV these past evenings, you might have warmed up with a dose of their frothing punditry.

The basic assualt has two constitutional bedrocks in the line of sight: 1) an argument by the administration that Article II gives the president ruling rights the office does not have and, 2) the Fourth Amendment can be suspended in the time of war and the president can authorize eavesdropping on U.S. citizens.

Now that the Justice Department is on the lookout for the leaker, the rightwing bloviators are jumping on the case too. They assist Bush by covering the airways with with a sideshow accusing the NYT and "the press" of national betrayal at time of war. Tbogg analyzes it good.

The Constitution: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Michele Malkin: "What we are witnessing here is a battle that was a long-time in coming between a Republican leadership and the press. Leaks by unelected and entrenched foreign policy and intelligence bureaucrats (or perhaps elected members of the Congress?) meant to undermine the President in a time of war must carry with them consequences. Attempts by an adversarial press to supercede their mandate and actively work against a sitting administration while claiming neutrality and pretending to objectivity should have consequences. " (My emphasis)

She is a rabid dog.

Will this multi-pronged assualt on mandated rights succeed and place the entire nation on the road to a new American Facism? Peter Daou (Daou Report) thinks it might. Others point to the discomfort some Republicans and libertarians feel about all this. If they and mush bodied Democrats can focus the nation on the real issue--the president is not above the law; the discomfort from this should produce citizen concern.

Bush is now viewed by a majority of Americans as disengenuous or an outright liar. Once one filters out all the secondary issues regarding the eavesdropping, warrantless searches, and privacy, up pops the issue that a politician thinks he is above the law.

We don't take kindly to that. Do we?

Other links:

Media Matters for America.

Common Dreams * Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community.

Buzzflash News.

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