Unless November's new blood improves the Democratic
Party's civil liberties pedigree, the Democrats will have failed even before
they are sworn in next January.
In its disregard for truth, public opinion, the separation of powers, the Geneva
Conventions, the U.S. Constitution, and statutory law, the Bush administration
has been more of a regime than an administration. The Bush/Cheney executive
branch has operated independently of all the constraints that provide accountability
and prevent despotism.
The Bush regime was able to evade these restraints because Republicans controlled
both houses of Congress and because Republicans wielded 9/11 as a weapon to
forestall political opposition.
With signing statements and other unilateral declarations of presidential authority,
the Bush regime asserted executive branch powers beyond the reach of Congress
and the judiciary.
The Bush regime perpetrated a coup d'état against the Bill of
Rights and the jurisdictions of Congress and the courts. Unless Democrats roll
back this coup, Americans have seen the last of their civil liberties.
Judging by Democrats' statements in the flush of their electoral victory, Democrats
have little, if any, awareness of this critical fact. Democrats are anxious
to get on with their agendas and have shown no recognition that the first order
of business is to repeal the legislation that permits torture, warrantless detention,
and domestic spying.
If Bush threatens to veto the resurrection of U.S. civil liberty, the Democrats
can impeach Bush as a tyrant as well as for pushing America into an illegal
and catastrophic war on the basis of lies and deception.
Bush is the most impeachable president in American history. However, the incoming
speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has declared impeachment to be "off
the table." Obviously, this means that Bush will not be held accountable
and that the Bill of Rights is a casualty of the vague, undefined, and propagandistic
"war on terror."
Do Pelosi and the incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have the intellect
and character to deliver the leadership required for Americans to remain a free
people? Instead of bemoaning the damage Bush has done to civil liberty, Democrats
are up in arms over one child in five being raised in poverty. The more important
question is whether children are being raised as a free people protected by
civil liberties from arbitrary government power.
Do Democrats share the delusion of Bush supporters that it is only Middle Eastern
terrorists who are deprived of the protection of the U.S. Constitution? One
can understand the reluctance of Americans to extend constitutional protection
to terrorists who are trying to kill Americans. However, without these protections,
there is no way of ascertaining who is a terrorist.
Currently, a "terrorist" is anyone given that designation by any
of a large number of unaccountable government officials and military officers.
No evidence has to be provided in order to detain a designated suspect. Moreover,
designated suspects can be convicted in military tribunals on the basis of secret
evidence not made available to them or to any legal representation that they
might be able to secure. In other words, you are guilty if charged.
As the case of U.S. citizen Jose Padilla makes clear, these Gestapo police-state
proceedings apply to Americans. Padilla was declared to be an "enemy combatant."
He was held in a U.S. prison for three and one-half years with no charges and
no warrant. He was kept in isolated confinement, tortured, and denied legal
In order to avoid U.S. Supreme Court jurisdiction over the case, the Bush regime
filed charges after stealing three and one-half years of Padilla's life. However,
the charges have no relationship to the Bush regime's original allegations that
Padilla, an Hispanic-American, was an al-Qaeda operative who was going to set
off a radioactive dirty bomb in an American city. The U.S. government no longer
designates Padilla as an "enemy combatant." The dirty bomb charge
has disappeared, and U.S. Federal District Judge Marcia Cooke has criticized
the government's indictment as vague with sketchy evidence "weak on facts."
The reason that the Bush regime wants to detain people indefinitely without
evidence is that it has no evidence. The reason the Bush regime passed torture
legislation is in order to produce the missing evidence by torturing a suspect
into self-incrimination. "Evidence" procured by torture has been illegal
in civilized societies for centuries. But the Bush regime has resurrected the
medieval rack and substituted it for the Bill of Rights.
If Democrats cannot bring themselves to rectify the inhumane and barbaric practices
that now pass for U.S. justice, then they, too, have failed the American people.