George Bush’s Dictatorship

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For this is a Congress that claimed that there is nothing wrong with this president spying on the American people. And the Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was allowed to weasel out of answering any substantive questions about the White House's bypassing of the FISA Court process of obtaining a warrant before being allowed to spy on citizens. And now we hear that they are also listening in on the conversations of reporters as well. It is evident that they are committed to dictating and doctoring the information, given the fact that we know that they have "moles" within the journalistic community procuring propaganda to echo their message.

In America, there are three branches of our government that are supposed to serve as a check on the others. The judicial branch is supposed to interpret the nation's law. The legislative branch passes laws, usually, with a signature by the president. And the president as the leader of the executive branch can choose to veto any law he doesn't like. But the congress can override the president's veto if it so chooses.

These checks are all created to prevent one branch from abusing and or monopolizing power. This is how democratic governance works. But someone forgot to explain this concept to President Bush. Or maybe he just doesn't care.

Indeed, Bush once proclaimed that if America "were a dictatorship, it'd would be a heck of a lot easier, as long as I am the dictator." And recently responding to the calls for the firing of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld by retired generals the president pointed out that he is the "decider." And to backup his conviction that he is the decider, the president has attached more "signing statements" to federal laws that any president in America's history. A "signing statement" is an official document in which a president explains his understanding of a bill. This federal bureaucracy is then expected to follow this definition in enacting the law. These statements are recorded in the federal register.

Since Bush has been in office he has issued nearly 800 "signing statements" to bills as a loophole to violate laws he doesn't like. The McCain torture bill is one example. McCain, a former P.O.W., had pushed for the law in response to the accounts of prisoners being tortured in Abu Ghraib and in Guantanamo. More than most, McCain understands that torture isn't an effective method of extracting information from suspects, not to mention the morally reprehensible nature of torture.

When McCain first proposed the bill Vice-President Dick Chaney squawked loudly and said that the CIA should be exempt from the bill. But apparently fearing a pubic relations nightmare the White House found another way to circumvent the bill by using a "signing statement." The statement said in effect that the president can ignore the torture ban when he sees fit. Hey, after all he's the "decider."  The seriousness of this matter is truly dangerous to the welfare of this country and the world.

For this White House, with the help of their republican stooges has found a clear formula toward consolidating absolute power. First of all, with the judicial appointments of John Roberts and Samuel Alito the republicans have shoved the court sharply to the so-called "right." And you can rest assured that they are planning attacks against the hard fought gains that many gave their life for. So the judiciary is now firmly in their pockets.

But this White House has been facilitated by their republican partners in crime. The republicans controlling Congress have behaved like a check against those who have dared to challenge this president, this Congress in now largely an extension of the White House. For this is a Congress that claimed that there is nothing wrong with this president spying on the American people. And the Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was allowed to weasel out of answering any substantive questions about the White House's bypassing of the FISA Court process of obtaining a warrant before being allowed to spy on citizens. And now we hear that they are also listening in on the conversations of reporters as well. It is evident that they are committed to dictating and doctoring the information, given the fact that we know that they have "moles" within the journalistic community procuring propaganda to echo their message.

I hear some say look Bush will be out of office in another two plus years so why worry about this? Well, because there is a larger problem that goes beyond the excesses of this regime. And that is that: this White House is setting a precedent whereby America could become a dictatorship sooner than many think. What he is doing now will have ramifications for future presidencies.

This president often preaches democracy. Practicing it on the other hand is another matter. Time and time again he has flouted the law. He claims he can do this because he is the commander-in-chief and he has tried to justify his heinous actions by stroking the fears of the American people.

But worst of all, this president not only believes that he can break the law when he sees fit, but he seems to think that he is the law. After all he says he is the "decider" its time that we the people remind him that we are the ultimate deciders. If not we might as well flush our constitution right down the toilet.
    

To subscribe to or advertise in New York’s leading Pan African weekly investigative newspaper please call (212) 481-7745 or send a note to Milton@blackstarnews.com

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