by Judah Freed
American Reporter Correspondent
August 23, 2006
GEORGE BUSH AND THE BETRAYAL OF DEMOCRACY
DENVER, Aug. 23, 2006 -- When U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit ruled Thursday, August 17, that the Bush Administration's warrantless surveillance program is unconstitutional and must be halted, she wrote, "There are no hereditary kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution."
Judge Taylor's statement upholds my position in my new book, Global Sense, an update of Thomas Paine's Common Sense. Paine proved logically in 1776 that England's King George III was not above the law, and last week's federal court decision proves that President George W. Bush also is not above the law.
President Bush said on Friday that those who feel his warrantless surveillance program is unconstitutional '"simply do not understand the nature of the world in which we live. This country of ours is at war, and we must give those whose responsibility it is to protect the United States the tools necessary to protect this country in a time of war."
The war on terrorism is being cited as the excuse for ignoring the Constitution and for revoking civil liberties. Does labeling any group as evil "bad guys" give the government a right to treat them unfairly or to deny their natural rights? Any government that fails to protect the rights and liberties of the common people is unworthy of its power.
How can any leader claiming to represent us unfeelingly drag us into a war and then revoke our rights on the grounds they do not trust us to act responsibly? How can elected leaders in the United States sleep well tonight with such a grave betrayal of democracy on their souls? Indeed, how can any of us on earth enjoy untroubled sleep now, while freedom itself endures in peril?
Paine persuaded colonial Americans to reject monarchy and hereditary succession. Today we need to likewise reject the ancient legacies of alpha male rule and authority addiction, the social forces really behind today's terror war. Our natural global interactivity makes each one of us powerful, so we can change the world by changing ourselves. As more of us begin daily practicing mindful self rule and personal democracy, illegal rights abuses by our governments will no longer be accepted or tolerated.
Mr. Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to conduct a vast warrantless wiretapping program in 2001. Media news reports about the program in 2005 prompted a lawsuit filed in Michigan by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greenpeace, and individual journalists, scholars and attorneys who suspected their legal personal and professional communications were being illegally monitored.
Judge Taylor ruled that the program violates the First and Fourth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which protect free speech and prohibit unlawful searches. She also held that the "Terrorist Surveillance Program" violates the federal Administrative Procedures Act and the separation-of-powers doctrine.
The U.S. Justice Department immediately appealed the district court decision to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. The Bush Administration was granted a stay in the cease and desist order pending a Sept. 7 hearing. The NSA meanwhile can continue its "unconstitutional" surveillance program.
I believe that President Bush plans to appeal the NSA warrantless surveillance case all the way to U.S. Supreme Court, where his appointees form a majority block likely to rule in his favor. If it's true that the President has packed the high court to insulate himself from having to obey the Constitution, then it's up to all U.S. citizens to stake a strong stand for open democracy by the way we vote in the 2006 elections.
Judah Freed's new book is available from Seven Locks Press, at http://SeveLocksPublishing.com.