Censure Will Save the Republic

Random Lengths News | March 16, 2006
On Monday March 13, Wisconsin's junior senator Russ Feingold entered the resolution to censure President Bush, for his illegal actions of spying on the American public. Bush boy has used his worn out excuse again of, "just-trust-me it's the war on terrorism" to defend this impeachable act. How many times are we going to fall for that, like the weapons of mass destruction excuse to invade Iraq?

The senate summarily referred the item to the Judiciary Committee with the hopes that it may never resurface for a vote. Meanwhile the corporate owned media is reporting that no Democrats are supporting Feingold, but this simply isn't true. Both Iowa Senator Tom Harkin and California's Barbara Boxer have been identified as supporting it, with indications that several more would do so as well if it actually comes to a vote. But lots of them are acting like this is a new strain of the Asian bird flu virus. Some say senators want to wait for the Senate Intelligence Committee to finish it's investigation on the NSA's domestic spying before they decide but apparently, they don't know the committee just voted NOT to investigate- are they just ignorant or as blind as Bush?

We have collectively been sold this line about defending our liberties and our way of life against these terrorist fundamentalist Muslims who have vowed a jihad to destroy the infidels occupying their holy lands. But at every turn of the screw, our own President-with the help of his neo-con crew of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove and Rice-has slowly overturned some of our most fundamental values with Machiavellian intent.

"If such a crazy idea has such limited appeal, why do they (the Republicans) have the attack dogs calling all over the country about this?" Feingold asked. "It touches a nerve." And it should touch the nerves of any citizen of this nation who believes that the one thing that sets this country apart from our enemies is its adherence to the principle "liberty and justice for all", which I always interpreted as including the President! Apparently Bush and the Congress do not.

So America is at war, why should it matter? Doesn't the U.S. Constitution give the President certain war powers to protect us in times of war? Yes and history tells us that past Presidents have abused these powers, lied to Congress and the people just as Bush has done and will inevitably do again. In fact he is lying now about the NSA scandal just like he lied about the prisoner abuse and WMD issues. And the authorization for the use of military force-something less than a declaration of war is not a vaccination against impeachment!

So you may ask yourself, "Why get all lathered up about this guy lying to us when we all know Presidents lie, isn't it just part of the qualifications for being President?" When Clinton lied about a blowjob in the Oval office and was nearly impeached for it, this didn't cause a ripple in the basic fabric of our legal rights, only a ripple of late night humor and moral indignation in the Bible belt pulpits. Today however, all across this nation, teachers and professors of our schools and universities are being questioned on their political opinions by both timid school boards and the agents of Homeland Security.

Recently L.A. Sheriffs detectives made an unannounced visit to "interview" Miguel Tinker Salas, Latin American Studies Professor, at Claremont College on his knowledge of Venezuelan politics- President Hugo Chavez is now on Bush's suspect list? They randomly interviewed his students too. This is beginning to feel a lot like the Witch Hunt of the 1950's when that other junior Senator from Wisconsin Joe McCarthy took it upon himself to reveal just who was " unAmerican".

Take for instance the recent experience of one San Pedro neighborhood council activist, who chooses to remain anonymous. On a flight to Las Vegas he noticed a newspaper headline about Dick Cheney's hunting mishap, and remarked something to the occupant of seat 7-A that, "Isn't it too bad Cheney doesn't take George hunting more often?" As he went to collect his bags after the flight, he was approached by two men in dark jackets who asked if he had been sitting in seat 7-C.

"Will you please step this way Mr. 7-C?", the dark coated men asked showing him their Homeland Security badges. Behind closed doors he is confronted with the anonymous accusation that he had made a threat on the life of the President and they are forced to investigate. According to 7-C, "Once inside, one Suit positioned himself by the door, opened his coat and widened his stance revealing that he was carrying a weapon. The other Suit requested that 7-C remove all items from his pockets, which included a wallet, keys, a cell phone, some change, a boarding pass, a press credential for the RFA Conference and a small address book with some papers folded in.

The agent asked permission to pat down 7-C, which was granted. He asked to see the boarding pass and identification, a driver's license."

After explaining a version of the above incident they take his bags and place them where he can see them through a window in the small room where he is being held and politely tell him that, even though they don't consider this to be a "serious" threat, their policy is that he must be retained for four hours. Not arrested yet not free to go.

In explaining this episode, our neighbor Mr. 7-C refers to this as "polite rendition" as opposed to "extraordinary rendition", where the government simply kidnaps you and sends you to Guantanamo or some hellish prison in Turkey where they use cattle prods on your genitals to extract the precise nature of your conversation with Ms. 7-A. Polite rendition then is where they smile at you, intimidate you but refrain from the cattle prods.

It is so nice to be living safely in America - Home of the brave and land of the free- where polite people care more about whose on American Idol this week rather than whose protecting the American Bill of Rights.

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