Since George Bush was appointed to the presidency by the Supreme Court in 2000, the American Justice System has become an oxymoron. Over use of Executive Privilege and State Secrets — as well as help from the highest court in the land and Congress with no regard for punishing those in high places who have broken the law — has made a pathetic mockery of and highly politicized Justice System.
An article by Glenn Greenwald from Salon.com aptly titled “The Courts and Congress affirmatively conceal and protect lawbreaking” provides an in depth look at how the illicit actions conducted by the Bush administration are being condoned and covered up by Congress, the Senate and the Judicial System.
Despite the fact that the first federal judge who ruled on the legality of the Bush administration’s NSA warrantless spying program and found it violated both statutory law as well as multiple rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, an appeal to a three-judge panel reversed the ruling.
Not because they disagreed with the conclusions about the program’s legality. Two of the three judges on the panel found that plaintiffs lacked “standing” to challenge the legality of the program — and courts were therefore barred from ruling on their claims — because the plaintiffs were unable to prove that they were actually subjected to the warrantless eavesdropping.
Why? Allegedly because of the absolute secrecy under which the warrantless spying program operates.
The third judge of the appellate panel dissented, saying the plaintiffs were permitted to proceed with the lawsuit, and then proceeded to find the NSA spying program illegal.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the Court to hear the appeal. The Supreme Court, without comment, refused to hear the appeal, effectively killing the lawsuit while keeping the illegal activities authorized by President Bush covered up.
Why Bush Wants Telecom Immunity
40 pending lawsuits against AT&T, Verizon and the other telecoms are the only remaining obstacles in the way of keeping illegal spying activities committed under order of the Bush administration covered up, and the last hope of obtaining a judicial ruling as to whether Bush broke the law and violated the Constitution in the process.
The Protect America Act (PAA) bill being pushed by Jay Rockefeller and Dick Cheney, approved in the Senate, contains retroactive immunity for the telecoms involved in the lawsuit. Before the previous PAA expired, Bush and members of his justice department consistently used — and continue to use — terroristic tactics in efforts to coerce Congress into passing the amendment approved by the Senate.
If the illicit bill is approved by Congress and becomes law, those lawsuits will be dismissed and Americans will remain indefinitely in the dark about how OUR own Government illegally spied on US since we will possibly lose forever the opportunity to have a court rule whether or not the Government broke the law and violated our Constitutional rights.
Involvement of Congress and The Senate
In March 2006, along party lines, the Senate Intelligence Committee, headed by Senator Jay Rockefeller, voted against holding hearings and conducting an investigation into the warrantless NSA program. Consequently, Congress has never fulfilled its duty in performing a meaningful investigation into the spying scandal.
Conveniently enough — despite agreement among legal experts across much of the political spectrum that George Bush and his administration have committed serious felonies in spying on Americans without warrants — the courts have also accepted the Bush administration’s procedural arguments as to why they are barred from ruling on the program’s legality.
In effect, Congress and the Senate have willingly closed off investigating what happened and in determining whether or not the law was broken.
How would you ever know you were spied on, or why you were spied on? Wonder why your name appears on a ‘terrorist watch list?’ What is the government doing with your personal information without your knowledge or consent? Despite the blatant violation of numerous laws and rights by this presidential administration, we have no idea what was done with the felonious powers the president bestowed upon himself and has used for years.
Also noted by Mr. Greenwald: “In a minimally functioning Republic, when our political leaders are accused of concealing wrongdoing, Congress investigates, uncovers what happens, and informs the American people. When political leaders are accused of breaking the law, courts decide whether that occurred. None of the branches of government do that any longer. They do the opposite: they not only fail to perform those functions, but they affirmatively act to block investigations, help the conduct remain concealed, and ensure that there is no adjudication. When it comes to ensuring that the NSA spying scandal specifically remains forever uninvestigated, secret, and unexamined, telecom amnesty will be the final nail in this coffin, but it is merely illustrative of how our political culture now functions.”
To read more of why you should be outraged — and why our corrupted politicians need to be held accountable for their actions — read the article by Mr. Greenwald. It’s well worth it. It’s time for Congressional oversight and Judicial accountability.
Allegations of Rigged Military Trials
The Nation published an article regarding the secret evidence, denial of habeas corpus, evidence obtained by waterboarding and indefinite detention involved in the abuse and legal treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, six of which are being charged with war crimes, possibly resulting in the death penalty.
If the six being charged were guilty of these war crimes, the death penalty should be warranted — as it should be with ALL those who have committed war crimes — but the Pentagon has a long history of prefabricating stories and using all kinds of propaganda in attempts to sway public opinion.
Not that it’s any surprise, but a key military official has told the Nation that the trials are rigged from the start. According to Col. Morris Davis, former chief prosecutor for Guantanamo’s military commissions, the process has been manipulated by Bush administration appointees to make sure there is no acquittal.
Col. Davis resigned this past October after being pressured by politically appointed senior defense officials to pursue cases deemed “sexy” and of “high-interest” — such as the 9/11 cases now being pursued — in the run-up to the 2008 elections. Davis concluded that “full, fair and open trials were not possible under the current system,” and he felt that “the system had become deeply politicized” and that he could no longer do his job effectively.
For a disturbing look at how politicizing our military and the lengths gone to by this presidential administration to cover their butts, it’s worth reading the article from the Nation.
Bush’s Life of Constitutional Crime
An article from Paul Craig Roberts from Counter Punch aptly titled “Bush’s Life of Constitutional Crime – Lies and Spies” provides an in-depth look at how President Bush and Mike McConnell (his director of national intelligence, who has consistently lied to Congress under oath) constantly tell the American people that an unaccountable executive branch is necessary for their protection. It appears that presidential use of terroristic tactics against Congress and Americans ok — they appear to be in yet another state of delusion.
Bush says that without the PAA, terrorists can’t be stopped and we’ll all be blown up. Bush says he has the right to spy on everyone without any oversight by courts. Bush loathes being held accountable for anything.
Bush claims he authorized the illegal spying in October 2001. Former Qwest CEO Joseph P. Nacchio says he was approached by the Bush administration to participate in the illegal activities more than six months before the attacks of September. When Qwest refused, because they believed it was illegal, the Bush administration withdrew contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars from Qwest. Because of his refusal to participate, Nacchio was indicted for insider trading — to send the message to all the telecoms that they had better cooperate with the Bush regime or else. Bush has not been held accountable for any of the well documented felonies he’s committed.
If the illegal spying has allowed the Bush regime to blackmail their adversaries, it would help explain why Congress, the Senate and the highest court in the country have done nothing to put an end to it. Loss of liberty and rights is more devastating than any attack by terrorists.
Also noted by Mr. Roberts: “Meanwhile, Bush, the beneficiary of two stolen elections, has urged Zimbabwe to hold a fair election. America gets away with its hypocrisy because no one in our government has enough shame to blush.” The article by Mr. Roberts is also worth reading.
The Bush administration continues to treat Americans as idiots. This is just a small sampling of the American injustice system. There will probably be a lot more to follow in the near future, especially since Bush is returning from his trip. Get your boots out…it’s gonna get thick.