"Your papers please" has long been a
phrase associated with Hitler's Gestapo. People without the Third Reich's stamp
of approval were hauled off to Nazi Germany's version of Halliburton detention
Today Americans are on the verge of being asked for their papers, although
probably without the "please."
Thanks to a government that has turned its back on the U.S. Constitution, Americans
now have an unaccountable Department of Homeland Security that is already asserting
tyrannical powers over U.S. citizens and state governments. Headed by the neocon
fanatic Michael Chertoff, the Orwellian-sounding Department of Homeland Security
has mandated a national identity card for Americans, without which Americans
may not enter airports or courthouses.
There is no more need for this card than there is for a Department of Homeland
Security. Neither are compatible with a free society.
However, Bush, the neocons, Republicans, and Democrats do not want America
to any longer be a free society, and they are taking freedom away from us just
as they took away the independence of the media.
Free and informed people get in the way of power-mad zealots with agendas.
It is the agendas that are supreme, not the American people, who have less
and less say about less and less.
George W. Bush, an elected president, has behaved like a dictator since Sept.
11, 2001. If "our" representatives in Congress care, they haven't
done anything about it. Bush has pretty much cut Congress out of the action.
In truth, Congress gave up its lawmaking powers to the executive branch during
the New Deal. For three-quarters of a century, the bills passed by Congress
have been authorizations for executive branch agencies to make laws in the form
of regulations. The executive branch has come to the realization that it doesn't
really need Congress. President Bush appends his own "signing statements"
to the authorizations from Congress in which the president says what the legislation
means. So what is the point of Congress?
As for laws already on the books, the U.S. Department of Justice (sic) has
ruled that the president doesn't have to abide by U.S. statutes, such as FISA
or the law forbidding torture. Neither does the president have to abide by the
Other obstacles are removed by edicts known as presidential directives or executive
orders. There are more and more of these edicts, and they accumulate more and
more power and less and less accountability in the executive.
The disdain in which the executive branch holds the separate and equal legislative
branch is everywhere apparent. For example, President Bush is concluding a long-term
security agreement with the puppet government he has set up in Iraq. Prior to
Sept. 11, 2001, when the president became The Decider, a defense pact was a
treaty requiring the approval of Congress.
All that is now behind us. Gen. Douglas Lute, President Bush's national security
adviser for Iraq, says that the White House will not be submitting the deal
to Congress for approval. Lute says Bush will not be seeking any "formal
inputs from the Congress."
"There is literally no question that this is unprecedented," said
Yale Law School Professor Oona Hathaway.
Bush can do whatever he wants, because Congress has taken its only remaining
power impeachment off the table.
The Democratic Party leadership thinks that the only problem is Bush, who will
be gone in one year. Besides, the Israel Lobby doesn't want Israel's champion
impeached, and neither do the corporate owners of the U.S. media.
The Democrats are not adverse to inheriting the powers in Bush's precedents.
The Democrats, of course, will use the elevated powers for good rather than
Instead of having a bad dictator, we'll have a good one.