Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Madness of King George

Sailing to the New World to escape tyranny was a temporary fix. We are living with the ghost of King George.

In the past six years, George Bush has sought to accumulate all governing powers into one place, his grubby hands. He has repeatedly violated the Constitution's command that the President "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed," by breaking many and refusing to enforce others. The Constitution grants Congress the power to make laws; after both houses pass a bill, the President can only sign it or veto it. Bush, however, takes a different tack. He has vetoed just three bills, then quietly attached "signing statements" to more than 1,000 congressional laws, indicating his intent to follow only those parts with which he agrees. He flouts the law every chance he gets. Usually with a stupid grin.

The King's latest blatant power grab, the Police America Act 2007 (PAA), revises the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). FISA was passed in 1978 in response to Tricky Dick and the FBI's unlawful surveillance of critics of national policy and other political enemies. FISA required that a panel of judges grant permission to an administration to spy on individuals within the U.S. Surveillance would only be allowed if the judges could be convinced that the communications to be monitored were exclusively those of foreign powers and that there was no substantial likelihood that an American would be overheard. FISA was designed to protect us from the government, not the other way around.

Not surprisingly, this new act takes the power to approve spying out of the hands of the judges and gives it the the Attorney General. Currently the highly esteemed Alberto Gonzales. An old friend of the King's. A known lackey. It also requires telephone companies to collect data and turn it over to the Feds. And, of course, grants them immunity from lawsuits. Our brave and noble Congress passed this bullshit legislation with nary a whimper. Behavior we've come to expect from our "representatives."

Protect America, my ass. To say that this shocking theft of our freedom is to save us from terrorists, from Al Qaeda, is a frank lie. Terrorists are well-trained. They move with stealth. They have face-to-face meetings. They don't call each other's cell phones and chitchat about the latest and greatest plans. Our government is well aware of this. No, PAA is directed at us. The American public. Especially those of us who slander the dictator.

King George is simply a tyrant.