Friday, July 13, 2007

Bush Claims Power to Wage War on US Citizens

Bush proves himself a "state absolutist", arrogating unto himself the power to wage war on the American people.
The President is now claiming, and is aggressively exercising, the right to use any and all war powers against American citizens even within the United States, and he insists that neither Congress nor the courts can do anything to stop him or even restrict him.

Glenn Greenwald: The NSA Fight Begins - Strategies for Moving Forward

So when Bush says that the "Constitution is just a Goddamned piece of paper", he aligns himself with Hitler, Mussolini, Mao -- "state absolutists", fascists, and radical communists. Simply, he has declared war on the American people, our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Democracy and freedom.

The so called "intolerable acts" attributed to King George III pale by comparison.

It's not about whether the "President" will break the law. He's already done that repeatedly. It's about the rule of law itself. It is about how Bush will abuse the power he claims against the rights and the very lives of the people of the United States. He assumes for himself the power to wage war on US citizens.

This is not about whether Bush has the right to murder US citizens. We know he does not. What should alarm every citizen is the fact that Bush thinks himself the law itself, or, perhaps more accurately a law unto himself.

One who thinks he has such power will try to exercise it. The consequences have already been disastrous at home and in Iraq. Already, Michael Chertoff says he has a 'Gut Feeling' that the US will be hit soon with a major terrorist event. What does he know? When did he know it? More importantly --how does he know it? Did Bush tell him it had been planned?

That Bush dares to claim the power to declare war on the American people makes one wonder --has he already done so? Like Hitler before him, has Bush called an act of high treason an act of terrorism, citing it to justify a war of naked aggression in pursuit of oil? Is this "President", who presided over the highest execution rate in Texas history, capable of murdering US citizens on a grand scale, a 911 scale? An Iraq scale? If that is the question, then the public record damns Bush. How many must die to satisfy this cretin's perverted blood lust? [See: George W. Bush Breaks Kill Record With Hat Trick!!!]

Bush is anti-American, an "Hegelian", a "state-absolutist" opposed to truly American democratic traditions. Hegel believed the state "has [the] supreme right against the individual" Notice the use of the word "against". Hegel believed that an individual's only duty was to be a mere "a member of the state", a vassal! [See also: The Hegel Society of America] This pernicious notion is 180 degrees out of phase with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. It is entirely consistent with the ideas of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
The Bill of Rights, 1689

Whereas the said late King James II having abdicated the government, and the throne being thereby vacant, his Highness the prince of Orange (whom it hath pleased Almighty God to make the glorious instrument of delivering this kingdom from popery and arbitrary power) did (by the advice of the lords spiritual and temporal, and diverse principal persons of the Commons) cause letters to be written to the lords spiritual and temporal, being Protestants, and other letters to the several counties, cities, universities, boroughs, and Cinque Ports, for the choosing of such persons to represent them, as were of right to be sent to parliament, to meet and sit at Westminster upon the two and twentieth day of January, in this year 1689, in order to such an establishment as that their religion, laws, and liberties might not again be in danger of being subverted; upon which letters elections have been accordingly made.

And thereupon the said lords spiritual and temporal and Commons, pursuant to their respective letters and elections, being new assembled in a full and free representation of this nation, taking into their most serious consideration the best means for attaining the ends aforesaid, do in the first place (as their ancestors in like case have usually done), for the vindication and assertion of their ancient rights and liberties, declare:
  • 1. That the pretended power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by regal authority, without consent of parliament is illegal.
  • 2. That the pretended power of dispensing with the laws, or the execution of law by regal authority, as it hath been assumed and exercised of late, is illegal.
  • 3. That the commission for erecting the late court of commissioners for ecclesiastical causes, and all other commissions and courts of like nature, are illegal and pernicious.
  • 4. That levying money for or to the use of the crown by pretense of prerogative, without grant of parliament, for longer time or in other manner than the same is or shall be granted, is illegal.
  • 5. That it is the right of the subjects to petition the king, and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal.
  • 6. That the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of parliament, is against law.
  • 7. That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defense suitable to their conditions, and as allowed by law.
  • 8. That election of members of parliament ought to be free.
  • 9. That the freedom of speech, and debates or proceedings in parliament, ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of parliament.
  • 10. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
  • 11. That jurors ought to be duly impaneled and returned, and jurors which pass upon men in trials for high treason ought to be freeholders.
  • 12. That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void.
  • 13. And that for redress of all grievances, and for the amending, strengthening, and preserving of the laws, parliament ought to be held frequently.
And they do claim, demand, and insist upon all and singular the premises, as their undoubted rights and liberties....

Having therefore an entire confidence that his said Highness the prince of Orange will perfect the deliverance so far advanced by him, and will still preserve them from the violation of their rights, which they have here asserted, and from all other attempt upon their religion, rights, and liberties:

The said lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, assembled at Westminster, do resolve that William and Mary, prince and princess of Orange, be, and be declared, king and queen of England, France, and Ireland....

Upon which their said Majesties did accept the crown and royal dignity of the kingdoms of England, France, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging, according to the resolution and desire of the said lords and commons contained in the said declaration.

The Statutes: Revised Edition (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1871), Vol. 2, pp. 10-12.
These are traditional concepts. They are, in fact, our heritage. A true "conservative" would work to "conserve" them. On the contrary, Bush and his natural constituency of militarists and fascists are at odds with the interests of the people. They have it backward. Government may not grant rights. We have them already. They are inherent. Government, if it is to claim legitimacy, must recognize and uphold them. That is, in fact, government's only legitimate role.

Two significant events establishing those principles come to mind: the signing of the Magna Carta and the English Civil War. Indeed, in 1649, in an historic assertion of the rights of Parliament, King Charles I of England was executed. According to John Stuart Mill, government itself ceased to be the seat of sovereign power. More accurately, I would say that it never had been. But it retrospect it is easy to conclude that such an event may have been necessary before people could realize that they had, in fact, always been the sovereign. "Governors" ceased to be independent powers; magistrates of the State became delegates of the sovereign i.e. the people themselves.

Bush assumes powers that even the most powerful English monarchs would never have gotten away with. If Bush can spy on you, in secret, without a court order, he can, likewise arrest you in secret, imprison you without charges. He can and will deny you "due process of law". He can have you executed in secret. In such a "Leviathan" state, you have no rights. You are are insignificant. Ah, but that only happens to terrorists, you say! But a terrorist is whomever Bush says is a terrorist.

If we are lucky, Bush is on the wrong side of history and will fail. If we are not lucky, Bush will wage war upon the American people themselves and America will be forever lost if it is not lost already!

Bush is best described as anti-American or fascist by virtue of his partnership with "big oil" and other corporate interests. For Bush sovereignty resides with the state; the people are mere vassals. He represents a tradition more at home in the Teutoburg Forest or the grandiloquent halls of Hitler's Chancellery.

If Bush believed that the people have rights at all, he would believe that they are bestowed by government. In our tradition, government does not have the authority to "grant" rights. The people are sovereign. Rights cannot be granted by government because the people have them already. It is, rather, the people who provisionally grant to government a right to govern but only for so long as it is done responsibly or competently. It was all summed up well by Thomas Jefferson in our own Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government ...

--Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence, 1776

Those ideas were did not originate with Jefferson. They were found earlier in the writings of John Locke and other "enlightenment" authors including Rousseau, Montesquieu, Voltaire and earlier still in Ancient Greece. The government's only job is to secure and defend the rights that we already have. It is not the job of government to wage war on us, endanger us by waging aggressive wars against out wishes. It is not the job of government to spy on us. It is, rather, our right, indeed, our duty to make ourselves aware of every government plot and every device that government might use against us. Indeed, any government that dares wage war on its own people is itself treasonous. As Thomas Jefferson pointed out, it is the right of "the people" to abolish such a government. Bush presides over such a government, a government that has broken its covenant with the people.

By asserting a right to wage war on the people themselves, Bush demonstrated the illegitimacy of his regime, his "government". He has, thus, earned a place in history beside a list of descriptive labels: despot, failure, incompetent, war monger, tyrant, liar, mass murderer. In one important sense, Bush has already waged war against the American people, most notably by way of the Patriot Act, an unconstitutional abomination on its face!

Bush is a dangerous radical more akin to Hitler or Mussolini than to our founders George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and, indeed, Patrick Henry who famously said: "Give me liberty, or give me death!" By contrast, Bush has said "This would be a whole lot easier if this was a dictatorship...heh heh heh long as I'm the dictator! The Constitution is, after all, the antithesis of the Skull and Bones belief in the superiority of the State over the individual.

Significantly, totalitarian states have their philosophical roots in Hegelianism, a straight road to both Nazism and Stalinism. There is, by contrast, another road that runs straight from Magna Carta to our own Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.
If the Magna Carta is not the birth certificate of Democracy, it is the death certificate of despotism. It spells out for the first time the fundamental principle that the law is not simply the whim of the king. The law is an independent power unto itself. And the King could be brought to book for violating it!"

—Simon Schama, History of Britain

The Constitution itself is explicit when it establishes the sovereignty of the people. But, if that were not enough to dispel notions of the "state as absolute", a Bill of Rights was insisted upon and ratified by the people. In the 1960's Justice William O. Douglas believed that the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights are absolute —beyond the power of Congress or the executive to modify or infringe in any way.

Also in the 60s, the high court expanded the protections given individuals who found themselves accused of crimes; the decisions especially affected the issue of search and seizures (Mapp v. Ohio), confessions (Miranda v. Arizona), and the right to an attorney (Gideon v. Wainwright). Later, Roe v. Wade would uphold a woman's right to privacy. Clearly, then, Bush by advocating doctrines associated with Nazism and Stalinism has found himself an enemy of basic individual rights, most prominently privacy and, by implication, that most basic of American rights: the right of the people to be secure in their homes and in their possessions.

What are the implications of the concept: "state" as "absolute"? Simply, it flies in the face of the Magna Carta, the English Petition of Right, the Mayflower Compact, The Virginia Declaration of Rights, The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights, The Nuremberg Principles, and every Supreme Court decision that has upheld the right of persons to be secure in their homes.

Totalitarian states have their philosophical roots in Hegelianism, a straight road to both Nazism and Stalinism. The word "Leviathan" is most often remembered in connection with "Leviathan" by Thomas Hobbes, of course, but also Moby Dick by Herman Melville. There are the lesser known connotations from Standard Hebrew, specifically, a coiled, monster referenced in Psalm, Job, and Isaiah. Hobbes used the term to describe a new being --not human, not animal. Rather, a functioning gestalt of state creation. An all powerful "state" analogous to Hobbes' "Leviathan" is often used to describe the "protectorate" of Oliver Cromwell. The picture that emerges is one of the state as a souless uber-machine, a Moloch, an image repeated much later in the famous film of Fritz Lang --Metropolis. Bush would have you subservient to Moloch.

Like Leonardo da Vinci, Hobbes could not resist the analogy of man and machine. In his Introduction to Leviathan, of 1651, his first paragraph seems almost to recall images of drawings from the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci.

NATURE (the art whereby God hath made and governs the world) is by the art of man, as in many other things, so in this also imitated, that it can make an artificial animal. For seeing life is but a motion of limbs, the beginning whereof is in some principal part within, why may we not say that all automata (engines that move themselves by springs and wheels as doth a watch) have an artificial life? For what is the heart, but a spring; and the nerves, but so many strings; and the joints, but so many wheels, giving motion to the whole body, such as was intended by the Artificer?

--Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes

Chris Hedges: "American Fascists" The Christian Right vs USA

George Bush Sr. Talking about
the creation of a "New World Order"

America approached this stage in the evolution of Bush's uber state by insidious degrees since 1980, a year notable for the ascension of Ronald Reagan. If you lived in Texas and didn't like Reagan, you were a "traitor". The Reagan administration lived down to expectations. In conservative Houston, ordinary conversation became strained, if it had not been already. The GOP became more militant than usual. It became a dysfunctional, psychotic "cult" of the "in" vs everyone else. The GOP would become a crime syndicate and a neurotic one at that.

Bill Clinton was not President long enough to have made a real difference against at least 14 years of contiguous GOP misrule. Clinton's economic gains are all undone under Bush. The GOP is back on track: the poor get poorer and the corporations position themselves to dominate every aspect of the individual's life.

Big Brother is the alliance of the GOP, the Military/Industrial Complex, and the Corporate lobbies. This "unholy alliance" will ironically exploit the "Christian Right". Even Hitler found it necessary to appeal to the mystical impulse and found it from various sources even as he cracked down on traditional religion.

At some point, Bush's absolute state, this "Leviathan", will accrue so much power that it may dispense with the US government altogether --or, at least, the Congress. The "Leviathan" may decide to keep the "Presidency" around for photo-ops and ceremonies! The Supreme Court will be reduced to a single office with lots of rubber stamps.

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