I saw on the CNN webpage yesterday an article concerning the Wisconsin Senators proposal to Censure Bush over the Eavesdropping program.
At the heart of the argument is if Bush knowingly violated the law or if Bush legally had the power to bypass the law since it is a time of war.
As for myself, I am a big picture guy and through the study of history it’s extremely interesting to see how previous leaders, kings, Popes’ bypassed or trampled on established laws for some reason or another.
Therefore, it got me thinking just how fragile a “Law” can be. When we are young, we are taught that we must follow the law without question. As we get older, we start to learn that some laws can be bent, or broken entirely and some laws are just plain wrong. But in the classroom, the argument always comes back to the reasoning that we must be a nation of laws and try to uphold the laws as much as possible to ensure a stable society. If one law is broken by leaders, then all the other laws become less stable since the example has been set that laws need not be followed.
Living abroad and visiting more than a few dubious countries has taught me to always look at the big picture. No doubt the lawyers, politicians and so on are getting lost in the details of this issue and it is very easy to drown in the legal technicalities of either side.
So as a normal, average citizen what I understand is this. I used to have rights in America, but since the leaders are using this “war” to get around established laws, and this “war on terror” will probably never end, I therefore am not guaranteed my rights in America since they can be broken since we are at “war.” Suspects can now be detained indefinitely and incommunicado which is a serious violation of our rights as American citizens. If I don’t have this basic right to tell my family or lawyer that I have been detained, then the USA is no better than China at the moment……..
Many would say, “well, that’s stupid because as long as your not a terrorist, you don’t have to worry.” This is not the point. The point is America is a nation of laws, and these laws are supposed to be followed. If the leaders can get around laws during times of war, and this war has no real definable enemy since anyone can be labeled a “terrorist,” and no foreseeable end, then the laws can be bent or broken forever.
From the hardliners …ahem… I mean conservatives who side with Bush on this, I think it will be impossible to defend his actions unless you use the argument that he used this tool to be more effective in stopping terrorists on America’s own soil. To this I say, he could have done that within the reigns of the law. The government has always had the power to spy on it’s own citizens and always has all throughout history. In America, even the president has to follow the law, even in times of “war.”
Also, should one feel inclined to defend this, I say they would do very well here in Southeast Asia and China. They make laws here too but it doesn’t mean you necessarily have to follow them. To me, if the Government of that great place called America is no longer following it’s own laws, and the people no longer have their rights guaranteed by the constitution, then there is no difference between the USA and China or some other South East Asian countries.
In fact, the politicians supporting this breach of law actually sound like some leaders here in the East.
The clip below is from an article on CNN
“Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, also speaking on ABC, said Feingold “is just wrong.”
“He is flat wrong, he is dead wrong,” said the Tennessee Republican — also a potential presidential candidate in 2008 — adding that “attacking our commander in chief … doesn’t make sense.”
“We are right now at an unprecedented war where they really want to take us down,” he said. “A censure resolution … is wrong. It sends a signal around the world.
“The American people are solidly behind this president in conducting the war on terror.”
Boy does he sound like a Chinese Communist! What is he saying here?
1. He is flat wrong, dead wrong. – Does this mean he will have Feingold Killed?
2. “Attacking our Commander in Chief (The President) doesn’t make sense” – Translation – Do not criticize the government, or ruling administration.
3. The American People are solidly…. yadda yadda yadda… – Here I believe he is part Chinese communist at heart. Yes yes, of course in China too the CHINESE PEOPLE have always been 100% behind everything the government has ever done! To not think so would be unpatriotic!!!
So what have I learned?
1. Rights are no longer guaranteed in America
2. Laws need not be followed by leaders
3. “The American People” now all think the same and I’m sure when I step off the plane over there, everyone will be in grey uniforms and calling each other comrade.
Actually, there’s a bit more to this than you’re letting on. Not that I’m comfortable with warrantless wire-tapping, but from what I’ve read the wire-tapping they’re doing are on international calls and there actually is legal evidence to support it.
That being said, if actual laws have been broken, there should be punishment. That’s the way things are done here. If not and you don’t like the law, you need to campaign to have the law changed – the exact process that you’d follow for any other legal change.
So, given that, I’m not sure what laws might actually have been broken (and the answer could very well be none), then I fail to see the comparison between China and the USA.
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