Monday, January 28, 2008

Up until this post I have kept my blog limited to my personal life. This post is political. I am not overstating it when I say that our Democracy is at risk; that Caesar has entered the city without disbanding his army, and the Senators have not taken action. (I promise that my next post will by less serious.)

Mr. Bush is trying to insure that his legacy continues after his presidency. Two of his actions are very scary; he is trying to negotiate a treaty with Iraq and calling it a "status of forces agreement" and he is trying to force Congress into passing a renewal of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) giving the phone companies that illegally tapped American's phone immunity from civil law suits.

We have status of forces agreements with Japan and other countries where our military is stationed. This agreement would replace the UN mandate, and bind the next president to the terms including maintaining troops. Another proposed term is binding the US to protect the sitting government. This term by tradition definitions makes this a treaty requiring Congressional approval, but this administration is calling is a status of forces agreement with requires no congressional oversight.

If he is not stopped not only will we be bound into a foreign civil war, but he will also have permanently destroyed one of the checks and balances written into the Constitution. In Al Gore's book Assault on Reason he points out that this administration has systematically attempted to give the presidency imperial powers above the law. If he is not stopped in illegally binding us to a treaty without congressional oversight he will have furthered this goal.

Mr Bush's attempt to protect the phone companies under FISA also protects the administration from being investigated. He legitimizes his attack on our freedom of privacy, and our freedom of speech. The House passed a renewal of FISA without the phone company protections. In the Senate there were two versions of the FISA renewal; the Judiciary Committee's version without the protection, and the Select Committee on Intelligence version which had Bush's requirement. Then last Friday, after I had sent the following email the Senate tabled the Judiciary Committee version. I sent a modified version of the email to Nancy Poloci telling her that it was up to the House to prevent this protection from becoming law.

Senators Clinton, Obama, and McCain were all cowards and didn't vote.

I sent the following to our Colorado Senators, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama.

I am in fear for the continuation of this democracy, and look to Congress to save it. I will start with the basis for my concern and the urgency for action. I will then state was must be done.

The Senate of the Roman Republic had a long standing prohibition against returning generals entering the city while still commanding the military. Caesar's violation of this upset the checks and balances, and it was the beginning of the end of the Republic. Similarly George Bush has extended the powers of the Presidency far beyond what any previous administration has done. Though we have an election coming up there are actions already taken by the president, and actions he is taking right now that extend beyond his term.

Mr. Bush has entered us into a permanent state of war; The War on Terror. In the words of Al Gore in the Assault on Reason he has placed us "in a permanent state of war, which will likely last for the rest of our lives. He implies that this permanent state of war justifies his unilateral reinterpretation of the Constitution is ways that increase his power as president of the expense of Congress, the courts, and every individual citizen." Unlike Truman's efforts to increase presidential powers the courts have not stepped up to defend the Constitution.

Using the justification of national security the Mr. Bush asked the phone companies to illegally wiretap private citizens, something Qwest refused to do. He did not gain any legal authority.

The War on Terror has been used as justification to torture in violation of US and international law, and evidence has been destroyed. We are told that it was the act of an individual or individuals.

We all saw the torturous treatment of prisoners in Iraq, and we were told it was by a few bad apples.

There's a pattern.

Now Mr. Bush has threatened to veto the renewal of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act if the phone companies that permitted this illegal wiretapping do not gain protection from law suits. These phone companies aided the Executive Branch's violation of our rights. Call Mr. Bush on this. Let him veto this act. Our civil rights are at stake.

The Administration is negotiating a status of forces agreement during a time of war which commits us “in defending its democratic system against internal and external threats.” That is a treaty that will bind future administration to continuing this war. The Administration needs to be stopped by all legal mean.

Twice now Mr. Bush has spoken these words. "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." After taking this oath he has systematically worked to unravel this Constitution he swore to defend.

When is it ""treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." Is violating the letter of the law it? Is attempting destroy the balance between the branches of government it? Is intentionally violating the civil liberties given citizens it? Is violation international law it?

I fear that next January may be too late to act. In the name of The United States of America, and the Constitution, I ask that you do everything in your power to stop him.