Betraying American Ideals? Or Protecting America?

In Bush/Cheney Administration, civil rights, shameful, U.S government, war on terror on March 3, 2009 by Editor Z

“This is Not America” is by David Bowie and the movie is “the Falcon and the Snowman” nevertheless I believe the lyrics accurately reflect my feeling on this.

Bush said in his waning weeks in office that although was immensely unpopular with the American people at least he “did not sell his soul”. But according to Bush/Cheney memos released by the Obama Justice Department, many surrounding Bush were advising him that he could sell ours. Right to due process, freedom of speech, freedom of the press; all could be neglected by the President if they could be used to prevent a vaguely defined terrorist attack.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Justice Department on Monday released a long-secret legal document from 2001 in which the Bush administration claimed the military could search and seize terror suspects in the United States without warrants.

The legal memo was written about a month after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. It says constitutional protections against unlawful search and seizure would not apply to terror suspects in the U.S., as long as the president or another high official authorized the action.

Even after the Bush administration rescinded that legal analysis, the Justice Department refused to release its contents, prompting a standoff with congressional Democrats.

The memo was one of nine released Monday by the Obama administration.

Another memo showed that, within two weeks of Sept. 11, the administration was contemplating ways to use wiretaps without getting warrants.

The author of the search and seizure memo, John Yoo, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

In that memo, Yoo wrote that the president could treat terrorist suspects in the United States like an invading foreign army. For instance, he said, the military would not have to get a warrant to storm a building to prevent terrorists from detonating a bomb.

Yoo also suggested that the government could put new restrictions on the press and speech, without spelling out what those might be.

“First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully,” Yoo wrote, adding later: “The current campaign against terrorism may require even broader exercises of federal power domestically.”

While they were once important legal pillars of the U.S. fight against al-Qaida, all of the memos were withdrawn in the final days of the Bush administration.

If this “War on terror” is to protect our liberties why was our government so willing to dispose of them? And these aren’t just the liberties of foreigners on American soil, Americans themselves could also be subject to this. If were going to cast aside the ideals of human dignity and freedom why not just get it all over with and surrender to the terrorists? After all if its supposedly that Al-Queda and others “Hate us for our freedom”, I am sure they would be willing to let us live once we betrayed over two centuries of ideas that have distinguished us amongst the community of nations. Why send good valiant young men and women to die in the name of our liberties if you are so willing to curb them on a whim? Talk about un-American.

President Obama as well as Attorney General Holder and the Justice Department should repudiate such thinking publicly and repeal any such authority that may have been invested into the presidency and or the justice department. These legal opinions amount to an assault on the U.S Constitution and the American people at large. No President of any party or ideology in this country should have at thier disposal this power and the ability to exercise it unilaterally.

UPDATE 2/3/09 9:24 PM/ET:
Here are some of the Bush/Cheney memorandums in question, as released by the U.S Justice Department. (H/T: Hit and Run).



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