Sunday, August 31, 2008

The GOP Misdirection Game

While the country scratches its head at the choice of Sarah Palin as McCain's VP, the Bush Administration is up to something that has more far reaching consequences. The Raw Story has picked up on a New York Times article buried on page 8 which states that W has quietly moved to expand the reach of presidential power by ensuring that America remains in a state of permanent war.

Here are some excerpts from John Byrne's story...
Buried in a recent proposal by the Administration is a sentence that has received scant attention -- and was buried itself in the very newspaper that exposed it Saturday. It is an affirmation that the United States remains at war with al Qaeda, the Taliban and "associated organizations."

Such a re-affirmation of war carries broad legal implications that could imperil Americans' civil liberties and the rights of foreign nationals for decades to come.

It was under the guise of war that President Bush claimed a legal mandate for his warrantless wiretapping program, giving the National Security Agency power to intercept calls Americans made abroad. More of this program has emerged in recent years, and it includes the surveillance of Americans' information and exchanges online.

"War powers" have also given President Bush cover to hold Americans without habeas corpus -- detainment without explanation or charge. Jose Padilla, a Chicago resident arrested in 2002, was held without trial for five years before being convicted of conspiring to kill individuals abroad and provide support for terrorism.
Just because Bush is on his way out of the White House doesn't mean he can't leave more scars on our lives. And if you're pinning hopes to Obama getting in and reversing all of this nonsense (which seems likely, but not definite) you should ponder this... what if McCain wins? Would this be Bush's office warming present?

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