White House Outlaws
by Ralph Nader
George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, two top outlaws smashing our country's rule of law and democratic liberties, are testing the American people's resistance. Every day they are testing. Every day they think by flaunting the words, "war on terror", they can get Americans to concede more and more of what makes the United States a constitutionally-abiding government under the rule of law.
You know what? With not enough exceptions, they are right. Day by day, we're giving up what our forefathers fought to bequeath us since that famous Declaration of Independence of 1776. They were determined that people in this country would not be arrested without charges and jailed indefinitely, that they would not be tortured, or sent to be tortured in dictatorial regimes, or deprived of habeas corpus to take their incarceration to our courts of law, or be snooped on at the whim of the President and his deputies or that people in faraway lands would be destroyed in the tens of thousands due to a fabricated war-invasion-quagmire.
They instituted a constitution so that people would not be jailed without "probable cause", or be lied to about taking this country and its soldiers to war, or have shoved aside the checks and balances represented by American courts and the Congress. All these are being done by two pro-Vietnam war draft dodgers!
What does all this tell you about all of us out there in the great United States of America? A giant yawn of "who cares" by citizens, nearly two-thirds of whom now have turned against these two White House fabricators in poll after poll regarding the war, the surrender to Big Business, the gross incompetence in managing taxpayer dollars and the Katrina disaster.
But listen, the rumble of resistance and opposition is getting louder and not just from the increasing number of public demonstrations around the country.
A new Zogby poll reports that 72% of American soldiers serving in Iraq think the U.S. should get out within the next year, including 58% of the Marines! Three-quarters of National Guard and Reserve units support withdrawal within 6 months. Every month, more former high-ranking military officers, intelligence officials and diplomats are declaring their opposition to the war.
For a few examples of many: Retired four-star General, Joseph P. Hoar, who commanded the U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf after the 1991 war, described the Iraq war as "wrong from the beginning". Similar tough criticism has come from John Deutch, former head of the CIA, Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security advisor to President Carter and Brent Scowcroft, national security advisor to the first President Bush.
Retired General William Odom, former head of the National Security Agency and security adviser to Ronald Reagan, wrote that the Iraq war "is serving the interests of Osama bin Laden, the Iranians, and is fomenting civil war in Iraq." He describes the Iraq war as "the most strategic foreign policy disaster in U.S. history."
More recently, internal memos of criticism or dissent, Inspector General reports from Defense the Justice Department, and former highly-positioned staff within the Bush Administration, like Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to Colin Powell, are taking apart the public relations sheen concocted by the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld triad.
Now comes the conservative American Bar Association - 400,000 lawyers - whose House of Delegates has overwhelmingly approved a task force report accusing President Bush, in polite legal language, of violating both the Constitution and federal law. ABA President Michael S. Greco sent it to Mr. Bush with a cover letter dated February 13, 2006 (see www.abanet.org/op/domsurv for the full report).
The mass media, which has finally produced many exposes of the Bush war, ignored the significance of this condemnation by the nation's largest body of lawyers, written in part by attorneys who have served in the FBI, CIA and NSA. It should have been page one news.
There comes a tipping point, however, when the opposition of the establishment, the public opinion of the citizenry, the disgust of the soldiers - their spreading casualties, diseases and mental traumas - and the corruption of the large corporate contractors to whom much of the military's functions have been outsourced, all congeal and overcome the cowardliness of most members of Congress. Then a surge of Congressional followers and allies of Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), war veteran and leading voice against the Bush Iraq policies, will come to the forefront.
The illegal, disastrous (to both Iraqis and Americans) Iraq war is now almost three years of quagmire old. The chaos and bloodshed are worsening.
It is time to make the spring of 2006 the tipping point period for constitutionalism, justice and a sane foreign and national security policy. More yawns must turn into growls from outside Washington, DC. See http://www.DemocracyRising.US for more information.