Tuesday, September 12, 2006

All I Can Do Is Shake My Head...

After hearing the President speak last night, and watching new footage of what happened five years ago, I am starting to feel as though the concept of having a government which ascribes to its constitutional document is becoming little more than an anachronism. After five years, it's important to note that we are not any safer because foreign policy makes it that way. Regardless, the idea that the government shouldn't be bound by the Constitution is absurd, and I hope that the following makes that clear on some level.

I want to note, first, the visceral words of Keith Olbermann. Many people would would read the Grey Area would think it to be a site aimed primarily at scathing critiques of the President and his policies. This is not the case. The Grey Area aims to be a forum of discussion on the topic of the United States of America. In the last five years, this topic has become increasingly muddied by those doing most of the talking. Mr. Olbermann makes comments regarding this issue in particular. The problem is not with the people of this country, though a vast majority are distracted by the unimportant doldrums of the capitalistic exploits of celebrity, the problem is an ideological shift away from what once made this country great. The ideas of liberty that America once stood for as a beacon of light in the world have been clouded in their rhetorical use by those in power. So much so that the powers that be use their rhetoric to criticise those of us who choose to exercise that power. Another concept of that ideology is temperance and a move away from barbarity.

Recently, we have seen Executive policy that contradicts the maxims of the Geneva convention. The President seems to think that tactics like Water Boarding don't amount to torture or contradict the law. The fact of the matter is they do, and those in the Administration, like John Yoo, are greatly confused if they think that is the case. The fact of the matter is, the President has every reason to fear prosecution for war crimes. What is more absurd is that a world leader who advances a platform of peace, liberty, and progress, would advocate repealing a law set in place to create greater accountability. Less accountability means more leeway to abuse power, and this Presidential term has committed more than its fair share of abuses.

Iraq is an example of these abuses. Here is a war started under false pretenses. A case made to Congress that there was intelligence showing a connection between Iraq and al Qaida. Now, staffers are trying to shift the buck. This seems to be the mantra of the Vice President as well. The fact remains, one lie begets another. Regardless of what the President's lawyers tell him (men like Alberto Gonzales and John Yoo, who have advocated the unitarian executive over democracy), what the Administration has done to extract information from "terrorists" IS TORTURE. It is also a violation of the Geneva Convention, and by implication a violation of American law.

I don't care so much about who the President is, the fact remains whoever holds the office is charged with the duty of enforcing the Constitution. No matter how necessary the Executive seems to think it is, he must respect his office, the office of Congress and the Courts, and the rights of the people guaranteed by the Constitution. For this President to think that he acts within the law blemishes the altruistic libertarian nature of Constitutional intent. Moreover, we, as citizens, should be ashamed of what this President does as an elected official in our name. This is the land of the free and home of the brave. This is a nation that once clawed against mighty odds for its freedom. Now, we have only succumbed to propagandized fear, making us only too willing to forsake the liberty that has made this country great.

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