November 26, 2007

Even More Inconvenient

So, this is part of the serious reporting on what's going to be a very awkward meeting between Bush and Gore (h/t Eschaton), when Gore attends a White House function honoring Nobel Prize winners:

... In his latest book "An Assault on Reason," he accuses the president of repeatedly breaking the law.

Bush, reflecting the stature of his office, has been more restrained. But his spokesmen have taken shots over the years, calling Gore a hypocrite, and saying, "it's not an effective use of time to pay much attention to what he says." ...

Like Bush would have stature without the reflection of his office? Please. Snark aside, this really isn't a matter of restraint vs. letting it all hang out. The president, as constitutional law scholars have pointed out and various courts have agreed, has in fact broken the law. Repeatedly.

It shouldn't be reduced to a partisan accusation, or to the accusation of a former rival. The man's administration has violated international treaties that this country signed on to, such as, but iirc not limited to, the Geneva Conventions. He broke our laws against unreasonable search and seizure, has appropriated legislative power through signing statements, and his office has been involved in both the caging of 'undesirable' voters and the outing of a spy. As Avedon Carol points out, "the Constitution isn't a particularly long document, and more people should just sit down and read it."

And she's right. I visited the Constitution just this month, and it isn't very long. The original is pretty faded, but luckily, people made a lot of copies before that happened. Consider this part; which is written in very, very plain terms that anyone with a passable English vocabulary could figure out:

Article. VI.

... This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land ...

The original Bill of Rights isn't very long, either. It's also fairly straightforward. This passage, for example, is just not that hard to understand:

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

See? Easy. And since the president violated the terms of a treaty which is the Law of the Land, and searched the records of millions of Americans with neither Warrants nor probable cause, he broke the law. At least twice. Not just trifling laws, either. But ones spelled out in the improbably nice calligraphy of our founders, in language that was meant to be understood by every citizen of a fractious country full of new immigrants, and currently enshrined in a massive, climate and lighting controlled mausoleum less than a mile away from the man's current residence.

Bush broke the law. He wasn't just accused of it. More, he broke a law that people risked their lives just to endorse, but that Democrats are too afraid of the press to enforce.

Though I can see why. In response to counting votes in 2000, they manufactured the idea that there was a constitutional crisis afoot. In response to an actual constitutional crisis, where we have a criminal installed in our highest office, they manufacture puff pieces about ceremonial events and muse about how long it will take for these two rivals to be as cozy as Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton.

Posted by natasha at November 26, 2007 07:33 AM | US News | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |
Comments

Again, in light of your absolutely true and self-evident assertions, why hasn't the "opposition party" impeached this President? Why indeed have they done nothing and said virtually nothing about his flagrant abuse of power and his manifold crimes against the Constitution and international law?

The only logical response is that they support his policies, or that they differ only on the margins.

Posted by: Charles at November 26, 2007 03:42 PM

Now, now, Charles. Never posit malice when craven weakness and selfishness will suffice. I, for one, prefer the Iron Law of Institutions as my explanation.

Posted by: grendelkhan at November 27, 2007 06:50 AM

BlackwaterUSA:Doping in Iraq

Posted by: ccoaler at November 28, 2007 03:00 AM