Wednesday, March 15, 2006

This is not brain surgery.

There is a motion in the United States Senate to censure the President because he ordered the National Security Agency to listen in on the telephone conversations of Americans without getting court authorization, i.e. a warrant. What the President did is illegal. When the program became widely known, the President’s response was essentially to tell Congress, “Go to hell.”

It once was widely understood that the genius of the American Constitution is its system of checks and balances. The Resolution of Censure is an attempt to breathe life into that concept. The Administration responds with a predictable accusation that the Democrats are pro-terrorists.

In general, such an insipid assertion would not be worthy of a response. However, these days, right wing blogs, cable news, and even mainstream media, give such wide circulation to the most outrageous pronouncements of criminals like Dick Cheney, that unless each example of such nonsense is rebutted, it will gain currency and eventually be accepted by many, if not the majority, of Americans.

So here’s the answer for Democrats who are having trouble articulating something more cogent than, “I’m rubber you’re glue. It bounces off me and sticks to you.”

When the President of the United States breaks the law, it creates a climate of lawlessness that pollutes the entire executive branch. Laws are enacted to protect us, and when they are violated, we are less safe. When those who are charged with the responsibility of faithfully executing the laws choose instead to break the law, the result is a boon for terrorists.

Today, we see the clear-cut evidence of that simple proposition. Because of the egregious, outrageous misconduct of government lawyers, the case against the 20th hijacker, Zacharia Moussaoui, has been eviscerated. The government will not be allowed to present evidence from airline security experts who would have testified about the measures the government would have taken to prevent 9-11 attacks. Legal experts are predicting that as a result, Moussaoui will be spared the death penalty.

It's hard to imagine a more welcome gift to Osama Bin Laden. Here is proof that the administration are law-breakers. Here is a vivid demonstration of America's impotence against al Qaeda. And who can say that Moussaoui won't recruit more al Qaeda sympathizers in prison?

The moral of the story is this: Obedience to the law is a necessity in the war on terror.

It starts with the President.

“… and tell ’em Big Mitch sent ya!”

No comments: