The Cheney-Bush Presidency will surely be remembered in the annals of American history as one of the worst. The destructive and costly “War on Terrorism,” the erosion of American prestige and moral authority in the world, the sub-prime financial collapse, the lapdog media, the demise of the dollar, runaway Federal spending and inflation, the loss of Congress to the Democrats, unmitigated illegal immigration – all these, and more, will be long associated with this failed administration.
But perhaps the worst, and most dangerous, legacy will be the transformation of the Presidency into a dictatorship and the creation of the American police state. While the aforementioned situations can eventually be mitigated, history has shown that dictatorships are not easily dismantled. And when they are, the citizenry endures great suffering.
In their recent Counterpunch article, Legislating Tyranny, Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence M. Stratton, make a strong case that “the Bush administration’s assault on the Bill of Rights is a greater threat to Americans than are terrorists.” It’s all there: the USA Patriot Act, the arbitrary designation of anyone a “terrorist,” abolition of habeas corpus, the Military Commissions Act, torture, misuse of unconstitutional “signing statements,” Halliburton’s new American detention centers, and the dictator-creating “unitary executive doctrine.”
Buttress all these with today’s high-tech surveillance techniques and a propaganda machine that would make Joseph Goebbels green with envy, and you have the ingredients for any number of dystopian scenarios.
My Republican friends rationalize the situation that the cause is “just,” and that as long as we have a “trustworthy” Republican at the helm, this power will not be abused. Lord Acton warned us that “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Both history and the actions of the Cheney-Bush regime give us no reason to doubt him. Given the well-documented dirty tricks and abuse of the FBI by past Presidents against their enemies (start the list with Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon), it is not difficult to imagine most anyone out of favor with a future administration being designated a “potential terrorist.”
All it takes now is another 9-11 attack, or perhaps some riots due to a race problem, food shortages, or economic breakdown to trigger martial law. General Tommy Franks stated in an interview in late 2003 that he doubts the US Constitution would survive an imposition of martial law after another massive terrorist attack.
America’s Founders warned repeatedly about maintaining standing armies as well as creating a central bank that would control the economy and destroy the currency. The US Constitution was set up to protect our liberties by shackling the government. Even just, defensive wars were no excuse to them to abrogate our civil liberties and the due process of law. One can only imagine the grief the Founders would feel if they could see the current state of the devolution of liberty 232 years after they signed the Declaration of Independence.
Read Legislating Tyranny today and share it with your friends. Time is running short.
And let them know about this blog if you think it is worthwhile.