Seven newly released memos from the Bush Justice Department reveal a concerted strategy to cloak the President with power to override the Constitution. The memos provide “legal” rationales for the President to suspend freedom of speech and press; order warrantless searches and seizures, including wiretaps of U.S. citizens; lock up U.S. citizens indefinitely in the United States without criminal charges; send suspected terrorists to other countries where they will likely be tortured; and unilaterally abrogate treaties. According to the reasoning in the memos, Congress has no role to check and balance the executive. That is the definition of a police state.
I understand that Obama has a lot of cleaning up to do after the disaster of the last eight years, but this is not something we all need to just get over and move ahead from. We had an entire administration bent on setting itself up as above the law, responsible to nobody, free from any constraints. This kind of contempt for the law needs to be addressed to make sure it doesn’t happen again. We cannot permit past, current, and future Presidents and Vice-Presidents to think that anything they do is fine.
I cannot believe that we spent all that time and money investigating oral sex in the White house and nobody wants to touch this. I cannot believe that people who are so concerned with accountability, perjury, expansion of powers, contempt for the law, and plain old criminal activity are so uninterested in making Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Rove, and god knows how many others at least appear before someone and account for their actions.
We can’t afford to ignore this. To simply wave it all away with, “Oh well, mistakes were made, time to move on” is morally and ethically wrong. I don’t want anyone, including Barack Obama, wielding the kind of power that Cheney and his minions thought they had coming to them, and if we don’t come together as a nation and defend our constitution then we will deserve whatever tyrant decides to make another go at it in the future.