What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
What President Bush has done with his power sickens me. During his administration we’ve seen a myriad of laws passed that threaten our liberty. He has, in essence, made himself the Dictator of America. Let’s observe how…
First off, he killed America with the Military Commissions Act. This appalling piece of law turns anybody into a potential “enemy combatant”, meaning that Dubya can lock you up without any rights to stand before a judge and argue your case, since Habeas Corpus is gone. (It’s interesting to note that Joseph Smith used the Writ of Habeas Corpus numerous times to save his bacon from evil men.)
Innocent until proven guilty? Not anymore. Geneva conventions preventing torture? Not anymore. Privacy from government invasion? Not anymore.
Then, on the same day, and off of any MSM‘s radar, was the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007. Of course, when Bush announced that he passed this law he neglected to mention a few tidbits about what this law does. From Toward Freedom:
Section 1076 of the massive Authorization Act, which grants the Pentagon another $500-plus-billion for its ill-advised adventures, is entitled, “Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies.” Section 333, “Major public emergencies; interference with State and Federal law” states that “the President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of (“refuse” or “fail” in) maintaining public order, “in order to suppress, in any State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy.”
For the current President, “enforcement of the laws to restore public order” means to commandeer guardsmen from any state, over the objections of local governmental, military and local police entities; ship them off to another state; conscript them in a law enforcement mode; and set them loose against “disorderly” citizenry – protesters, possibly, or those who object to forced vaccinations and quarantines in the event of a bio-terror event.
That’s right—Bush ignored the letter from 51 U.S. governors demanding that Congress and the President not pass such a law. So in the event of any “disaster, accident, or catastrophe” (with no defined scope), the President now has the authority to:
- involuntarily take National Guard troops from State A and
- require them to work in State B for up to a year
- in law enforcement rather than just traditional areas like disaster relief
- over the objection of both state’s governors
Couple this with the fact that Kellogg Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Cheney’s Halliburton, is constructing a huge facility at an undisclosed location to hold tens of thousands of undesirables, and we’re one more step closed to a dictatorship. Heck, he even said it himself in 2000: “If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.”
Martial law might be the Dictator’s newest tool in his belt. Pentagon is ready with plans to implement martial law. Just like it happened during Katrina, you are liable to have your weapons confiscated. So much for that constitutional right.
So, President Bush is—line by line, precept by precept—turning the office of the President into a dictatorship, with total control of the country. His bold actions are seldom reviewed by Congress, and he alone can determine who is an “enemy combatant”, or what constitutes a “national emergency”. And if he doesn’t like a piece of legislation, he uses a dictatorial signing statement to say if he will or will not obey a certain portion of that law, or what he thinks it should mean.
Whatever happened to a government with checks and balances? Where’s the balance? Who’s checking?
It’s time to wake up, America!
Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’. . . must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. . . . Each act. . . is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join you in resisting somehow.
—Milton Mayer, “They Thought They Were Free. The Germans: 1938-1945.