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In his MLK-Day speech, Gore called the Bush "administration"'s powergrabs for exactly what they are, but did so with solid non-partisan arguments: watch it here (transcript here).


(picture and artwork, courtesy of our own talented ilona. thanks, ilona!)
Not only did he lay out a case, but he also prescribed a specific five-point course of action and implored members of congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to not allow this deterioration of constitutional precepts to continue.

Based on his prescriptions, and input from many folks here and elsewhere, I compiled this step-by-step course of action:

A Gore-inspired Comprehensive 10-Step Plan
For holding the administration accountable on warrantless wiretapping

  1. Demand a special counsel investigation into warrantless wiretaps, with suitable clearances being granted for the investigation, and operating in the FISA court, if necessary

  2. Form a congressional panel to look into the classification requirements being claimed by the administration on wiretaps.

  3. Establish whistleblower protections.

  4. Demand telephone companies to cease and desist complicity with wiretaps and other forms of surveillance outside the purview of existing laws including FISA.

  5. Filibuster any bills that attempt to retroactively justify the circumvention of the law by the administration.

  6. Conduct congressional inquiries into the wiretaps (e.g. Sen. Byrd's S. 2362) as well as various other matters of administrative dysfunction (as in Rep. Conyers' HR 635). Sen. Schumer's S. 2468 is of interest as well.
  7. Dem leaders should make extensive media appearances informing the public about the excesses of the administrations and its attempts to sidestep the constitution, and soundly argue for taking appropriate actions to remedy the situation

  8. If the Whitehouse and the Rubberstamping GOP stonewall and shut out getting to the bottom of the NSA wiretaps, then censure Bush.

  9. Appoint a congressional panel to look into rescinding the 2001 AUMF (authorization to use military force) which the administration has been employing as carte blanche for endless war and from which Bush is drawing his purported "authority as Commander in Chief in time of war" to run warrantless surveillance and claim other dictatorial powers. This panel would consider the question of Congress taking back its Constitutional war power.

  10. Optionally, Draft articles of impeachment on Bush's declared dictatorial intent, claims of "unitary executive" privileges, which are instantiated by the arrogation of power on warrantless wiretaps.

The deal is this. There is every indication that this warrantless (illegal) NSA wiretapping is very extensive (according to a whistle blower called Russ Tice, in the order of millions, something that seems to be well corroborated by the AT&T case that is currently under court investigation).

More importantly, the fact that Bush is circumventing the FISA law, exceeding his constitutional authority and even showed dictatorial intent in his signing statement can not be left unaddressed. Our action in this matter is much warranted.

Here is what I'd like to suggest to the readers:
- look up your members of congress (your two senators and your Representative) at this link
- call and/or write to all three of them, and tell them firmly and politely that you'd like to see them take serious action into this matter
- please feel free to mention the items in the compilation above. Most importantly, please ask them to demand a special-counsel investigation into the matter, and to take steps to rescind the AUMF (point 9 above), and restore the "war powers" authority back into the hands of the US congress.

Please post any feedback from your calls and other correspondence below.

Your recommendations of the diary will help give this matter  a much needed fresh round of attention. Thanks in advance.

Originally posted to NeuvoLiberal on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 04:36 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips, diary recommendations, and comments (4+ / 0-)

    are welcome. TIA!

  •  Thanks for the great link!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NeuvoLiberal

    Destroying a Democracy is so easy, even a chimp can do it.

    by neecie100 on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 05:50:11 AM PDT

  •  Neuvo, since I live in the red state (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    inclusiveheart, NeuvoLiberal

    of Kentucky at the present, Mitch McConnell and Jim Bunning are the Senators. I annoy them often with my letters and petitions and phone calls, but there will be no change from either one.

    Gatewood Galbraith has registered as a Democrat here though.  That should shake things up a little.

    Excellent diary, by the way. I've signed the various  petitions calling for impeachment.

    <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

    by bronte17 on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 06:04:54 AM PDT

    •  You should still call both though (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bronte17, NeuvoLiberal

      and you don't have to tell them that you oppose them.

      Everyone should register their thoughts with their Congressional and Senate representatives regardless of whether or not you think they will change their positions.  The more calls they get on the issue, the more pressure they will be under to consider a way to deal with it.  To this point they haven't even tried to deal with the NSA wiretapping and just getting the ball rolling may be the object of the exercise.  They know if it starts to roll it may get out of control so they will attempt to hold the line for as long as possible - but if they get a lot of push back from constituents they will likely feel the need to do something.

      McClellan is resigning right now... FYI - seriously.

      •  This is very true and I am in constant (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        inclusiveheart, NeuvoLiberal

        contact with one or the other of my representatives. But, McConnell will not remotely consider this especially given his position in the Senate.  And, Bunning --well, he is one of the "wingnuts."  McConnell, at least, has a brain.

        <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

        by bronte17 on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 07:51:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know they are crazy, but there is something (0+ / 0-)

          about being in a Senator's office when mail opposing their actions is piling up.  It does have to potential to wear them down.

          Remember the Dubai Ports Deal.  And I am writing this more for people who wouldn't think to write their pet Republicans than for you obviously...

  •  Thanks for the diary Neuvo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NeuvoLiberal

    There has been a lot of good news regarding Gore lately.

  •  Reframe the whole conversation (0+ / 0-)

    Why do Democrats think that they must get the blind followers of Bush to something about Bush?

    Democrats need to stop saying that "there needs to be an investigation to find the truth," and instead say "The GOP stonewalled and protected the president, so we did our own investigation, and based on our findings....."

    And what I suspect they will find when they conduct the investigation is what everyone knows:

    1)The president LIED about the danger posed to our nation from Iraq,

    1. his hysterical bullying of the whole country into passively accepting Hitler's pre-emptive war doctrine was traitorous
    1. He and his administration are guilty oF war crimes, and even atrocities,
    1. The president used FORGERIES to bolster his claim that war was urgent
    1. the president and his accomplice subordinates broke the law, endangered national security and obstructed justice with perjury and conspired in a criminal intelligence operation to intimidate whistleblowers who exposed his fraud and abuse of war powers
    1. The Attorney General, The Vice President, The National Security Advisor, The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense have all conspired with the president to implement numerous policies and practices that are blatantly unconstitutional,  anti-republican and illegal including wiretapping, illegal detentions, extra-judicial executions, kidnapping, and torture
    1. The president has usurped by fiat powers specifically enumerated in the constitution as being powers of the legislative and judicial branch of the federal government
    1. The Vice President has been the recipient of exhorbitant bribes by a war-profiteering enterprise over which he formerly presided as chief executive officer, and has disguised those bribes as deferred income, and by which he has claimed profit from an illegal war while in office,
    1. The president conducted an undeclared war in Iraq with unauthorized funds before any act by Congress and in the absence of any threat to the United States
    1. The president is CURRENTLY conducting ANOTHER illegal undeclared war against Iran, before any act by Congress and in the absence of any threat to the United States from that nation
    1. The president is employing foreign terrorists to attack Iran,
    1. the president has declared that the United States is governed by a Unitary Executive, establishing by fiat a dictatorship
    1. The president has declared he has the power to suspend the Bill of Rights at will, usurping the sovereign power of the United States

    This is not a complete list of the many crimes, lies and anti-republican policies of the president and his administration, but it ought to be enough to impeach him, remove him from office, imprison him and RESTRAIN him from further abuses.

    Incompetence is the only possible mitigating factor in his favor, but duplicitous and flagrantly criminal scheming to overthrow the rule of law can not be excused by incompetence.

    Deliberate and calculated abuse of power on such a collosal scale is not a mistake or an error, and conspiracy to carry it out, persecute those who expose it and take measures to keep it secret can not possibly be anything but criminal.

    Democrats need to take this frame. Boldly state the facts. Boldly call him a liar. Boldly call this administration a criminal administration. Boldly point out that the president has assumed dictatorial powers and that the Republican Party is supporting this drastic and radical change.

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