Wanna see a slam f**king dunk case made for impeachment that cannot be touched? Here it is! Enjoy!
The Cato Institute presents.....(i know i know...chill and read lol)
cross-posted @ THE IMPEACH PROJECT
I haven't seen this diaried yet (though I may be wrong.....there's a first for everything). Yes, this is long, but it could have been longer lol.
Since I don't pay too much attention to the Cato Institute because, well, I'm not a big fan of libertarianism, if not for TalkLeft recommending it, I would have missed this.
Last week, CATO released a report entitled "Power Surge: The Constitutional Record of George W. Bush".
To put it lightly, it's a damn good run down of the way that George W. Bush has spent 5+ years in office turning the constitution into nothing more than White House toilet paper.
I'm not going to go through the entire report but jump below the fold and we'll delve into a few of the crimes against the constitution that this report has outrightly convicted Bush of...
and ....whoa...the link to download the report at if you're lucky :p
Alright alright.... here's the link to download the pdf
for yourselves. There is much much more to it than what I'm going to highlight here and I highly recommend, no I demand, that everyone here download it, print it out, and distribute it to whoever they can. This thing is an absolute conviction of Bush as a constitutional criminal with absolutely no respect for the rule of law in this nation called the U.S. Constitution.
United States Constitution, Article. II., Section. 1.
Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Onto the report.
In recent judicial confirmation battles, President Bush has repeatedly--and correctly--stressed fidelity to the Constitution as the key qualification for service as a judge. It is also the key qualification for service as the nation's chief executive. On January 20, 2005, for the second time, Mr. Bush took the presidential oath of office set out in the Constitution, swearing to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." With five years of the Bush administration behind us, we have more than enough evidence to make an assessment about the president's commitment to our fundamental legal charter.
Unfortunately, far from defending the Constitution, President Bush has repeatedly sought to strip out the limits the document places on federal power. In its official legal briefs and public actions,the Bush administration has advanced a view offederal power that is astonishingly broad, a view that includes
* a federal government empowered to regulate core political speech and restrict it greatly when it counts the most: in the days before a federal election;
* a president who cannot be restrained,through validly enacted statutes, from pursuing any tactic he believes to be effective inthe war on terror;
* a president who has the inherent constitutional authority to designate American citizens suspected of terrorist activity as "enemy combatants," strip them of any constitutional protection, and lock them up withoutcharges for the duration of the war on terror--in other words, perhaps forever; and
* a federal government with the power to supervise virtually every aspect of American life,from kindergarten, to marriage, to the grave. President Bush's constitutional vision is, in short, sharply at odds with the text, history, andstructure of our Constitution, which authorizesa government of limited powers.
In short, he couldnt' give a rat's ass about legally accepted precedent or the constitution itself. No big deal ya know. It's only...wait a fuckin minute....what was that oath of office again?
>"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Holy shit! Does the constitution that allows him to be president pretty much state that the main responsibility of his job is to preserve, protect, and defend the very document that he's decided no longer applies? You gotta be kidding me! I'm shocked!
Well whatever. It's not like George Washington really cared about that silly oath either.
On March 4, 1793, George Washington stood before the assembled worthies in the Senate chamber in Congress Hall in Philadelphia and delivered his second inaugural address, still the shortest inaugural speech onrecord:
Fellow citizens: I am again called upon by the voice of my country to execute the functions of its Chief Magistrate. When the occasion proper for it shall arrive, I shall endeavor to express the high sense I entertain of this distinguished honor, and of the confidence which has been reposed in me by the people of united America. Previous to the execution of any official act of the President, the Constitution requires an oath of office. This oath I am now about to take, and in your presence: That if it shall be found during my administration of the Government I have in any instance violated willingly or knowingly the injunctions thereof, I may(besides incurring constitutional punishment) be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony.
Wait....nevermind what I said before. Obviously the oath actually means something but Turdblossom and Dick "shoot em in the face" Cheney apparently didn't pass that memo on to George. But then again, it'd be a whole lot easier if this was a dictatorship....s'long as Bush gets to be the dictator. But I digress...
So yeah.....anyway....it'd sure be nice if others in this nation put things in perspective and realized that not only is he incompetent but he is violating his own oath of office on an almost weekly basis.
How so, some (who don't read dailykos obviously) might ask?
Bush Crimes Against the Constitution:
1. Free-Speech Zones
2. Regulating and Rationing Political Speech
3. Expansion of Executive Powers with war as an excuse
4. Violation of International Treaties (torture memos) we are constitutionally bound to as U.S. law
5. Expansion of Presidential War Powers
6. Expansing the Power to Arrest in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
7. Expanding the Power to Seize Private Property
8. Expanding the Power to Eavesdrop
9. Throwing the Writ of Habeus Corpus down the toilet
10. Trial by Jury? What the hell is that?
11. Limitless Federal Power
The list goes on and it's all analyzed in detail in the Cato report. Did I mention the fact that I highly recommend every person here download, print, and hand this report out? Do it. It's that good. There may be some serious disagreement in this community on two of the issues in particular, political speech (campaign finance reform etc) and disrespecting states rights, but overall it is an excellent smackdown on the Bush Junta.
The Bush administration has also allowed restrictions on the rights of Americans to criticize the government on the streets of our cities and towns. In case after case, when President Bush makes a public appearance, nonviolent protesters have been harassed by law enforcement either Secret Service agents or local police operating at their request and forced out of the president's line of sight, to a designated protest area known as the "free-speech zone." The free-speech zones are often behind fences or obstructions such as "Greyhound-sized buses" and far out of sight of the media covering the affair.
In one case, the 2004 G-8summit on Sea Island, Georgia, protesters were kept 10 miles away. If protesters fail to comply with the order to move, they are subject to arrest and prosecution.
Yeah, old news of course. But one of many crimes that Bush has no problem committing against the Constitution...taking away the fundamental right to freedom of speech. If you have no freedom of speech...what exactly do you have left? Nada. He loves that shit....keep em away....keep me in my bubble....and dissent doesnt even exist. Voila! Magic!
But is that truly unconstitutional if people are allowed to speak somewhere...just not in front of their elected representatives?
Such actions against protestors violate settled constitutional principles governing free speech and public protest. As the Supreme Court explained in United States v. Grace(1983),a case involving two plaintiffs threatened with arrest for leafleting and picketing on the sidewalk in front of the Supreme Court building,"`[P]ublic places' historically associated with the free exercise of expressive activities, such ass treets, sidewalks, and parks, are considered . . .to be `public forums.' In such places, the gov-ernment's ability to permissibly restrict expressive conduct is very limited." Any restrictions on the time, place, or manner of the speech must be "content-neutral [and] narrowly tailored to serve a significant government inter-est, and leave open ample alternative channels of communication."
When the government action in question discriminates on the basis of viewpoint, it is even less likely to survive a First Amendment challenge. That can be seen in Mahoney v.Babbitt, a 1997 case in which the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals prevented a Clinton adminis-tration attempt to bar anti-abortion protestors from the parade route at President Clinton'ssecond inaugural. Though the National Park Service had granted permits to the Presidential Inaugural Committee that would allow them to display banners supportive of the president along the sidewalks of Pennsylvania Avenue,the Park Service denied a permit to a group protesting partial-birth abortion and threatened group members with arrest if they displayed signs criticizing the president. Since the government was "attempting to ban, on a viewpoint-determined basis, First Amendment activity from a quintessential public forum," its action could not stand. As Judge David Sentelle noted, "[T]he government has no authority to license one side to fight freestyle,while forbidding the other to fight at all."
Ooooh noooo here come the "Clinton did it too" torch-bearers. That's irrelevant though. If Clinton did it then he was wrong as well and the courts established that and set precedent that Bush is now, by law, required to follow. But, then again, we all know that the constitution only applies to Bush when he wants it to....as in, never.
As the Mahoney case shows, the Bush administration is not the first to attempt toinsulate the president from public protest. But that is no excuse for trampling free speech rights. There is no indication that President Bush has personally ordered the Secret Service to ensure that protestors are treated differently than supporters. But he has failed to put a stop to the practice. The president is in daily, direct contact with the Secret Service, and is more than capable of rectifying an unconstitutional practice tha thas received wide public attention. Indeed,that is what his oath requires of him. By allowing this practice to continue, President Bush has failed in his duty to ensure that those protecting him also respect the constitutional rights of citizens.
Does anyone actually, for a split second, believe that these actions to insulate him from dissent are not being done at his command? If so, come back to reality world and join us here.
MMmmkaaaay I smell a Nixon comparison coming up....wouldn't be right without one since it's becoming increasingly obvious that this crew is going by the same playbook that they did 30+ years ago.
The Bush administration's view of executive power is quite different. It amounts to the view that, in time of war, the president is the law, and no treaty, no statute, no coordi-nate branch of the U.S. government can stand in the president's way when, by his lights, he is acting to preserve national security. That is apparent in a series of startling claims the administration has made in official documents and public papers, which include the following:
* presidential power to ignore federal statutes governing treatment of enemy prisoners as well as other federal laws that impinge on practices the president believes to be useful in fighting the waron terror;
* unilateral executive authority over questions of war and peace; and
* the power to designate American citizens "enemy combatants" and lock them up without charges for the duration of the war on terror - in other words, perhaps forever.
In a 1977 interview with David Frost, Richard Nixon described his view of the president's national security authority, "Well, when the President does it, that means it is not illegal." In the arguments it has advanced, bothpublicly and privately, for untrammeled executive power, the Bush administration comes perilously close to that view.
Eh I wouldn't say they come perilously close to it. I'd say that they've put Nixon to shame in that belief. It's their entire basis of governing (or committing crime) at this point.
What is the purpose of the constitution if it doesnt even exist to the person most highly charged with making sure that it is followed to the letter? If the president doesnt believe the constitution means anything then his oath of office obviously means nothing, the rule of law obviously means nothing, and he has gone beyond president and into the realm of King or...dare we say it....dictator. Now before anyone goes all "ooohhh myyyy goooddddd!!1!!!!1!! i can't believe you called him Hitler!!!11!!".
I didn't. I said that he has made it obvious that the constitutional position which he holds has now become extra-constitutional because the constitution has been shown not to exist to him. I don't know what that means he has become....but the officer described in the constitution who took that oath is no longer appropriate. He burned that oath long ago and in so doing, with the complicity of a willfully ignorant public and a lapdog press, has burned the constitution to ashes as well.
There's a lot more in the report and I suggest all of yuou download it and check it out. It goes into 4th amendment search and seizure violations, habeus corpus, jury trial, etc on down the list.
This is the conclusion of the report which, personally, I think lets him off too easy based on the convictions in the body of the report. But it ain't pretty either.
One searches for bright spots in the Bush constitutional record. And there were at least two. Early on in the president's first term, Attorney General John Ashcroft made clear that it was the Bush administration's position that the Second Amendment guarantees a personal, individual right to bear arms. In two federal cases, the Bush administration argued in formal court papers that the ``Second Amendment . . . protects the rights of individuals, including persons who are not members of any militia . . . to possess and bear their own firearms, subject to reasonable restrictions designed to prevent possession by unfit persons or . . . firearms that are particularly suited to criminal misuse." That was a significant, if symbolic, victory for those who believe that the Second Amendment means what it says, that "the right of the people" means an individual, personal right, just as it does in the First,Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth Amendments. The president has also appointed a number of federal judges who appear to take constitutional limits seriously and may be expected to look skeptically at broad claims of legislative power. However, whether the same judges will look skeptically at broad claims of executive power remains very much in doubt.
But those acts are not enough to redeem the Bush constitutional record, which is, overwhelmingly, one of contempt for constitutional limits. In its official papers and publicactions, the Bush administration has endorsed a vision of federal power that is astonishingly broad, a vision that includes:
* a federal government empowered to regulate core political speech and restrict it greatly when it counts the most: in the days before a federal election;
* a president who can launch wars at will, and who cannot be restrained from ordering the commission of war crimes,should he choose to do so;
* a president who can lock up American citizens at will and forever without any meaningful oversight by the judiciary;and
* a federal government with the power to supervise all areas of American life, from education to marriage and through the end of life.
It is a vision, in short, unimagined by our Constitution's Framers.
On the campaign trail in 2000, then-governor Bush typically ended his stump speech witha dramatic flourish: he pantomimed the oath of office. But the oath is more than a political gimmick; for the founding generation it was a solemn pledge, designed to bind the officeholder to the country and the Constitution he serves. Throughout his tenure, President Bush has repeatedly dishonored that pledge. And because of that, he has weakened the constitutional order on which the American way of lifedepends.
George W. Bush....it's time for you to fuckin go so we can bring the rule of law back to this nation
Power Surge: The Constitutional Record of George W. Bush (PDF download - 966kb)
Credit where credit is due....here is who wrote the report:
As senior editor at the Cato Institute, Gene Healy is responsible for reviewing and editing Cato policy studies and other publications. His research interests include federalism, criminal justice, constitutional war powers, civil liberties, and the war on terror. From 1994 to 1996, Healy served as managing editor of Cato's Regulation magazine. He returned to Cato in October 2001 after law school and two years of private practice as an attorney in the commercial litigation group at the law firm Howrey Simon Arnold & White. Healy is a contributing editor to Liberty magazine, as well as the editor of Go Directly to Jail: The Criminalization of Almost Everything. His writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, and elsewhere. Healy holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.
Director, Project on Criminal Justice
Under the direction of Tim Lynch, Cato's Project on Criminal Justice has become a leading voice in support of the Bill of Rights and civil liberties. His research interests include the war on terrorism, overcriminalization, the drug war, the militarization of police tactics, and gun control. In 2000, he served on the National Committee to Prevent Wrongful Executions. Lynch has also filed several amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court in cases involving constitutional rights. He is the editor of After Prohibition: An Adult Approach to Drug Policies in the 21st Century. Since joining Cato in 1991, Lynch has published articles in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, ABA Journal, and the National Law Journal. He has appeared on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, NBC Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight, Fox's The O'Reilly Factor, and C-SPAN's Washington Journal. Lynch is a member of the Wisconsin, District of Columbia, and Supreme Court bars. He earned both a B.S. and a J.D. from Marquette University.
Hopefully we can hear Mr. Lynch wax poetic over George W. Bush's criminal trial in the future. :-)