|Sent on:||Thursday, March 26, 2009 4:07 PM|
Is Declaring Permanent War Treason?
by Ralph Lopez
Center for Constitutional Rights President Michael Ratner now saying
that recently uncovered John Yoo memos constitute "treason" against
"the institutions of the United States" by arguing formally for the
revocation of the First, Fourth, and Sixth Amendments, (free speech,
search and seizure without probable cause, and right to a jury trial,)
it really boils it down to whether we have accepted a certain premise.
Does the War on Terror meet all the definitions of George Orwell's state of permanent war? If we have accepted a state of permanent war, then Yoo's memos are ultimately sound, as they are based largely upon claims of wartime powers which existed in previous wars. If we have not, then the attempt to impose a definition of war which has "no end," in George Bush's words, amounts to pure treason.
After 9/11 Bush could have said, "We will not allow terrorists to frighten us into abolishing our own freedoms, the very freedoms they so hate. We will show the world how a free and fearless people rises to this enormous challenge; this is a war for the hearts and minds of the world. And that is a war America will win."
Instead, Bush said Be Scared, Be Damned Scared, and Give All Your Freedoms to Me Because I'll Take Care of You.
Bush made it clear that his war went beyond Iraq and Afghanistan, by calling it a "global" war on terror, with the enemy having sanctuaries in over 60 countries, including the U.S. He claimed the authority to strike the enemy "wherever we may find him," be it Indonesia, the Philippines or South America.
The missed story of the century was Bush repeatedly flubbing his Oath of Office, by saying he was keeping to his most "solemn duty," perteckin the American people. But the oath says only "to uphold, defend, and protect the United States Constitution," end of story, all she wrote. It doesn't say a damned thing about perteckin the people.
The Founders left the people to protect themselves, and worried most about protection from an arrogant, greedy government like the one which is now giving all your money away to millionaires and billionaires, in addition to the half-trillion it has already given to Halliburton.
And so it was, pondering this, that I happened across a brilliant little essay by one Jacob Levich, who soon after 9/11 wrote:
"Controlling dissent" could mean forcing us to accept, as the price of safety, what George Bush did to Jose Padilla,
the first American "enemy combatant" arrested on American soil in the
Forever War. If we accept the premise of Orwell's Forever War, then
what happened to Padilla is now perfectly legal and could happen to any
one of us.
If we say, Now hold on there, George Bush and John Yoo, we're going
to call you on that one. By trying to slip past us the notion of
Forever War, in tandem with claiming wartime powers which trump the
Bill of Rights, you are committing treason, as Michael Ratner said, to
"the institutions of the United States." You can have an open-ended
war. Or you can have wartime powers. But you can't have both.
Levich tightly lays out the case for how the Bushies tried to pull an Orwell, the remedy for which is the growing prosecution movement:
Ratner, a constitutional scholar, said:
I can't wind up any better than Levich does:
Email for Senator Pat Leahy, the "Truth Commission": [address removed]
Jose Padilla in Military Custody