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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Now this is dissent

The following was written by Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was previously an Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. Those credentials make him a real conservative. This shows that he's not at all happy with the current crowd in the White House:
Having eliminated internal opposition, the Bush administration is now using blackmail obtained through illegal spying on American citizens to silence the media and the opposition party.

Before flinching at my assertion of blackmail, ask yourself why President Bush refuses to obey the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The purpose of the FISA court is to ensure that administrations do not spy for partisan political reasons. The warrant requirement is to ensure that a panel of independent federal judges hears a legitimate reason for the spying, thus protecting a president from the temptation to abuse the powers of government. The only reason for the Bush administration to evade the court is that the Bush administration had no legitimate reasons for its spying. This should be obvious even to a naif.

The United States is undergoing a coup against the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, civil liberties, and democracy itself. The "liberal press" has been co-opted. As everyone must know by now, the New York Times has totally failed its First Amendment obligations, allowing Judith Miller to make war propaganda for the Bush administration, suppressing for an entire year the news that the Bush administration was illegally spying on American citizens, and denying coverage to Al Gore's speech that challenged the criminal deeds of the Bush administration.

The TV networks mimic Fox News' faux patriotism. Anyone who depends on print, TV, or right-wing talk radio media is totally misinformed. The Bush administration has achieved a de facto Ministry of Propaganda.

The years of illegal spying have given the Bush administration power over the media and the opposition. Journalists and Democratic politicians don't want to have their adulterous affairs broadcast over television or to see their favorite online porn sites revealed in headlines in the local press with their names attached. Only people willing to risk such disclosures can stand up for the country.

Homeland Security and the Patriot Act are not our protectors. They undermine our protection by trashing the Constitution and the civil liberties it guarantees. Those with a tyrannical turn of mind have always used fear and hysteria to overcome obstacles to their power and to gain new means of silencing opposition.
There's a lot more and I encourage everyone to read the entire piece. Hat tip to Dave and Thomas at Seeing the Forest.

William Safire accused the administration of seizing "dictatorial power by replacing the rule of law with military kangaroo courts."

Actually, I've often blogged about the administration's conservative critics, so I won't go on about that right now.

Key question: When will it end?

I keep waiting for the American people to wake up and realize that they cannot be paralyzed by fear. While they are cowering, people in the current administration are posing an unprecedented threat to basic liberty. And in Orwellian fashion, they brag about protecting and spreading democracy.

It's truly obscene.

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