Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bill of Rights?...What Bill of Rights?

Whenever I see any kind of concise or compiled list of the damage that has been done to my country by the current administration (and its backers), I am just awestruck at what they have been able to accomplish and get away with. I'm also aware of the pitfalls of believing, without question, in our country. I don't mean to imply that we shouldn't believe in America, at all. I'm talking about that insideous tendency that Americans have to believe that our country is infallible and invincible. It's only been the last year that accusations of "conspiracy freak" and "traitor" have begun to lessen (somewhat) against those who have been speaking out about what has been going on here.

Marktheshark, from Daily Kos, has compiled an eye-opening (and frightening) list of the progressive pecking away that the Bush administration has been doing to the Constitution and, specifically, the Bill of Rights. A couple of examples are:

January 2001

• President Bush signs off on a presidential directive that delays [indefinitely] the scheduled release of presidential documents authorized by the Presidential Records Act of 1978, pertaining to the Reagan-Bush administration.

• The Bush regime begins the process of radically broadening scope of documents and information which can be deemed classified

As Mark points out, "They hit the ground running in January 2001 and took the insidious path to power; taking a little at a time, so we unwitting Americans wouldn’t notice."

The list continues:

February 2001

• The National Security Agency (NSA) sets up
Project Groundbreaker, a monitoring program for domestic call infrastructure.

February -- April 2001

• A secret order issued by the Bush regime authorizes NSA monitoring of domestic phone and internet traffic

...and more recently:

September – October 2003

• The FBI changes its traditional policy of destroying all data and documents collected on innocent citizens in the course of criminal investigations. This information would, according to the bureau, now be permanently stored. Two years later in late 2005 Executive Order 13388, expanded access to those files for "state, local and tribal" governments and for "appropriate private sector entities," which are not defined

January 2004

• The FBI begins keeping a database of US citizens based on information obtained via NSLs

June 2006

• Supreme court rules that evidence obtained in violation of the "knock and announce" rules can still be permitted in court

...and it goes on from there.

I began this post talking about the American tendency to believe blindly. I speak to that because Mark's primary point is that we haven't been paying attention. I accept that, but I also believe that it is more than that. There is a fundamental belief by many in this country that it just isn't possible for America to experience the militarism, totalitarianism, and overall degradation of our system that other countries do, that somehow we are different and immune to that. We aren't, and to continue to cling to that falsehood is doing as much, if not more damage than not paying attention.
And here is the rest of it.

1 comment:

Chuck Butcher said...

You need to look farther back, RICO and some gun control laws are blatantly UnConstitutional. These things don't happen in a vacume, they happen because they are gradually tolerated in the name of security from some unpopular minority - then it's all of us. One of us is all of us. But it's easy to forget if you don't like the mafia or guns or...