Bush Lies: Stated Wiretap Required Court Order
What a difference a year makes -- or is an election? Back in 2004, George W. Bush was caught on camera explaining very carefully that the government always requires a court order when "chasing down terrorists." Trying to sell the Patriot Act -- which he wanted renewed but which was coming under increasing fire from all sides of the political spectrum -- Bush was very clear that "a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way." By that, he meant that
neither the Patriot Act nor its ostensible cause -- the 9/11 terrorist attacks -- changed the absolute legal requirement for the government to get a court order before ordering wiretaps against suspected terrorists.
(One interesting side note: Bush continually refers to ordering wiretaps against "terrorists" -- not suspects. This is highly revealing of his mindset: anyone who is suspected of being a terrorist automatically IS a terrorist. This mindset has permeated the entire military and security apparatus: that's why countless innocent people have been jailed and tortured around the world: because all suspects are regarded as guilty -- no matter how shaky or specious or non-existent the basis of their capture.)
But this week, Bush has outed himself as a liar. He has admitted -- even boasted -- of his secret spy program that operated without any warrants or any recourse to judicial oversight whatsoever -- not even the FISA program which could have given him the broadest possible scope to order wiretaps and surveillance of suspected terrorists. Last year, before the election, Bush was insisting that wiretaps could be only issued by a court order; now, after the election, he freely admits that this is not the case.
For more than four years now, I've written about Bush's claims of preemptory presidential power, his claim that he has the right to jail, hold, torture and, yes, even kill anyone on earth that he wants to, by his arbitrary will, above any and all laws. When I wrote my first column on this theme, in October 2001, I knew only that these arbitrary powers were being secretly asserted by Bush in various executive orders, which were deliberately leaked to papers like the Washington Post and the NY Times, where they were seen not as naked grabs for dictatorial powers, but as "tough measures" from a "tough leader" willing to "do what it takes" to fight terrorism. It was part of the broader PR offensive at the time which included Dick Cheney's open statement, on national television, that the U.S. would have to "walk on the dark side" in this "new kind of war." What I didn't know then is what has since been revealed: the fact that Bush's legal team, including John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzales and John Yoo, had erected an entire scaffolding of legal perversion to buttress this "new kind of tyranny," all of it based on the sinister philosophy of the president's "plenary power" -- i.e., his right override any and all laws in his capacity as "commander-in-chief." But the fruits of this then-secret legal pretzeling was self-evident in every act of the Administration over the past few years.
Now, it's all tumbling out of the closet; the filth is so mountainous and rank that even the comfortable coddlers of power in the mainstream media are starting to notice. Bush's secret spying on Americans is just the tip of a vast iceberg of sludge, but its emergence could be a tipping point, as its howling illegality is too glaring to be overlooked. This lawlessness may, in the end, be countenanced by the political/media establishment -- at which time we can well and truly close up shop on the American Republic and line up to receive our junta uniforms. But for now, we must press the case as hard as we can.
This video gives smoking gun proof that all of Bush's current "justifications" for his spy program are -- like the reasons for the
Iraq war -- outright lies. Here you can see him condemn himself in his own words