Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Am I missing something here?

Not that it's news, exactly, but people are taking note of the latest report by charlie Savage of the Boston Globe that George W. Bush has proclaimed himself to be absolute dictator, above the law, and unaccountable to Congress, the courts, or the people -- from whom he has the absolute right to conceal any and all information about official actions he takes as Commander in Chief, by which he means Commander in Chief of the United States, not just of the armed forces.

Of course, the administration proclaimed all this publicly a long time ago. This includes the power to do absolutely anything. It includes the power to spy on American citizens, listen to their telephone calls, read their mail and their Internet correspondence, find out what books they have been reading, watch their movements, keep track of their associations, without a court order and without having to tell anyone. It includes the power to make people (including U.S. citizens) disappear into a secret network of prisons, with no possibility of judicial review or even the knowledge of anyone except high administration officials and secret intelligence agents, there to be tortured, even tortured to death, for as long as the Commander in Chief cares to confine, conceal and torture them. These are powers which Mr. Bush proudly proclaims, and boasts of exercising, and the Attorney General has so testified before Congress. The corporate media have treated these claims as an interesting constitutional question, about which scholars have various opinions and may politely disagree. The Democrats in Congress have largely ignored it, or muttered some tepid reservations.

So, uhh, shouldn't people be kind of upset? You know, people like the Majority Leaders in the House and Senate (what are their names again, anyway?), Democratic candidates for President, editors of newspapers, maybe retired presidents (wouldn't you think Jimmy Carter might have something to say? WJ Clinton?), prominent television commentators. I mean, I vaguely remember as a school child being taught that the United States is a democracy, a government of laws not of men (nowadays we'd say people), that we had a constitutional order of checks and balances, a bill of rights, stuff like that. Since none of that is true after all, wouldn't you expect people to at least feel a bit confused? I guess outrage is too much to ask, but a sense of impropriety, at least, could be expected.

I guess not.

1 comment:

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