State Secrets or Unlimited Power

“Yes, you are right–I am a moralist in disguise; it gets me into heaps of trouble when I go thrashing around in political questions.” Mark Twain


The Bush administration’s continued use of the state secrets privilege to stomp on dissent in the courts is evil. It is most often conjured up in response to allegations of criminal conduct on the part of the government. They are challenges to the present administration’s new theories of unchecked executive power.
By using the state secrets privilege the administration avoids having to give an accounting of its conduct. And if the administration continues to succeed in this-the administration will have succeeded in creating a precedent of insurmountable immunity, which can be invoked against any legal claim that the tactics and constitutional abnegations used in the “war on terror”, violates the law. The standard administration response to any plaintiff who asserted such criminal charges would be, quite simply, that it’s a secret.

The Bush administration has fought to limit scrutiny or restriction of its conduct since the war on terror began. Unless courts begin to reject his assertion, the administration may have found in the state secrets privilege, the ultimate tool for making its actions invincible to all challenges, and making us the new communist power.

President Bush’s arguments about his national security powers, and his use of ‘state secrets’ immunity threaten the concept of checks and balances, as it has been understood in America for over 200 years. Bush and his lawyers contend that the president’s powers in these matters are unlimited.

Since the war on terror is currently scheduled to run practically forever, the executive supremacy they’re asserting won’t be a temporary condition.

Write your Congressperson or Senator.

About the word of me
Interested in family and friends,grandchildren, photography, darkrooms, history, archaeology, scuba diving, computers, software, fast cars, journalism, writing, travel, ecology, news, science, and probably most other subjects you could think of. Did I mention family and friends?? I require iced tea or cold brewed coffee and a internet connection to be fully functional. Sometimes there are just so many words in my head they spill out.

8 Responses to State Secrets or Unlimited Power

  1. scandal17 says:

    Example or this hyperbole?

  2. thewordofme says:

    Hi scandal17
    Peruse Slate online magazine, New York Times, Washington Post, London Times, Foreign Affairs, Los Angeles Times. The information is out there…it just takes some time to put the pieces together.
    The Republican Party has a great propaganda and dis-information campaign going. They are under attack from many sides about their contravening constitutional law. I am really a Republican by choice and voting record, I am just really worried about what is going on with these people.
    Do you support torture, even if it means some totally innocent people are screwed over?
    We signed and supported the Geneva Convention treaty a long time ago and have up to now honored it
    The US has always been on the ‘good’ side of the issues that are brought up by war, and our presidents have been guardians of the constitution for over 200 years—until now.
    I am a long time news hound and follow politics and ‘Big Brother’ issues as much as I can. Clinton, Gore, Bush, Cheney have been the worst offenders in human right violations in a long time. Remember Al Gore wanted to put decryption back doors into all computers and software so the Feds’ could spy on you at will? And Clinton was working on (and achieved) having the phone company’s enable track and trace for ‘all us prole’s.
    It’s scary out there–you just have to track and trace all the news story’s to know how much. Sorry, I tend to get on a soapbox about these matters.

  3. scandal17 says:

    What is the relevance of asking if I support torture? When did I stop beating my wife?

    I’m less worried about decryption back doors and phone company traces than I am about the ever-growing, publicly available Google dossier on all of us. I do trust the government more than I trust Google.

  4. thewordofme says:

    You wrote: I’m less worried about decryption back doors and phone company traces than I am about the ever-growing, publicly available Google dossier on all of us. I do trust the government more than I trust Google.

    Wow! really?

    Seriously, I distrust both of them. I kind of follow the quote from George Orwell.

    War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it. George Orwell

    How do you feel about warrantless searches of your house and property? How do you feel about ID cards that have pages and pages of data about you, including DNA analysis’ that can be read by anyone that has access to, or is able to build a scanner.
    The parts and technology are out there for all to see and use.

    How would you feel if, as in England, the Feds could sentence you to jail for accessing the wrong information without sufficient excuse? This scares me and makes me want to fight against it. Sorry if that offends you.
    Some people say you have nothing to worry about if your not doing anything wrong. I say, and others concur with me, that we don’t trust government to decide for us what we can see, or as long as it is morally right, to tell us what to do or who we can associate with. Do you follow Bush/Cheney without question, with total trust? If you do, how well do you know them?

  5. scandal17 says:

    We’re not England. The monarchy is not entirely a legal fiction. Nor is there anything like a Constitution that can limit the powers exercised by Parliament in the name of the Monarch.

    Also, England has a peculiar history of being under terrorist siege for several decades before the current truce with the IRA. It’s hard to pick your nose in England without the event showing up on police CCTV. Then there’s the extraordinary high rates of crime in England. England’s response is widespread CCTV. The English are very, very tough.

    Look, you don’t offend me. This is a discussion. However, you might be referring to laws against accessing child porn. I think the same can be done here: They’ll throw you in jail faster than “boo!” for looking at child porn (God bless ’em). There’s an almost unanimous consensus that ordinary Internet porn is bad (or an adult choice, like all the vices), but child porn is evil. It’s probably a good idea to make sure that your machine has certain filters in place.

    I don’t trust the blogosphere to be self-policing. I am absolutely in favor of recognizing that the 1st Amendment is not a blanket license to use the most effective means for publication and distribution of written materials in the history of mankind for purposes of defamation, even if such defamation purports to be mere hyperbole in the service of political debate. I would support any law that criminalized defamatory false statement on the Internet, because that defamatory false statement reaches right inside your house when it’s published on the Internet. It’s not a newspaper article that will be forgotten in less than a month.

    Moreover, I’d argue that any Google search of your name is already a warrantless search. So if you don’t like warrantless searches, then you should support a legal measure to prevent indexing searches on your name.

    Do I follow Bush/Cheney? I don’t have a clue to what those guys think or what they say to other people. Their public pronouncements are mere fluff, as is the case whenever any politician speaks (one reason I consider debates a meaningless sop to an boneheaded electorate). It would be impossible for me to have a better idea of what they think or say to other people. Cheney himself has no authority in government whatsoever. As for the President, all of his powers are delegated to Cabinet secretaries, various commissioners and agency supervisors. If you take issue with the Administration, Bush is not your problem, it’s some guy who sits in the Cabinet or works at one or more levels under a Cabinet Secretary or his equivalent in one of the agencies or commissions. Large organizations like the Federal Government require management structures that assure the irrelevance of the most senior officers of government. Bush may be the poster child for his Administration but he is not the Administration.

    Happy New Year!

  6. thewordofme says:

    It’s late here and I will come back later…..But before I sign off tonight….the vice-president has newly endowed powers to classify government documents that were given to him in 2003 I believe. VP’s did not have this power before. Now he can classify his own documents relating to Halliburton and what went on in the contracts.
    You wrote:Bush may be the poster child for his Administration but he is not the Administration.
    Does he not know or have a hand into what is going on?
    I sincerely hope you have a good New Year also.


  7. Blog Justice says:

    Paradox of management: the more important you are, the less you have to do with the running of things. Sorry if that offends your desire to assign blame.

  8. thewordofme says:

    Hi Blog Justice,

    YOU wrote: Sorry if that offends your desire to assign blame.—stop

    I’m just giving credit where credit is due. I’m not doing the assigning of blame, it is just naturally falling on the culprits.
    Much better and much more recognized writers than me have been writing about these subjects for a few years, in nationally recognized magazines and newspapers

    YOU wrote: Paradox of management: the more important you are, the less you have to do with the running of things.—stop

    President Harry Truman had a sign on his White House desk: “The Buck Stops Here.” I think everyone investigating and writing on this subject understand that Bush and Cheney are the ones passing down the illegal orders.
    My understanding about this war on Iraq, is that Bush and Cheney are very hands on in directing the law changes.
    Bush,”We do not torture.” No… we send our suspects to other countries to be tortured in our name.

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