Saturday, April 08, 2006

Weekly Round Up

What Bill of Rights? Iran, and my weekly rant...

This has been a week of several "events" that are shaping the way Americans view their new place in the world, especially right here at home. I have a feeling there may be a growing number of people who are beginning to regret that fateful vote they cast in November of 2004 that re-elected George W. Bush...

On Thursday, new AP-Ipsos polls came out that caused one Republican strategist to say "These numbers are scary." Also on Thursday, Attorney General (Torturer in Chief) Alberto Gonzales let us know that Bush has the right to wiretap phone calls that take place exclusively in the United States, putting the preverbial "last nail in the coffin" for the Bill of Rights. Friday, WIRED News posted this story about a whistleblower who has outed a NSA secret wiretapping room at AT&T. Internet communications are apparently involved, and by tapping into AT&T's broadband networks, they are picking up communications taking place on other major carrier's lines. Fantastic! We are officially in Orwell's 1984.

"Plamegate" is starting to get interesting once again...
I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, implicated none other than George Bush himself in authorizing the leaking "favorable" portions of the highly sensitive National Intelligence Estimate to beat back critics of the Iraq war. While this in itself does not truly indicate a crime, it does show that the show to discredit critics was run by Bush himself, and not some petty game being played by White House staffers. Declassifying material for the sole purpose of politics seems to me to erode the trustworthiness and honesty of the office of the president. It calls into question a lot of things...did he clear brush on queue and decide not to read his Presidential Daily Briefing back in August of '01 for political reasons?

Of course we have the fact that the president effectively lied to the American people about the leak issue on no less than 8 occassions. He had to have thought that he could get away with this one, that the investigation would never get that far. Either that, or he really is just that drunk with his own power. I'm going to guess the latter.


And now to the subject of military planning against Iran's nuclear sites...

Seymour Hersch wrote an article for the New Yorker stating that the military and Bush Administration has plans designed for an attack including the use of bunker busting nuclear weapons in a strike against "hundreds, maybe thousands" of targets in Iran. In fairness, the New York Times reports that four unnamed officials deny that the U. S. considered nukes. Of course, this sort of takes us in a flashback...Valerie Plame was reportedly working on Iran for the CIA when she was outed by the Bush Administration. Funny how this president seems to have nothing but complete didain for the agency his father once ran...

My Weekly Opinionated Rant

This week just continued to prove to me that the Bush Administration is drunk with their own power, and needs to have the oversight of our "worse than 'do nothing'" congress. Congress has now met less than the "do nothing" congress of 1947. This week they couldn't do anything about the immigration issue, and are now on their 2 week spring recess. They've shown no willingness to perform their oversight duties on the Executive, as usual. This congress has ignored their constitutional duties, and the public is starting to move towards that "throw them all out" mood. Republican control of congress is dangerous at this point in our history. This has allowed the administration to gain more power than any other administration that I can even begin to think of, power that they should not have, power that places each and every one of us in jeapordy. They have shown nothing but disdain for the Legislative and Judiciary. Left unchecked, America could fall into a "quasi-dictatorship" or a monarchy.

Gas prices continue to soar, and so do the profits of the oil industry. The price of oil and gas will only continue to soar, and the Amercian public's apathy seems to remain in place. When (no longer a matter of "if" apparently) the U.S. decides to invade or attack Iran's nuclear facilities, I predict that gas prices will nearly double over their current rate. If the Bush Administration decides to go ahead with their plans to use nuclear "bunker buster" weapons in an assault on Iran, I truly believe (no doubt in my mind) that the U.S. will trigger a much broader conflict in the region, and will render the United Nations impotent...something I actually believe this administration wants. Hezbollah will retaliate with the blessing of Iran, allowing this administration to instill more fear into the hearts of citizens, and gain more power with Patriot Act III.

When will Americans wake up? When will the cries for resignation be heard in the street as loudly as the immigration protest of the last few weeks? Have Americans awoken already from apathetic sleep? Time will tell. I'm awake. And I'm ready for a change. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness is not just for Oil Executives anymore.

Tags: Politics Plamegate Iran War Iraq Gas Prices Nuclear

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