Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Monday, September 11, 2006

America's Safety and Security Depends on The Rule of Law At Home

When the NSA was monitoring prior to 9-11, Bush said the illegal activity was needed to protect America. He failed.

We weren't safe then. We're not safe now. The common elements: This President and his ineffectual Republican Party.

We need better stewards to assert the Rule of Law.

* * *

Bush said that we were fighting terrorists abroad so we didn't have to wage war at home. In theory, the foreign battle was necessary to avoid a risk at home.

This President wages war to avoid the needed Constitutional confrontation at home. This President’s smokescreen depends on the distraction of Iraq.

* * *

Bush has changed. Now he argues that if we fail to win in Iraq -- a battle that we supposedly had to fight to be safe at home -- we will be less safe at home.Ref

Prepare for the Bush Mental Gymnastics

Use plenty of chalk. Let's consider the paradox. If we combine what Bush said before the illegal invasion of Iraq, with what he's saying now, the President implicitly argues against himself:

  • "We need war abroad to be safe"; and

  • "If we lose the war of choice abroad we are not safe."

    However, if the result of battle in Bagdad has any relationship to whether we are or are not safe at home, then Bush is arguing that we are never safe unless we wage war. That makes no sense, and absurdly invokes George Orwell:

    A. War is peace.

    B. War is security.

    C. War is freedom.

    D. War is safety.

    The truth is the opposite:

  • 1. Peace is without war. When war is waged, there is no peace. When war is unfolding, and there is no plan to secure the peace, that is not a plan, but a reckless adventure.

  • 2. Security prevents war. When war is waged, the goal is to quickly preserve security, not use war as merely an assertion of security. Security has to be a condition which is met and achieved, not simply asserted as an idea.

  • 3. Freedom is freedom from war. We don’t compromise on our values. We may compromise on our goals. But the ultimate goal – The Rule of Law – must prevail, and cannot be squandered under false claims of freedom, security, or the benefits of war.

  • 4. Safety is freedom from war and its ill effects of spiraling budgets, abuse of power, and violation of our rights. When we compromise on our rights, and ignore the legal constraints, we permit power to advance without constraint. We see the results in Iraq: Unlimited power when wielded without constraint is imprudent, and leaves us with neither safety, nor freedom, nor security. Most of all, we lose our Supreme Value – The Rule of Law.

    * * *

    If Bush's original premise were true -- that by waging war abroad, we would not have to wage it at home -- then the outcome of that war, regardless victory or defeat, would have no relationship to American safety at home. The war itself should be the barrier to problems. The fact that the President could use uncheckable power meant that he had infinite power and resources to create a barrier to the problem.

    The war abroad, that was supposed to keep the bad things away, is now something that itself is attracting bad things. The President’s "can't lose-we have to do this" plan backfired. Those barriers to problems, like the New Orleans levees, proved to be a fictional defense. The French called it the Maginot line. Reality took a diversionary route.

    This Congress in failing to exercise oversight and impose constraints illegally delegated that oversight responsibility to the Iraqi insurgency, the Taliban, and the prisoners of war. This Congress did not check this President. The President’s enemy checked the President. The all powerful American President, even when he ignores the law, cannot ignore those who refuse to assent to abuse of power.

    The issue is not whether the enemy will win or lose. The issue is the enemy is more determined to do what is right –- assert their rights -- than we are willing to correct what is wrong –- preserve the Rule of Law. Power and the force of arms are meaningless when the law is corrupted, imprudent leaders act without regard to the Supreme Law. We are reminded what a determined people are capable when they confront reckless, abusive power: Victory.

    * * *

    Putting aside the Constitution and illegalities, by invoking the (illegal) claim of a Monarch, the President essentially argued that there was no barrier to him doing what he wants. This President had total control over the entire Federal Budget, had signing statements, ignored the law, and has repeated he could (illegally) do what he wants. Congress and the law weren't in the way. This President chose to ignore the wise counsel of the JAGs, ignored the laws, and still couldn’t achieve victory.

    It's one thing to wage war with your hands behind your back, and lose. It's quite another to wage illegal war without restraint, and still lose. Even when he (illegally) self-delegated power to do anything, this RNC-controlled government can't figure out how to solve problems.

    The RNC has total control of the budget, NSA, and military. If there was a problem, the RNC-controlled CIA would have provided the information, found the problem, and thrown infinite resources at the problem to solve it. Indeed, under Addington’s unreviewable-theory of the Presidency, Congress has no power to oppose the President, which they have well done: Not opposing the President.

    * * *

    Nobody forced the RNC to wage illegal war, or target irrelevant enemies. This was a war of choice. There was plenty of time to plan, organize, raise resources, and win. The smart plan would have for the RNC and President to make their goal easily achievable, and then overwhelm the problem with excessive resources to guarantee success.

    Yet, despite observing no (legal, military, reality) constraints, this RNC-controlled government failed to achieve their self-defined goal. It’s one thing to fail when chasing someone else’s dream; quite another to fail to meet a freely chosen goal where there were no recognized constraints.

    The President and RNC are losing not because they are being constrained. Rather, the problem is the opposite: They aren’t recognizing the real constraints, and recklessly acting without a credible plan.

    This President reminds us that those who are in power, without a plan, are not leaders. They are reckless and endanger our national security.

    * * *

    There's no reason to trust this RNC-controlled government. The truth is that we would be better off had we done nothing, enforce the no-fly zone, and spend the money wasted in Iraq on developing a model system in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the Americans ignored the Russian experience in Afghanistan.

    It's one thing to fight an illegal war abroad, and claim we are safe and free from enemies. Quite another to pretend the real battle at home -- the Rule of Law -- can be forgotten; or that the Constitution and Rule of Law depends on anything but what Americans do at home.

    The success or failure of America doesn't hinge on whether we win or lose in Baghdad, but whether we win or lose the Rule of Law at home.