Wednesday, March 12, 2008
The Bush administration became illegitimate when George W. Bush placed his hands on a black book and lied.
“I, name, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and I will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
He has failed to execute the office of President in a lawful manner, exceeding his power and authority. Most egregiously, he has not merely failed to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”, he has worked overtly to destroy it. This is high treason.
Once when challenged for his unwillingness to submit to the rule of law in an obvious snub of the Constitution, Bush screamed, “Stop throwing the Constitution in my face. It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”And thus our Constitution has now become what Bush has made it. This annihilation of the foundational document of our republic was orchestrated by a president who swore an oath of honor to protect it, a devout Christian who promised to restore honor and integrity to the Oval Office.Congress, in its acquiescence and subservience, is equally culpable. When Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced, “impeachment is off the table,” she not only absolved Bush of all previous transgressions but paved a figurative superhighway for any to come. There’s a reason Congress’s approval ratings are even lower than the administration’s.
–Michael Abraham, Bush’s legacy is the end of law
The protection and defense of the Constitution was Bush’s only job and he blew it. He deliberately subverted the Constitution and placed himself above the law with bogus, made up concepts for which there is absolutely no legal precedent in either American history or over 400 years of common law to which we are heir.
“Until philosophers rule as kings or those who are now called kings and leading men genuinely and adequately philosophize, that is, until political power and philosophy entirely coincide, while the many natures who at present pursue either one exclusively are forcibly prevented from doing so, cities will have no rest from evils,… nor, I think, will the human race.”
Plato, Republic 473c-d
It is not unfair to expect George W. Bush, a man of questionable background or academic achievement, to attain the ideals described by Plato who describes “philosopher kings” as “those who love the sight of truth” [See: Republic 475c ]. After all, it was Bush –not the sovereign citizens of the United States –who merely assumed what was euphemistically called a ‘unitary executive’. The ‘unitary executive’, without precedent in American History, GOP ‘focus group-speak’ for dictatorship, placed Bush above the sovereignty of the people, above the legislative responsibilities of the Congress, and outside the jurisdiction of the Federal courts. For Plato and for the ideal of the “Philosopher King”, we must all flip Bush off. He has not earned our respect, nor does he deserve our obeisance. He is rightly the object of our utter contempt!
Bush has not governed a free people, he has supervised a crime syndicate and gotten away with it. As a result, US forces are bogged down in a war that cannot be won against an enemy of our own making. It was a war begun upon a pack of black-hearted lies, an avoidable war fought to enrich the rich.
To what degree do Americans share his guilt by simply obeying the laws and, in passive ways, enabling his criminal, murderous regime? There is no pacifying a mass murderer. Too many Americans, passively complicit, have ‘enabled’ Bush’s many crimes against the Constitution, against humanity, and the people of the US.
In the great journal of things happening under the sun, we, the American people, find our account running, under date of the nineteenth century of the Christian era. We find ourselves in the peaceful possession, of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We find ourselves under the government of a system of political institutions, conducing more essentially to the ends of civil and religious liberty, than any of which the history of former times tell us.
— Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
The government –the United States, itself –is a creation of the people.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
—Preamble, US Constitution
It is not just my opinion but also that of the distinguished jurist, Joseph Story, often cited in opinions of the US Supreme Court, that the Preamble establishes, as a principle of law, the sovereignty of the people of the United States. The Preamble is quite possibly the most important part of the Constitution. The following admonitions, therefore, are addressed directly to George W. Bush to whom I would add read my lips: you are NOT the sovereign. You are NOT the dictator of this nation. You are NOT the origin of the law of this land. You are NOT above the Congress. You are NOT above the courts. You are NOT the boss of me nor anyone else. Comprende?
Although the preamble is not a source of power for any department of the Federal Government, 1 the Supreme Court has often referred to it as evidence of the origin, scope, and purpose of the Constitution. 2 ”Its true office,” wrote Joseph Story in his COMMENTARIES, ”is to expound the nature and extent and application of the powers actually conferred by the Constitution, and not substantively to create them. For example, the preamble declares one object to be, ‘to provide for the common defense.’ No one can doubt that this does not enlarge the powers of Congress to pass any measures which they deem useful for the common defence. But suppose the terms of a given power admit of two constructions, the one more restrictive, the other more liberal, and each of them is consistent with the words, but is, and ought to be, governed by the intent of the power; if one could promote and the other defeat the common defence, ought not the former, upon the soundest principles of interpretation, to be adopted?” 3
Findlaw, [See also: J. Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (Boston: 1833), 462. For a lengthy exegesis of the preamble phrase by phrase, see M. Adler & W. Gorman, The American Testament (New York: 1975), 63-118. ]
I have dealt with specific violations in previous articles. In summary, however, it cannot be repeated often enough: the Presidency of George W. Bush is illegitimate, outside the law, and, therefore, Bush’s every decree, flouting as they do the rule of law, are illegal. The decrees of this administration should be ignored, flouted, subverted; they are illegal! Illegitimate as he is, none of Bush’s ‘signing statements’ are valid. None of the decrees issuing from this ‘unitary executive’ are valid. No order issued by Bush is lawful.
Every person of conscience faces existential choices in dictatorial or illegitimate regimes. The question is: at what point does compliance with illegal, unjust or unlawful decrees become complicity. The origin of morality lies in the exercise of one’s individual conscience. Dictatorial regimes that deny to the individual this choice are ‘state absolutists’ in the Hegelian tradition. The exercise of individual conscience is often denied. The pressing issue has to do with how one retains the sense of self amid official fraud, how one reconciles the requirements of state vs those of conscience.
The government’s handling of the investigation of John Kennedy’s murder was a fraud. It was the greatest fraud in the history of our country. It probably was the greatest fraud ever perpetrated in the history of humankind. That doesn’t mean that we have to accept the continued existence of the kind of government which allows this to happen. We can do something about it. We’re forced either to leave this country or to accept the authoritarianism that has developed–the authoritarianism which tells us that in the year 2029 we can see the evidence about what happened to John Kennedy.