FOUND: U.S. Constitution

by Walter Brasch

           Sarah Palin stood before an audience of 600 at the first Tea Party convention and in her twinkly home-spun rhetoric, declared we don't need a professor of law but a commander-in-chief. As expected, she received roaring applause. And, as expected, she was wrong.

           After Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, aided by a compliant Congress and a nation largely afraid to stand up for their rights, abused the Constitution for almost eight years, what the United States needs is a leader who understands constitutional law and who is unafraid of making sure all Americans understand that the fabric that became America should not be torn apart for political convenience.

           Dick Cheney and George W. Bush established policies which violated:

           ● The First Amendment (freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly, and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances)

           ● The Fourth Amendment (freedom from unreasonable searches)

           ● The Fifth Amendment (right of due process and to protect against self-incrimination)

           ● The Sixth Amendment (due process, the right to counsel, a speedy trial, and the right to a fair and public trial by an impartial jury)

           ● The Eighth Amendment (reasonable bail and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment), and

           ● The Fourteenth Amendment (equal protection guarantee for both citizens and non-citizens)

           Bush–Cheney Administration actions also violated provisions of Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution which guarantees the right to petition the courts to issue a writ of habeas corpus to require the government to produce a prisoner or suspect in order to determine the legality of the detention. Only Congress may order a suspension of habeas corpus, and then only in “Cases of Rebellion or Invasion.” Congress did not suspend this right; nothing during or subsequent to the 9/11 attack indicated either a rebellion or invasion under terms of the Constitution.

           It wasn't just liberals who argued about Constitutional violations.  Many leading conservatives argued that the Bush–Cheney Administration overreached in its lame attempt to "keep America safe." Among those conservatives who objected were Bob Barr, Grover Norquist, Alan Caruba, and William F. Buckley, the founder of modern conservative thought. Also objecting to the wide-reaching policies of the Bush–Cheney Administration were federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States, which leans to the right.

           In Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004), Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who had been nominated for the Court by Ronald Reagan, was forceful in her majority opinion, which attacked Bush–Cheney Administration policies. According to O'Connor:

      It is during our most challenging and uncertain moments that our Nation's commitment to due process is most severely tested; and it is in those times that we must preserve our commitment at home to the principles for which we fight abroad.  . . . (The imperative necessity for safeguarding these rights to procedural due process under the gravest of emergencies has existed throughout our constitutional history, for it is then, under the pressing exigencies of crisis, that there is the greatest temptation to dispense with guarantees which, it is feared, will inhibit government action.) . .  . (It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of one of those liberties, which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile.)

           A large population of misinformed citizens—including leading politicians, pundits, and blowhards—claim even if everything else was true about protecting rights during times of war, the Constitution protects only American citizens and not foreigners. The Supreme Court has several times ruled otherwise. In 1886, the Supreme Court, in its Yick Wo v. Hopkins decision, reaffirmed the principle that the Constitution protects all persons, even foreigners, in U.S. jurisdiction. More than a century later, in Boumediene v. Bush (2008), the Supreme Court ruled that the right of habeas corpus applies to all persons, even terrorists confined in Guantanamo Bay. Not one of the nine justices, or even the Bush–Cheney Administration itself, disagreed with that principle. The only dissent was that such prisoners were on foreign soil and outside the jurisdiction of the Constitution; the Supreme Court ruled that the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base was on U.S., not Cuban, soil.

           And now in an interesting twist of logic come the Teabaggers, who continue to claim that not only doesn't the Constitution apply to foreigners but that they want to impeach President Obama because he violated Constitutional rights. Alas, they can't provide specific instances that will hold up in any federal court. But, like much of what the Tea Party zealots say, it makes good rhetoric, and the mainstream media, often without challenge, publish and air their views to a mass audience.

           But Sarah Palin and the party who loves her demand that this nation get rid of its professor of constitutional law and replace him with a man who is a true blue, 100 percent all-American commander-in-chief. You know, the kind who sends American forces into Iraq to chase mythical weapons that don't exist, and then claims at least his invasion got rid of a dictator. The kind who costs more than 4,000 American deaths and more than 30,000 injuries, many of them permanent. The kind who doesn't give the troops the armament and protection they need while in battle, and then the rehabilitation they need when they can no longer fight.

           In case Sarah Palin didn't read the Constitution, President Barack Obama is the president of the United States and the commander-in-chief of the nation's military. The biggest difference is that this president and commander-in-chief is just as aggressive in protecting the principles of the Constitution as he is in protecting the safety of the American people.

 [Walter Brasch is the author of 17 books, including the national award-winning America's Unpatriotic Acts: The Federal Government's Violation of Constitutional and Civil Rights and Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush, available at amazon.com, bn.com, and numerous independent and chain stores. Dr. Brasch is professor of journalism at Bloomsburg University. You may contact him through his website, www.walterbrasch.com or by e-mail at brasch@bloomu.edu]

 

 

 

FOX Covers FOX Employee Promoting FOX at FOX Rally to FOX Viewers

FOX News spent all of Saturday covering the rally in Searchlight Nevada, hometown of Harry Reid. The event was a Tea Party rally, a movement created out of whole cloth by FOX. The keynote at the rally was FOX employee Sarah Palin, who railed against the coverage of the recent spilling-over of violence that she and other FOX employees have instigated against Democratic Party politicians, staffers and supporters. In this clip from FOX News Channel today we see FOX Employee Palin telling the FOX-created movement's followers that what America wants is "Fair and Balanced" news (FOX Broadcasting's official tagline), which the entirely FOX-viewing crowd cheered at so that their friends watching FOX back and home could see them cheering the FOX employee on stage. This is making me dizzy.

 

There's more...

Twitter and the Cowardice of Sarah Palin

Originally posted at Cagle.

When I joined Twitter in July 2006 I was the 3,365th person to sign up for the 140-character message streaming social network. Now, with more than 190 million users having taken the plunge, I guess you could call me an early adopter of sorts.

See, I've always believed that the Internet -- and by extension new online tools like Twitter -- have the ability to create change because it levels the political playing field tearing down walls that have traditionally separated the powerless and the powerful.

It turns out I may have been wrong -- at least when it comes to a certain half-termer from Alaska.

There's more...

Juan Williams: We’ve Become the United States of Wussies

Juan Williams, Fox News contributor and now ex-NPR reporter, was fired for saying he’s nervous when Muslims board his plane. As might be expected, conservatives are howling to yank NPR funding and liberals are saying NPR jumped the gun ala Shirley Sharrod. It’s nice to see we’ve finally achieved bipartisanship by rallying around the notion that NPR sucks – unless, of course, you’re a fan of opera.

When I first heard about this story, the idea that Williams had become some sort of overnight racial profiler didn’t even occur to me. After all, he has a long history of speaking out against racism in its many forms or at least as often as he can before Britt Hume or some other ass cake interrupts him. No, the first thing that jumped into my head was, “What a wuss!”

If Williams is guilty of anything, it’s not racism – it’s his irrational fear of a crackpot amateur videographer living in a Pakistani cave. And if that’s a crime, let’s lock up the rest of fear-crazed America too.

Setting Our Crotches on Fire
So big is our national obsession with fear, that we compliantly allow ourselves to be x-rayed, cavity searched, and deprived of our shoes and belts simply because some idiot mistook his shoe for a candle and another set his crotch on fire.

It seems everyone is terrified of something or someone today. AZ Governatrix Jan Brewer is tremble-kneed over Latinos attacking from Mexico, though curiously not afraid of French Canadians invading Vermont. Sharron Angle is afraid of Canadians so that fear seems to be covered. What a relief, I feared no one would step up for that one. Sharron may also be afraid of Latinos and Asians or someone. They all look alike to her and it’s a tough job so she has to do it.

Obama is afraid of failure, Bush is afraid someone will see he was a carbuncle on the ass of democracy – a hint to the Dub, that cat is already out of the bag. Whites are afraid of blacks. Otherwise brave soldiers are afraid someone might look at their armor-piercing peckers in the shower, but feel much safer if they don’t ask the lookie-loo what he’s looking at and said loo doesn’t tell them. And Sarah Palin pretty much scares the crap out of everyone – except CEOs, who fear no one, but are roundly feared by everyone.

Oh, and Christine O’Donnell is afraid of Bill Maher, though that didn’t stop her from appearing on his show like 357 times to say she was an anti-mastubatory witch.

All Fear, All the Time
Being afraid of Muslims is like saying you’re afraid of Oklahomans because of Timothy McVey or afraid of Coloradans because a zealot whack job killed an abortion doctor there.

To edit a phrase recently uttered on the Fox Fear Network, “Not all Muslims are terrorists, not all terrorists are Muslims, but all terrorists are terrorists” and they’re in the business of scaring the bejeebers out of people. When they’re successful – and in America they’re fabulously successful beyond their wildest incoherent dreams – they win. They get what they want. They want to say, “BOO!” and see 350 million people simultaneously piss their pants…over a poorly-filmed amateur videotape.

Americans really need to get a grip. There’s nothing wrong with prudent precautions, but building a Maginot Line across the southwest is NOT it. I can live with a stroll through a metal detector, though I still don’t like it nor think it does much. I mean when was the last time a turban-wearing Arab showed up for the 3:15 Delta to Sheboygan carrying one of those round Spy vs. Spy bombs?

So what say we all pull up our big girl, big boy, transgendered pants and act like reasonable adults instead of a pack of screaming Campfire Girls because that new Muslim kid down the block keeps trying to put worms down our backs.

Oh yeah, and hire Williams back…with a raise. It’s the least you could do, you pussies.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

 

 

Sarah Palin as Policy Wonk

 

 

 

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