Friday, February 10, 2006

War Powers Against Americans

I have tried, in the course of this blog, to touch on politics only when it concerns our obligations, as Christians, to stand up for others or to change our point of view so we are more in line with Christ's message of love.

However, I believe it is vital that each American realize the enormity of the argument that the U.S. government, under George W. Bush, is now making against you and me and every American citizen in our great country in terms of being able to use war powers against us.

Although our country was founded on guarantees of freedom and justice, The President is now claiming - and is aggressively exercising - the right to use any and all war powers against American citizens even within the United States, and he is insisting that neither Congress nor the courts can do anything to stop him or even restrict him.

Not since Richard M. Nixon has a President so flagrantly abridged our rights, rights we were born with, or sought to permanently and irrevocably take our God-given rights from us.

My fellow Christians, people on both sides of the political spectrum agree:

George Bush and his appointee, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, are arguing for tyranny.

I cannot emphasize enough that this is not a liberal or conservative issue.

Bruce Fein, a staunchly conservative constitutional lawyer and international consultant, in an editorial in the Washington Times, has demanded that Congress insist that President Bush cease spying on us and, if he will not, that he be impeached. Mr. Fein is one of many who have, formerly, agreed with virtually everything the President has done, but must draw the line here.

You may say: "The President is only going to use this against terrorists and since I'm not a terrorist, this doesn't apply to me."

Not true. Your rights and a terrorist's rights will now be exactly the same: zero.

You will not have a guaranteed right to an attorney. You will not have a guaranteed right to a speedy trial. You will not have the guaranteed right to defend yourself before a jury of your peers.

"I've never been in trouble," you say.

Really? That's laudable. But people can be in the wrong place at the wrong time. And they can - and sometimes are - wrongfully accused. Don't think it can happen to you? Why not? It's happened to others.

Is your church active in foreign countries? Do you donate to foreign charities?

Innocent grandmothers have been accused of aiding terrorists because they gave $25 to a charity geared to help children in the Middle-East.

Okay, so you say you won't give to foreign charities anymore.

Are you going to allow this administration to frighten you, to control you, to tell you who you can help and who you can't? Will you allow a limit on your freedom - allow yourself to be terrorized by fear of wrongful implication? Is this America?

And will you turn your back - and your heart - on some of the world's neediest people because you are afraid your donation will be misconstrued?

Remember that many Africans are Muslims, so even giving to the needy in Africa could raise a "red" flag. Yet, if you stop donating to help the needy in Third World countries, you still have no guarantee you won't run into trouble.

Have you marched for peace? Have you marched for anything? Have you demonstrated before a clinic to protest abortion? Have you mailed off an angry letter to the editor? Have you been curious about the Muhammad cartoons and found yourself on a Muslim site that expressed anger over them?

Have you ever written a letter protesting something your government did? Do you think you ever might?

You could be linked, through any of these actions, to some group that the government decides to investigate as being a possible danger to order or to its interests, and, as a result, you could be implicated, jailed, held without bail, tortured for "a confession" and even killed, without repercussion.

I attended a Quaker peace meeting, to view a film on creating peace. Turns out it had been infiltrated by a spy looking for "potential terrorists."

The government, at times, has no common sense. You'd think those in charge would know they wouldn't find supporters of terrorism at a Quaker peace meeting.

But this is not about common sense. It's about absolute control.

And what the President is doing will make people afraid to speak their minds, for fear of being thought to be "trouble makers" or "against the government." Free speech will be a thing of the past. Fear of one's neighbor will become rampant, further separating us just when we need to reclaim a sense of community.

Maybe you never have and never will attend peace meetings or political rallies or gripe about the government. Well, then let's look at another scenario.

We know from the last six years - and by studying the stated policies and rhetoric of those in power - that this President is working hard to abolish all social programs, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. We also know jobs are being exported at an alarming rate and there is less and less protection for retirement funds.

If our National Debt grows to the point that the interest on it makes big cuts to Social Security and Medicare inevitable, how will that affect you? Will you be able to live?

You say you won't depend on Social Security because you have a retirement account? But what if your company self-destructs as many, recently, have? It's been said that Enron was just the tip of the iceberg of dishonest corporations playing with the money of investors and retirees.

So what if your retirement disappeared? What if your job disappeared? Would you have to find another? What if, two years down the road, there weren't any? What would you do? Welfare's been cut and it wouldn't support most of our lifestyles even if it hadn't been.

So what would you do if times became desperate? Would you march on Washington to demand jobs or save your retirement, to demand a way to make a living for you or for your children or for your grandchildren?

If your parent's home was being claimed by eminent domain as land needed for redevelopment, would you go visit your Senator or Representative? What if they told you to leave and you got emotional? What if you were arrested and the government decided to make an example of you so others would think twice about coming to Washington?

You could find yourself imprisoned indefinitely.

But maybe you're independently wealthy.

Well, what if President Bush decides he wants to invade Iran and you think that's a bad idea? Would you march in protest of that invasion considering how overextended our troops are in Iraq?

Protestors - including retirees - were beaten and jailed in Miami during the 2004 World Trade summit, just for showing up. A court later found that their civil rights were abridged. But don't expect that relief if the President is allowed to abolish our rights.

Remember his words: You're either with him or against him. I know he used "us," but we know now that he didn't mean all of us, but only those that support everything he and his administration are doing.

With leeway to use war powers against American citizens, if you were in the wrong place at the wrong time and jailed - as so many were - you could find yourself in jail, without access to a lawyer, indefinitely.

In that case you would have no recourse. Writing to your Congressman or woman wouldn't help you, if you could get a letter out. Neither the courts nor Congress could help you if you were being held, for convenience, if your actions were interpreted as a threat to the U.S. government or its policies.

This is not justice. It's not fairness. And it's not the America we were raised in.

I don't know about you, but my father did not get the Purple Heart fighting fascism abroad in WWII for me to lose my liberty now.

But all these scenarios will be possible unless you - and unless we the American people - insist we retain our individual rights as American citizens.

Remember: As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men. Galatians 6:10. God also helps those who help themselves. I urge you to write to your representatives, to our President and to the media about this today.

This is not an issue you can leave to others to fight for you. You must take a stand yourself. Only tens of millions of voices will stop this administration from imposing its will upon us.

Insist the President stop spying on us and stop treating us like we are the ones with whom he is at war. If he will not, then Congress must be made to impeach him. Nothing else you do could have as long-lasting repercussions for us, our children and grandchildren, for this one issue will impact all others. What you do will make or break America and all our lives with her.

Remember, if injustice happens to even one of us, it happens to all of us.

He that ruleth over men must be just. 2 Samuel 23:3

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherein Christ hath made us free. Galatians 3:1

If they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. Hebrews 11:15

Uphold me with they free spirit. Psalms 51:12

Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them. Hebrews 13:3

God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. Philippians 4:13


At 2/12/2006 6:42 PM, Blogger Jay Denari said...

Hi, Clyo,

There's no doubt this man's a lunatic control freak; the rest of the world has been saying it for years. I just wonder when many self-proclaimed conservatives will wake up and realize he is NOT conservative at all. When the wingnut Wash. Times prints an anti-Bush column, you KNOW the guy's dangerous.

And he has the gall to claim IRAN's a danger to everyone....

I KNOW I'd be in trouble; there's enough stuff I've said both online and in the "real" world the fascists could throw at me if they ever got around to it, and I'm pretty sure I've got some kind of FBI file from various activist activities even without a criminal record.

BTW: I'm blogging again.

At 2/17/2006 12:24 PM, Blogger HBEEE said...

Clyo -- your hyteria is catching on. "I'm pretty sure there's and FBI file"..... see how it goes? Both the far left and right gain energy from similar energy forces (pure emotion that blooms into hysteria)... Unfortunately there is little critical thinking involved.

But that said, thank you for sharing your prayers.


At 2/18/2006 11:20 PM, Blogger Clyo said...

The cartoonists who published the Muhammad cartoons never dreamed they would spark massive protests, violence and deaths.

If anyone had urged caution, they might have laughed and said the person who saw the possibility for real trouble was "hysterical."

Lack of concern over an issue does not necessarily equate with critical thinking.

It's ironic that while so many are protesting against freedom, so few Americans are inclined to protest in favor of freedom.


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