A fantastic piece about Paul Pillar, who was the national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia on the intelligence council until last year. Could he be one of the leakers?
Actually, laws are proposed by Congress, and then passed by the President. Therefore, there is culpability at several places in the government, not just the executive branch. However, President Bush time and again favors reminding us that we must give up our liberty (rights, freedoms, etc) for security. This basic tenant gives way to Tyranny. It may not happen today, but it could happen any time, even after Bush is not President any more.
As Americans we should not allow a government to spy on us without knowledge of a crime (wiretapping), they should not be able to have military tribunals for American citizens who are not in the military, there should be no secret bases around the world used for torture or other deleterious acts, there should not be secret bases inside the IS which once again American citizens can be taken for internment, or "questioning". Law enforcement should not be allowed to ever search and seize anything inside someones personal home or property without a warrant (whether FISA or not). We have a system of law, which should be used. If they want to issue a warrant, and then proceed to question or detain someone, do it with law proceedings, according to the Constitution and case law.
By the continual eroding of our civil liberties it will be too easy to initiate a complete take over (martial law) by the government. We should never allow that to happen.
As for laws being broken, if you are the executive branch and you "change" the law (i.e. Patriot Act and Patriot Act II) then things become blurry. Quite definitely most parts of these "new" laws are against our Constitution, and even Bill of Rights. Laws are being passed every day by the President, and it doesn't make them all good laws.
Please remember this should not be a left .vs. right or Democrat .vs. Republican, because it is not. I am a conservative Republican, but certainly not a neo-conservative such as many of the leaders in the White House and DOD right now. Take a look at the PNAC and CFR membership roster. Most of these people border on Fascism and similar ideals. I look at the Constitution and what we should do about it.
American Citizens After 9-11 said to the president "…what could we do. What can we do to become engaged and take some responsibility"? President Bush unfortunately said, "Go Shopping, Go Back to the Mall, Go back to your normal lives, we'll take care of it". Spectatorship is an invitation to fear. Citizenship is how we fight the politics of fear. The politics of citizenship, the politics of engagement, taking responsibility is a much better way to deal with terrorism -- than hunkering down and being spectators and allowing the government to rob us of our liberties, to rob us of our multi-culturalism in the name of protecting us.
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