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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

...to always remind me of how close I came to danger."
Posted by Jill | 7:06 PM
As I continue to read about the extent to which the Bush Administration was prepared to use the 9/11 attacks to destroy everything this country stands for, I keep being reminded of the line that Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth I says about 1:30 into this final scene from the 1998 film Elizabeth:

There will always be voices who say that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are gone, and that we should not look back but look forward. But just as in this version of the fall of Lord Robert Dudley, Elizabeth keeps him around as a reminder of the treachery that she will always face, so must we never, ever forget just how close George W. Bush, who said on March 18, 2002 that we were attacked because "they hate our freedom", was prepared to take away more of our freedom than terrorists could ever dream possible:
In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the Justice Department secretly gave the green light for the U.S. military to attack apartment buildings and office complexes inside the United States, deploy high-tech surveillance against U.S. citizens and potentially suspend First Amendment freedom-of-the-press rights in order to combat the terror threat, according to a memo released Monday.

Many of the actions discussed in the Oct. 23, 2001, memo to then White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's chief lawyer, William Haynes, were never actually taken.

But the memo from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel—along with others made public for the first time Monday—illustrates with new details the extraordinary post-9/11 powers asserted by Bush administration lawyers. Those assertions ultimately led to such controversial policies as allowing the waterboarding of terror suspects and permitting warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens—steps that remain the subject of ongoing investigations by Congress and the Justice Department. The memo was co-written by John Yoo, at the time a deputy attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel. Yoo, now a professor at the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, has emerged as one of the central figures in those ongoing investigations.

In perhaps the most surprising assertion, the Oct. 23, 2001, memo suggested the president could even suspend press freedoms if he concluded it was necessary to wage the war on terror. "First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully," Yoo wrote in the memo entitled "Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activity Within the United States."

This claim was viewed as so extreme that it was essentially (and secretly) revoked—but not until October of last year, seven years after the memo was written and with barely three and a half months left in the Bush administration.

I suppose George Bush was still holding out hope that we would be attacked again and he could become the dictator he so clearly wanted to be. And once it became clear that any attack would be viewed as a false flag operation by a sizable number of Americans, he had to revoke these rules rather than pass them on to be used by anyone else -- perhaps the one remotely redemptive thing his Administration did, even if their reasons for doing so were self-serving.

And today, while Rush Limbaugh freaks out on national television and Freepers become ever more irrational about Barack Obama every day, attributing to him the sinister motivations that we now know for certain motivated the previous Administration, we too must always keep George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and their nefarious deeds at the front of our minds, to always remind us of how close we came to danger.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Hi! I linked and quoted you!

Blogger Serr8d said...
You, madam, are a fucking nitwit.

And that's being nice.