Nov 1, 2007

The Decider Has Decided: Give Me a Catastrophe and I'll Be Your Emperor, or, Bush Names Himself "Insurer of Constitutional Government in Emergency"

Or Martial Law at the Drop of the Madhatter's Hat

J
ust when you thought it was safe to start thinking about something innocuous like the primaries, that now start next January, thanks to Florida and New Hampshire . . . just when you thought it was safe, well, Bush progressed from anointing himself King (wiretapping private citizens without a warrant, the Patriot Act, retaliating against whistleblowers, firing federal judges, torturing anywhere and everywhere, the slaughtering of Habeas Corpus, etc.) to anointing himself Emperor. Yes, Julius Caesar Bush, you are now closer to God on the level of unprecedented Executive branch powers in the United States of America. (The same U.S. of A. that opted NOT to have a king--remember "taxation without representation"? The Revolutionary War, anyone?)

And just how did Bush accomplish anointing himself Emperor of America? Quietly, without so much as a whisper in the mainstream press, and disguised with mysterious and ambiguous, you guessed it, verbiage. The one article on the feat was in The Progressive:

With scarcely a mention in the mainstream media, President Bush has ordered up a plan for responding to a catastrophic attack.

In a new National Security Presidential Directive, Bush lays out his plans for dealing with a “catastrophic emergency.”

Under that plan, he entrusts himself with leading the entire federal government, not just the Executive Branch. And he gives himself the responsibility “for ensuring constitutional government.”

He laid this all out in a document entitled “National Security Presidential Directive / NSPD 51” and “Homeland Security Presidential Directive / HSPD-20.” The White House released it on May 9.

Now, has this “National Security Presidential Directive,” e.g., “Martial Law Anydamntime I Feel Like It,” gone into effect just because it was published and submitted as a press release? Will someone please explain to me how the legal process works here (if it still works at all, that is). But just judging from how easily Bush's histrionics made the Democrats in Congress cave in by removing the timeline for withdrawal from Iraq from the war funding bill (whew, take a deep breath), well, he's likely to get his way on this too.

And where is that wimpy mainstream media? Where's the outrage? Is anyone even concerned about this? My friend Lemming Herder first pointed it out to me in his recent post, or I might not have known about it. There’s been some discussion of the topic on Daily KOS, under a post entitled, “Bush Declares Control of all 3 Gov Branches if any Crisis?,” with over 500 comments so far, and a reprint of The Progressive article in my favorite news source, Truthout.org. But sadly, I cannot find much more coverage than that.

But I did find out this: the separation of powers of the tripartite government we have long enjoyed—Executive branch, Congress, and the Supreme Court (now predominantly aligned in Bush's favor already, ohdeargod)—is melting, melting, melting into one giant, autocratic Executive branch juggernaut and frankly, I am afraid.

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