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Congress Shall Make No Law …

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There has been a great deal of press lately about how Barack Obama isn't quite the same person who ran an impressive primary campaign, overcoming a strong challenge by Hillary Clinton, to win enough delegates for the nomination. I doubt I need to recount all of these items, but suffice it to say that these were the seeds to my withdrawing away from supporting his candidacy. I am not about to support someone who doesn't mean what he says and shifts important positions for political advantage. Such a person doesn't display integrity, and similar actions on the part of Hillary Clinton during the primary prevented me from seriously considering supporting her candidacy.

Just to cover my position on McCain as a means of eliminating the major candidates from my list of contention, I cannot support him because he completely abandoned some principled stands in order to cater to those who would see the nation continue down a perilous path. Not preventing serious harm to the majority of a population is hardly a quality of a good leader.

Thus I return to Obama and his loss of my backing.

Upon reaching the number of delegates necessary to win the nomination, it appeared that Obama shifted strategy away from strong positions on major issues facing the nation, seeking instead to implement an "Oh, Wow!" factor designed to baffle with BS instead of dazzling with brilliance. The now-thwarted speech in Berlin was intended to convey a sense in the impressionable that Obama is the Second Coming of John Kennedy. Senator, I remember John Kennedy, and – despite an impressive oratorical ability – you don't come close to matching him.

The second major event of late which got me to wondering about Obama's integrity was the announced plan to "borrow" Bronco Stadium for his acceptance speech. Grandstanding of this sort is merely a sign of exercising one's ego, and doesn't present to me a sign of thoughtful leadership or ability.

As serious as these events were, however, they hadn't brought me to the banks of the Rubicon, nor did they inspire me to cross. What did was the collapse of Obama's opposition to the unconstitutional FISA bill.

Let's start at the beginning. Bush's spying has been declared to be illegal by Chief Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court in California in the case of Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation Inc. v. Bush, in which Judge Walker held that the president lacks the authority to disregard the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act as written at the time of the surveillance action.

This makes Bush an unindicted co-conspirator in a felony. His now-successful attempt to change FISA retroactively is what makes FISA ex post facto. Constitutional Law Professor Jonathan Turley (George Washington University School of Law) observed: "This is the type of thing the Bush administration is famous for and now the Democrats are doing. That is, to change the law to conform to past conduct. It's what any criminal would love to do."

Ex post facto laws are prohibited in federal law by Article I, section 9, clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution: "No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed." Despite the false claim that the telecom immunity provisions of the "New and improved" FISA bill do not constitute an ex post facto law, such advocates are wrong. Bush's promotion of a retroactive immunity is ex post facto when those harmed are taken into account.

Lets look at the three categories of ex post facto laws:

  • those “which punish as a crime an act previously committed, which was innocent when done;
  • "I/we didn't know" might apply to an individual, but corporations pay big bucks for legal staffs to keep their activities away from criminal and civil liabilities. The fact that Qwest Communications refused to comply with a Bush administration request to provide surveillance of its customers indicates a belief that such a request might be illegal and subject Qwest to potential legal problems. Such a belief had to have been discussed by the legal staffs of the companies which cooperated in subverting our freedoms and liberties in the name of defending the global economic interests of the neoconfidence men. Thus, there was no innocence about the nature of the action. They knew they were on shaky legal ground.

  • which make more burdensome the punishment for a crime, after its commission;
  • Since to date there has been no penalty for complying with the illegal actions of the Bush administration, there is no increase in penalty for same.

  • or which deprive one charged with crime of any defense available according to law at the time when the act was committed.
  • The Bush administration has yet to be subjected to any charges, criminal or civil, in this matter. But there are affected parties.

    Lawyers for Al-Haramain (a faith-based charity whose assets were seized by the Bush administration) assert that Bush's illegal spying activities included having the National Security Agency conduct warrantless electronic surveillance of their attorney-client communications during March and April of 2004 and turning over the gathered data to the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control. The FBI was sent to confiscate any evidence the defense had which would show that the Bush administration acted illegally.

    Thus, due to actions taken under FISA as interpreted by the BUSH administration, Al Haramain can no longer defend itself against charges filed by the Bush administration that they were aiding and abetting terrorism. The "new and improved" FISA has thus become an ex post facto action.

I don't give a damn what expediency Obama uses to defend his surrender to the New World Order. He failed to demonstrate an understanding of, or to provide a defense for, the rule of law. He has become complicit in the Rule of (neocon) Man.

Like many others, I am deeply dismayed about the complicity of the Democrats who were sent to Washington to implement change. They have failed to perform their duty. Minnesota Congressman Tim Walz admits as much: "We could have stood for a better bill that would have done a better job of balancing liberty and security."

As The Palm Beach Post notes in a June 25, 2008 editorial: "Surveillance laws are important, but the best way to prevent an administration spying improperly on American citizens is to elect a president who wants to follow the law. For a change."

And that, Mr. Obama, is where you just fell flat on your face. Expediency is not intended to trump the law. FISA had plenty of provisions to allow legitimate usage of gathered data with an allowance for after the fact approval intended to prevent hindering investigations. It didn't need "improving". That through your vote in favor of FISA as a part of a voting history very friendly to Bush administration abuses, you demonstrate a willingness to take legal shortcuts at the expense of the good of the nation. Thus, I deem you no longer worthy to hold the Office of the Presidency of the United States of America.

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About pessimist

  • When will we get to read your article on how you can’t support Nader because he’s an egomaniacal socialist loon?


  • You’ve saved me the trouble. I can move on to better things now.

  • Clavos

    “I can move on to better things now.”

    Maybe we can write in Robert Mugabe. If enough of us do it…


  • sy

    I lived through JFK and am sure he is overrated. I agree with you on Obama. He is proving to be just another political scoundrel. A young punk with a suit and a smile and the nerve to exploit the hopes of the masses.

  • “Senator, I remember John Kennedy, and – despite an impressive oratorical ability – you don’t come close to matching him.”

    That says it all.

  • Lee Richards

    Not wanting either of these guys for president leaves some of us between a rock and a hard place.

    Since the presidency may well be screwed up, maybe the best way we can regain some control over the politicians and our government is to vote for no congressional candidate who has already served at least 12 years in Congress.

  • jamminsue

    Lee: Since the presidency may well be screwed up, maybe the best way we can regain some control over the politicians and our government is to vote for no congressional candidate who has already served at least 12 years in Congress.

    We tried that sort of with the “Contract for America” under Gingrich. Didn’t work. Face it it’s busted but still better than anything else.

    Realist: Would you rather a scoundrel that does what is expident or another neocon? True, it seems McCain was bludgeoned into it, but there it is…

  • Lee Richards


    You’ll have to explain how something that’s busted is “still better than anything else.”

    That’s a value judgement, not a fact, and not convincing.

    “Busted” means no good, useless, worthless. What we’ve got is at least potentially fixable, but not if we blithely accept it as “still better than anything else”. That’s giving up without a fight.

  • Seems like you have the ex post facto thing all backwards to the intent. The point of that prohibition as I would understand it is that it is a safeguard for criminal defendents, like search and seizure law. That is, it’s supposed to prohibit prosecuting someone for violating laws retroactively. It’s certainly not meant to keep Congress from changing laws to give the president authority like this, whether doing so is or isn’t a good idea.

    However, I’m glad to see some of you left wingers fleeing from Obama. Still, this guy is the most left wing guy ever nominated by a major party that I know of. If this pinko ain’t commie enough for you, then you’re never, ever going to be able to vote for a major party candidate.

    Thinking Obama ain’t far enough out to support does not strike me as being the mark of a real “realist.” But perhaps I should stop before I talk back into supporting him.

  • Lee Richards

    Al, You’ve mixed me up now. Is he pink, black or Red?

    Is McCain too greyo, or not rightie enough?

    Your analysis is way over my head. ARGHHH!

  • Marcia Neil

    Obama was never intended for the Presidency of the United States, but Clinton was. Unfortunately for both campaigns George Washington is the standard by which all other presidents have been judged; Washington was no ‘fill-up’.